As fur parents, it’s only natural to worry about your dog when he behaves unusually. The worry intensifies when the behavior looks like your fur baby is in distress, like panting and being restless.
To make things worse, it can even make you lose sleep, especially if it’s at night. So what does this mean, what could possibly be the reason behind this, and how do you address it?
Why is My Dog Panting and Restless at night?
Your dog is panting and restless because of discomfort. There may be various reasons for this distress, but the most common are pain, anxiety, and medical condition. It is essential to pinpoint the cause of the behavior to properly address it and help your dog feel more comfortable.
Your dog is experiencing pain
Panting and pacing often signifies pain. Your dog may be having a painful condition that leaves him unsettled because he hurts from staying in a position for too long.
This is kinda like when you experience body soreness, and you find yourself pacing in your bed, looking for that comfortable position.
Pain stems from different medical conditions that your dog may be having. It is best to have him checked immediately so the vet can diagnose what seems to be the problem.
The most common diagnosis is muscle and joint pain, especially in dogs living with degenerative joint disease.
Also, the distress from pain may signal stomach concerns. These may lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The symptoms are impossible to ignore, making your dog pace, pant, and become restless to cope with the discomfort.
If there is excessive panting, your vet will also consider laryngeal paralysis. This is the condition that causes damage to your canine friend’s vocal cords. You will likely notice panting, heavy breathing, difficulty sleeping, and voice changes.
Your dog is uncomfortable
Your fur baby may be panting and restless because of weather conditions, especially during the summer season.
Heatstroke will manifest in excessive sweating, distress, weakness, and redness in the tongue and gums. Your dog will also open his mouth wider than usual, and his tongue will look unusually long.
Your dog is anxious
Your dog is probably panting and restless because of anxiety. This may stem from physical changes in his body or environmental changes.
Take note of your dog’s age. If he’s already old, the behavior may be the result of gradual hearing loss. Check his eyes too. If they look cloudy, it may be that your dog is experiencing vision impairment.
These natural conditions associated with old age may make your dog anxious at night. It is not difficult to see why considering that lights and sounds at night are not as apparent during the day. So, your fur baby copes by panting and pacing.
Aside from old age, it may be that your dog is in distress because of stimuli or the lack of it (separation anxiety). If there’s an unfamiliar something or someone, dogs will react by being restless.
You might also notice this with overwhelming stimuli like loud sounds from fireworks, thunder, and machines.
Your dog may have an underlying medical condition associated with old age
Your dog is more prone to experience neurological diseases at the start of his ninth year. As he gets older, he is more at risk of having one or more neurological problems. The unease brought by the symptoms results in your dog to pant and become restless.
Dogs of old age are also likely to have dementia. Those afflicted will show unusual behaviors like confusion, wandering, poor memory, irregular sleep-wake cycles, and changes in social behaviors. You may also notice a decrease in energy and appetite.
How to address these problems
The first thing to do is visit the vet. Your vet will probably do several exams to pinpoint the cause of the behavior.
Once the cause of the behavior is identified, you can now proceed with the proper interventions.
Targeted treatment will help save money, time, and effort. Plus, it will help you improve your dog’s condition faster.
For starters, you can improve the living conditions of your dog. It may be time to upgrade his bed or bedding so he can easily get comfortable in his sleep.
For old dogs, exercises will be helpful. It may be tough to get them to do it since they won’t want to move around, but with a consistent routine and by making it enjoyable, they will budge.
Try taking a walk in the evening before bedtime to help muscles and joints stay in tiptop shape. At the same time, this also satisfies the dog’s need for stimulation.
If the panting and restlessness are brought about by anxiety, know that this is very common. Fortunately, there are various ways to deal with it.
You may consult your vet and ask for supplements that can help your dog calm down. Just make sure to follow your vet’s instructions about its administration.
Another remedy you can easily do at home to help your dogs settle is through pressure wrap. Studies show that animals respond positively to steady pressure in their bodies.
This is a convenient and inexpensive way of decreasing behaviors brought by anxiousness in dogs. Also, you can make use of calming music.
Just like with humans, music is also beneficial in helping dogs feel relaxed. A white noise generator would also do wonders to cover the overwhelming noises for your dog.
In times where your fur baby shows signs of distress, the best thing to do is pay a visit to the vet as soon as you can. Of course, it would help to make the visits regular to quickly treat and prevent whatever condition will cause discomfort in your dog.
And as always, remain calm and be patient with your dog. Try to be supportive as much as you can. It’s not easy for you, and it’s not easy for them.