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7 Reasons Why Dogs Pant in Their Crate & Crate Training Tips

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There are many reasons why your dog is panting in its crate including fear, discomfort, pain, illness, thirst, and more. Not all of these require medical attention but contact a vet if your dog experiences other symptoms.

Panting occurs in dogs in different situations. If it happens while your dog is inside 

its crate, it is easier to narrow the list of causes.

Learn how to properly train your pet to accept and enjoy staying in a crate if you want to rule out even more of the reasons why your dog is panting.

Why Is My Dog Panting in Its Crate?

Dogs pant in their crate when they are stressed, uncomfortable, when they need more water or when they overheat. Panting can also be caused by medical conditions, pain, and nausea.

Panting is normal if your dog has been playing or running. If that’s not the case, panting signifies an underlying problem.

The best thing you can do to help your dog when it pants is to identify the reason behind it. Once you know the cause, you can act accordingly. 

7 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Panting in Its Crate

A lot of things cause your dog to pant in its crate. While all of them represent bad news, some are less life-threatening than others. Always search for more symptoms when trying to understand why your pet is panting. 

Track your dog’s behavior when you put it in a crate and make adjustments when needed. Check if panting only occurs while inside the crate. 

Here are 7 reasons why your dog pants when in a crate:

  1. High Temperatures
  2. Thirstiness
  3. Anxiety
  4. Nauseousness
  5. Discomfort
  6. Pain
  7. Illness

1. High Temperatures

High Temperatures in crate

The correct temperature is crucial for your dog’s wellbeing. When your pet is too hot, it will start panting to cool down. If this reaction is accompanied by disoriented behavior, drooling, or vomiting, the overheating has reached a life-threatening level.

High temperatures can also lead to heat strokes[1]. If you want to avoid panting in your dog and keep it safe, you have to constantly check how warm it is inside the crate. 

If your dog is overheating, take it to the vet for a check-up.

2. Thirst

Another thing your dog can communicate through panting is the need for water. Not all dogs accept water bowls in their crates. Pay attention to your pet’s behavior if you want to determine if it is thirsty or not.

Knowing the amount of water your dog usually drinks is important if you want to prevent panting or, worse, dehydration. This information will help you give enough water to your dog and avoid it being thirsty.

3. Anxiety

Anxietyin crate

Stress and anxiety also cause panting. Some dogs need more time to get used to staying inside a crate than others. Make sure you do not rush or force your pet into the crate if it is not ready.[2]

If you are unsure whether your dog’s panting signifies anxiety, look for other symptoms. These include drooling or crying. Dogs also try to destroy the crate when stressed.

4. Nausea

Dogs get nauseous if they eat something bad for their stomach. Panting occurs as a side effect of nausea, usually paired with a lack of energy or hanging the head low.

Once you rule out other reasons why your pet is panting, you can consider nausea. Think about what your dog ate before getting these symptoms and remove the trigger.

5. Discomfort

Dog in Discomfort while in its crate

Panting occurs when your dog is in desperate need of using the bathroom. Make sure you take your dog’s potty needs into consideration. If possible, come up with a bathroom schedule for your dog and stick to it.

6. Pain

Dogs use panting to communicate when they are in pain.

Several things cause pain:

  • Your dog is injured;
  • The crate is uncomfortable;
  • Your pet suffers from joint disease.

7. Illness

When your dog starts panting in its crate, it can be a sign of illness. Once you rule out all other causes, start looking for symptoms of diseases.

If you suspect any kind of illness in your dog, take it to the vet immediately.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Pant in Their Crate?

Panting inside the crate represents an uncommon behavior for dogs. If your dog is panting, it is trying to tell you that something is wrong. Pay attention to every change in your dog’s behavior. 

Do not force your dog to stay inside the crate as it can end up panicking and hurting itself. Panicking makes the situation worse, and can also lead to destructive behavior.

Watch your pet’s symptoms and understand the reason behind its behavior. Do not hesitate to ask for specialized help if the panting continues.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Pant in Their Crate
Image Source

How to Stop My Dog From Panting in Its Crate?

If possible, take your dog out of the crate for a better overview of the situation. Depending on what causes the panting, act accordingly. You can give your dog some water, spend time with it, or take it to the vet. 

Once you identify the reason your dog pants, take proper action. For example, you can:

  • Keep the right temperature inside the crate.
  • Give your dog water.
  • Work on anxiety.
  • Change your dog’s diet.
  • Take your dog out for a walk.
  • Check for injuries or medical issues.

If you are unsure about what causes your dog’s panting, take it to the vet or ask for specialized help.

Crate Training Tips

Teaching your dog to stay in a crate has many benefits, but only when done right. Ensure that the training experience is pleasant for both you and your dog.

Here are a few tips that will help you properly prepare your pet for spending time alone in a crate:

  • Choose a crate that is big enough for your dog;
  • Take your time with the training process;
  • Do not use the crate as punishment.[3]


When your dog starts panting in its crate, it is either hot, thirsty, or experiencing a medical issue. Pay attention to any symptoms accompanying the panting. Depending on these, you can determine why your dog is panting.

Take your dog to the vet for a consultation if you are unsure about why it is panting.


Why Is My Dog Suddenly Panting in Its Crate?

When your dog suddenly starts panting in its crate it is a sign of overheating. Take your pet out of the crate and try to cool it down

Why Is My Dog Panting in Its Crate at Night?

Your dog is panting in its crate at night because of separation anxiety. If your pet is used to spending a lot of time together with you, being alone at night can cause panting. Try keeping the crate in your bedroom for a while and watch your dog’s nighttime behavior.

Why Is My Dog Panting and Whining in Its Crate?

When your dog is panting and whining in its crate, it means that it is either anxious, ill, in pain, or uncomfortable. Analyze all your pet’s symptoms before making any decisions.

Related: Why Is My Dog Whining in Its Crate All of a Sudden?

Why Is My Puppy Panting in Its Crate?

If you see your puppy panting in its crate it means that it is anxious and stressed. Try and make some changes in the training process. You should never force your dog to stay in its crate. Never use the crate as punishment. Make the training and the crate seem like a positive activity.

Why Does My Crate-Trained Dog Pant in Its Crate?

Panting in a pet that is already crate trained is caused by either pain or a possible bladder weakness caused by age. Try leaving the crate’s door open so your dog can urinate whenever it feels the need to. Take it to the vet for a consultation if the panting seems to be caused by pain.

About Iordache Cristina Maria

Cristina is a freelance writer, student, and animal enthusiast. While she learns about animals, she writes about how they behave, what they look like, and other facts that most people don't know about.

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