If you own a husky, no doubt you have wondered why they tend to pant. Sometimes, it can even appear to be excessive and even may be concerning you. Is a lot of panting to be expected in this breed and should you ever be worried? Well here is everything you’ll want to know.
So, why do huskies pant so much? Huskies are known to pant a lot because they are a large and very active dog breed with a thick double coat. Panting is their natural way to cool down and regulate their temperature, as just like all dogs, they do not possess sweat glands and cannot cool in this way.
While some panting, and drooling, are normal (such as following exercise or in warmer temperatures) prolonged or unexplained panting can be a sign of a medical issue.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from illness, you should consult a vet at the earliest opportunity.
If you feel your husky pants too much, it’s natural to worry as you try to figure out why it’s happening.
Once you understand what’s causing your husky to pant, it will become less daunting and give you some practical ways to deal with the situation.
It’s important to know that panting is a way for dogs to regulate their body temperature when they get too hot.
Their sweat glands do not function in the way that human sweat glands function.
Panting allows dogs to transfer the hot air in their bodies for the colder outside air.
The bigger the canine, the more they pant, especially if they have double coats.
Bigger dogs breeds exercise more, becoming hotter, and so the need to pant is more than that of smaller dog breeds.
This couldn’t be more true than for the Husky breed.
Let us now take a closer look at the most commonly asked questions regarding huskies and their panting behaviors.
We’ll also look at some signs that could indicate your dog is panting too much and some things you can do to help control and comfort them during any episodes.
Why Do Huskies Pant A Lot?
Huskies are a large and active dog breed, so, naturally, they need to pant more than other breeds of dogs to keep themselves cooler.
It’s also important to consider their heritage. Huskies were bred for extremely cold climates. They were, and are still used, as working dogs in harsh conditions.
As such, they have developed a thick, double coat that consists of an upper and under element.
Each plays a key role in protecting the dog’s skin and helping them to preserve a sufficient body temperature.
You must remember that when owning a husky, you have taken them out of their natural environment in which they evolved for.
For this reason, you are likely living in a much warmer climate than they are accustomed to. While the environment can change, their genetics do not.
For this reason, a husky simply relies on panting more often than not in order to accommodate for their thick double coat.
The size and coat of these dogs are not the only factors that will cause panting; there are others to be aware of; some are less worrying than others.
Let’s examine them:
Separation anxiety is common in many breeds of dogs because they don’t like being alone and without their owners.
For a social breed like a husky; who are commonly raised and kept in packs, it can be an issue.
Separation anxiety often occurs when they are left alone for too long a time, or they do not have a sufficient amount of stimulus in their environment to keep them occupied.
Signs like crying, pacing, and generally being destructive often accompany separation anxiety.
We’ve already discussed separation anxiety, but fear can also bring about a lot of panting. This is a very unpleasant experience for your dog.
A certain person or situation might frighten them – often leading to pantinf as a stress response.
In this situation, panting is not likely to subside until your dog feels calm and comfortable again, or they have been removed from the situation entirely.
Your Husky Is Excited
Equally, its normal for a husky to pant when they’re excited. Again, this could be when visitors come to the house or they are playing with another dog.
Alternatively, it could be in response to an owner returning home.
It’s completely safe and normal for your dog to pant here, as long as it doesn’t continue for hours after.
Your Husky Is Exercising Or Running
As previously mentioned, huskies are a highly active dog breed, so panting is natural for them if they have been exercising or running around.
If your husky is playing outdoors on a hot day or indoors and the temperature is high, they are likely to pant more than usual.
As long as panting doesn’t continue for hours, it’s perfectly normal.
Heatstroke is very dangerous and occurs when a dog is playing or exercising too much in hot temperatures, without a chance to cool down.
Other signs that accompany heat stroke include vomiting, seizures, and diarrhea.
You need to ensure that your dog has sufficient access to cold water and time in the shade o warmer days.
Your Husky May Be Unwell
An illness or injury can cause your husky to pant more than usual.
This type of panting is a significant concern for many dog owners, especially when there are no apparent reasons for them to pant.
Here are some symptoms and signs that could indicate that your dog may be unwell:
- Panting when sedentary in cold conditions,
- They have excessive thirst,
- They have dry skin or a loss of hair,
- Appear lethargic or depressed
- Has a purple or white tongue,
- Glassy eyes
With any of the above, it is recommended to consult a vet at the earliest opportunity.
They will be able to conduct a thorough examination on your dog and test for potential health complications.
From there, you will be able to advise you on an appropriate course of action.
