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Is Your Dog Panting and Not Eating? 5 Reasons Why It Happens

Dogs pant to relieve their bodily pain and deal with discomfort. Lack of appetite is a sign your dog is suffering from a medical condition, behavioral issue, or a stomach ache.

Panting is natural for dogs. They pant to cool their bodies, to relieve stress, or because they’re thirsty. 

But panting can also be a sign of discomfort and pain.

Excessive panting coupled with no eating can be the result of a serious issue that requires medical attention.

This article talks about the different reasons for panting and not eating in dogs and provides the solutions to stop this behavior.

Most Common Reason for Panting and Not Eating: Nausea

Nausea is one of the biggest reasons for obsessive panting in dogs. A stomach ache, illness, injury, or heatstroke can all cause nausea. Identify the root cause of the problem to help your dog stop panting and make it eat again.

Loss of appetite and heavy panting are serious concerns. They can indicate an underlying medical condition. Look for signs and symptoms to identify the primary cause if your dog exhibits these behaviors.

It is not normal for dogs to pant excessively or stop eating without reason. If this occurs for only a day, there is nothing to worry about. Frequent panting and loss of appetite require urgent veterinary care and attention.

Most Common Reason for Panting and Not Eating

Dog Panting but Won’t Drink

Dogs do not pant excessively without reason. Panting is one of the telltale signs of discomfort and pain in dogs. If your dog is not drinking while panting, it can be suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). A UTI makes it painful for dogs to urinate, reducing their will to drink.[1]

Antibiotics and pain relief medications are used to treat UTIs. Take your dog to a veterinarian to get a checkup.

5 Reasons Dogs Pant and Not Eat

Nausea is one of the most common causes of panting and loss of appetite in dogs, as well as fear and anxiety. Medical conditions, such as heart diseases and intestinal parasites, can also lead to this behavior.

There are many reasons why your dog is panting and not eating. Some are harmless, like anxiety, while others are serious medical concerns that require veterinary care as soon as possible.

Here are five reasons dogs pant and do not eat:

  1. Nausea
  2. Intestinal parasites
  3. Heart disease
  4. Anxiety and fear
  5. High body temperature

1. Nausea

dog with Nausea eating grass

One of the most common causes of discomfort and pain in dogs is nausea[2]. Several things can cause nausea:

  • Overeating
  • Eating spoiled food
  • Eating too fast
  • Diet changes
  • Licking cleaning chemicals
  • Eating grass

Any of these can cause nausea in your dog. Observe its behavior and identify any signs of nausea. 

Symptoms of nausea:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Licking
  • Dry heaving
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

Antibiotics are used to treat mild nausea. If the condition is severe, an IV fluid is used. Visit a veterinarian to identify the best way forward.

2. Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites are dangerous for dogs. These organisms attach themselves to their host’s intestines and suck the nutrients from the digested food. Your dog can get intestinal parasites by inheritance, skin contact, or by eating raw meat.[3]

There are four types of intestinal parasites commonly found in dogs:

  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Hookworms
  • Whipworms

Treat intestinal parasites with a monthly dewormer. Take your dog to a vet to get it checked for these creatures and provide proper treatment to your pooch.

3. Heart Disease

Heavy breathing and occasional coughing after a simple walk can indicate a heart issue. Heart functions to circulate oxygenated blood in the body. If your dog’s heart is not functioning properly, it can lead to less oxygen in your dog’s blood leading to heavy breathing.

Heat diseases can also cause loss of appetite. If your dog is suffering from heart disease, it requires urgent veterinary care. Treat heart diseases with utmost urgency to avoid further complications.

4. Anxiety and Fear

Fear of the Unknown

Anxiety is one of the biggest causes of discomfort in dogs. Several things can cause anxiety in dogs:

  • Loud noises
  • Unpleasant smells
  • Other animals
  • Car rides
  • Strangers
  • Thunderstorms

Notice when the panting starts. If it occurs following a loud noise or when another dog enters the room, your dog is suffering from anxiety.

5. High Body Temperature

Dog High Body Temperature

High body temperature can lead to excessive panting and loss of appetite in your dog, especially during hot summer days. If your dog starts panting aggressively after a run or extensive workout, it is feeling hot.

Dogs do not have many sweat glands on their bodies. Most of these glands are located in their paws, making it difficult for them to cool down. Panting helps cool down dogs

Some panting after exercise is not a cause for concern, but if the panting continues for more than a few minutes, your dog is suffering from severe heat.

If left untreated, high heat can lead to heat stroke in dogs which can be fatal.[4]

How to Stop Dogs from Panting and Not Eating

To stop your dog from panting, and increase its appetite, you have to treat the underlying issue. Go to the vet and follow their recommended treatment.

Here are some steps you can take to help your dog when it’s experiencing a lack of appetite and panting:

  • Frequently feed your dog small portion sizes instead of a large meal.
  • Keep an eye out for your dog so it doesn’t eat anything spoiled or indigestible.
  • Regularly take your dog for deworming checkups.
  • Calm your dog down by reassuring it and treating its anxiety.
  • Cool your dog when it is feeling extremely hot.
  • Don’t let your pooch play under the sun on hot summer days.

Consult a veterinarian if the condition worsens over time.

Related: My Dog is Shaking and Won’t Eat


Occasional panting is normal for dogs. Dogs do it to cool down their bodies and to catch their breath after a long run. Loss of appetite combined with panting can be troublesome and requires veterinary care.

Observe your dog’s behavior and look for signs indicating a medical issue. Provide proper medicines to your dog to stop its unruly behavior.

Take your dog to a veterinarian if the condition worsens.


Why is My Dog Not Eating and Panting?

Your dog is most likely panting and not eating due to nausea. If your dog is feeling unwell, it is natural for your dog to stop eating. Dogs start panting to show discomfort and pain. Look for signs and symptoms of nausea in your dog and consult a veterinarian for the right way forward.

Why Has My Dog Lost its Appetite?

Intestinal parasites and illnesses can make your dog lose its appetite. If your dog is suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, it can stop eating anything. Take your dog to a veterinarian or use OTC medication to treat your dog’s minor illnesses.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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