Is It Normal For Huskies To Pant A Lot?
Yes, for the most part, it is completely normal for a husky to pant – and quite a bit.
As we have already mentioned, panting is typical for all dogs; this is how they cool down.
Huskies, being a larger breed that likes to run around and who carries a thick coat, will pant much more than smaller, less active dog breeds.
If your husky is acting normally and not displaying any signs of sickness, injury, or heatstroke, you have nothing to worry about; your dog is just cooling himself.
However, if your husky is panting is very heavily, it comes on all of a sudden, is unexplained, or if it is not stopping even after some time has passed, this is not normal.
How Do I Know If My Husky Is Panting Too Much?
To understand when panting is abnormal or too much, you must consider the situation where your dog is panting. You need to be able to distinguish whether it is ‘excessive’ compared to their normal panting behaviors.
You must consider the behavior of your husky before, and around the time that they began to pant.
If your dog is behaving out of character and the panting is sudden, and out of place, this is usually a sign of a more serious matter.
Examine your husky’s tongue and gums, if it changes color becoming either blue, purple, or white, this is a definite health concern. It is indicating that they are not getting sufficient oxygen.
Ultimately, your dog should be displaying in its appearance or behavior that something is not quite right.
Panting is in response to something; so if you believe it is excessive or too much, you need to identify the cause before you can reach the solution.
Upon successful removal of the cause, you can then observe patterns to prevent it from re-occurring going forward.
What To Do If Your Husky Is Panting?
There are many ways you can help your husky feel more comfortable during episodes of panting.
Let’s look at some of the things that you can, or perhaps should do if your husky is panting:
Help Your Husky Cool Down
If your husky’s panting is brought on by heat, then you should take steps to help cool them down.
If you are on a walk, take your dog to a shaded area for a quick break and rest.
If you are at home, you should ensure they have access to shaded areas at all times and be sure to regularly bring them inside.
Additionally, you should ensure they always have access to water. In times of panting, take your bowl over to your dog. This will help prevent dehydration and heatstroke.
Another option is to give your dog a cold bath – this can be a really effective way of cooling them off.
Give Your Husky Exercise Daily
A large dog breed, such as a husky, needs daily exercise to become fit and healthy. This will also help to stop excessive panting whenever they do exercise.
It is recommended that this dog breed receives one hour of exercise daily.
You should, of course, be careful of when you take them out – the time of the day and the temperature.
Never do so in the heat of the day (stick to morning and evenings if possible).
Additionally, never take your dog for a walk on textured surfaces like Asphalt. This can get very hot, especially in the summertime.
Walking on this kind of surface can lead to your husky overheating and also burning its paws.
For this reason, on hotter days stick to grass over concrete, sidewalks, and streets.
Remove Your Husky’s Undercoat
Removing your husky’s undercoat is an excellent way to help keep them cool, especially when the weather becomes hotter.
You can use a de-shedding brush, like this best-selling FURminator tool from Amazon, to safely and carefully remove the undercoat.
Avoid shaving your husky’s fur; this is not recommended as it can actually increase the likelihood of your dog getting heatstroke!
Take Your Husky To A Vet
If you suspect your dog’s panting is abnormal, then take them to the vet.
This is to determine what’s causing your dog to pant so much and also to help you implement the right solution and course of action.
Equally, it will help you to understand how to care for your dog if they are ill or have a medical condition that needs to be treated.
While it’s perfectly normal for huskies to pant a lot, there are times when panting may seem excessive.
You must consider the situation, context and your dogs behavior before you can determine whether their panting is normal or abnormal.
Huskies always pant for a reason; and these can vary quite dramatically.
However, with all being said, panting is the main way that huskies and other dogs can regulate their body temperature.
Normal panting, at specific times, is usually a sign that they are either hot or uncomfortable.
Hopefully, from reading the above, you will understand when panting is abnormal for your dog and how to tackle each situation in the right way.
Most dog owners have excellent instincts when it comes to knowing their dog’s needs, and that comes from having a good bond with your dog.
Be sure to remember that all dogs pant, and do so regularly.
Some dog breeds do pant more than others because of their coats, energy levels, and size. Huskies are one of them.
If you have properly comforted and helped your dog cool down and they still pant heavily, it may be time to consult a vet.
Related Husky guides you may want to read:
- Do Huskies Like To Cuddle?
- Do Huskies Drool?
- Do Huskies Bark A Lot?
- Are Huskies Aggressive?
- What Size Crate For A Husky?
- Best Heavy Duty Dog Crate For Husky
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.