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Why Is My Rottweiler Panting So Much? 13 Common Causes

Why Is My Rottweiler Panting So Much? 13 Common Causes

Everything was fine and dandy until you noticed your Rottweiler panting like crazy. What’s up with that? Okay, let’s keep our heads cool and figure out why your Rottweiler is behaving like this.

Like humans, dogs sometimes need to catch their breath, so they might start to pant unexpectedly. Most dog owners become extremely worried because they are not aware of many causes of this common occurrence.

If you are one of those owners who is asking yourself “Why is my Rottweiler panting so much?” then you are at the right place.

Before we jump right into common causes and safe solutions, let’s give you a short insight into what Rottweiler panting actually is.

Why Is My Rottweiler Panting So Much?

rottweiler panting on the meadow

Because they’re too hot to handle!

Jokes aside, let’s get to the bottom of this!

When your Rottweiler is panting so much, they take rapid, shallow breaths through its open mouth. Exhales and inhales occur pretty fast, which is why you can see the dog’s whole body shaking.

It’s similar to when you run fast for a few minutes and you feel your heart pounding in your chest as you breathe fast and heavily.

Excessive panting can be described through 3 common signs which include:

  • Drooling
  • Heavy breathing
  • Shaking

You may notice these three signs in most of the common causes that we are about to mention. Don’t worry, panting does not always mean your dog is experiencing health problems.

However, it is extremely important to pay attention to other signs that your Rott may be showing!

1. Overheating

Panting in Rotties is often due to overheating.

These dogs can overheat for a number of reasons, one of them being exposed to hot weather accompanied by high moisture levels. Other reasons include having health issues that interfere with their normal regulation of body temperature

Other symptoms of overheating in Rotties include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Rapid heartbeat,
  • Dizziness

So, if you notice your Rottweiler breathing fast, make sure to check the room temperature!

2. Heatstroke

While both are serious health concerns, heatstroke in Rottweilers is not the same as overheating — it is worse. You see, overheating can lead to more severe symptoms of heatstroke such as:

Heatstrokes are very dangerous for our canine buddies and they can occur anywhere during a hot day, especially in hot and poorly ventilated spaces such as parked cars.

Rotties that are experiencing such a high fever may be difficult to comfort and assess, as they may be unpredictable.

3. Excitement

rottweiler dog lying on the floor

Why is my dog excessively panting for no reason? Your Rottie must be excited!

Is your Rottweiler’s tail wagging in all directions? Are his glowing eyes piercing through you with love and affection? Is he panting or even barking?

Believe it or not, one of the common reasons why these dogs pant is because they are excited to see their lovely owner. They simply can’t tame their excitement and the only way to get it out is through panting! So much tail wagging can turn into happy tail syndrome, but this type of panting won’t cause any trouble.

So, don’t worry, excitement panting is a normal behavior in dogs. It is not as harmful as panting due to overheating and should stop once your furry friend calms down.

4. Fear

No matter what type of Rottweiler you own, it can get startled and afraid due to a variety of reasons.

Thunderstorms, cats, other dogs, fireworks, loud noises, and even their own farts can scare them away!

When these pups are afraid, they may pant more heavily than normal as a way to regulate their body temperature and get enough oxygen. They’re distressed and might react aggressively as a response to fear.

This is why lots of people believe that Rottweilers are dangerous when instead, they’re just scaredy little doggies!

5. Stress

Similar to being afraid, Rotties can become stressed when things don’t go their way or when they are introduced to new pets and people. Some may have stressful jobs working as big guard dogs!

When stress gets to them, Rottweilers exhibit behavioral signs such as:

Surprisingly, some stressed canines eat more than usual. If you think your Rottweiler is always hungry, he may be stuffing himself due to stress!

6. Anxiety

rottweiler dog lying on the blanket

Anxiety is Rottie’s worst enemy! Trust me, anxiety can turn your Rottweiler into an aggressive dog that growls, barks, and pants heavily!

These dogs can become anxious due to changes in their environment, unfamiliar people or other animals, injuries and health issues, as well as past experiences, poor training, and poor upbringing.

Some common signs of anxiety in Rotts are:

  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling
  • Shaking
  • Diarrhea
  • Aggression

The most common type of anxiety for this German dog breed is separation anxiety which happens when their owners are absent for extended periods of time. The Rott may pant heavily upon the owner’s arrival.

7. Heart Failure

Canine heart failure is a very serious health problem that happens when the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This leads to low blood oxygen levels which results in Rottweiler panting.

Along with excessive panting, additional symptoms of heart failure and other heart issues in Rotties include:

There are several underlying health problems that may cause heart failure in Rotties such as heartworm infestation or cancer.

8. Cushing’s Disease

You’ve probably heard of Cushing’s disease in dogs. So, what exactly is it?

Cushing’s disease also goes by the name hyperadrenocorticism, which means hyperproduction of the hormone cortisol by the dog’s adrenal glands. Additionally, the use of medications such as prednisone, which is similar to cortisol, can also cause panting in dogs as a side effect.

Rotts can be prone to this hormonal disorder that causes excessive panting and several other specific symptoms:

This disease is very complex and it can cause an increase in blood pressure, which can put a strain on Rottie’s heart and lungs, making it difficult for the dog to breathe.

9. Lung Disease

rottweiler lying on the grass

It is understandable why Rottweilers with lung disease may pant excessively due to several respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or asthma.

In the Rottie dog breed, upper respiratory disorders and lung diseases may be hereditary, but they are more often acquired. They can be caused by bacterial and viral infections (kennel cough), tumors, allergies, or exposure to toxins.

If you notice that your dog sounds like he has a hairball stuck in his throat, you may want to take him to the vet for a checkup, just to exclude a specific respiratory disorder.

10. Post-Workout

Perhaps your Rottie had too much fun in the sun and being physically active in warm weather made him pant excessively!

In fact, he may even hunch his back while trying to vomit from all the excessive panting and running.

Just like in humans, it is normal for dogs to pant after physical activity or exercise! It is pretty simple — after an intense workout, your dog’s heart rate and respiration increase, which is why they pant a lot in order to cool down.

Post-workout panting is not as serious as previous causes, but it can be if you notice that your Rottweiler is not calming down.

11. Breed Characteristic

Did you know that Rottweilers are actually considered a brachycephalic dog breed? Imagine that! They belong to the same group as Pugs, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, and Frenchies. Insane!

While Rotties do not look like they have flat faces, they do have shorter snouts than other dog breeds. This may be the reason why they have breathing issues every now and then, including excessive panting.

Additionally, long-haired Rotts are more prone to overheating and panting than their short-haired counterparts.

12. Age

old rottweiler in nature

Why is my Rottweiler breathing so heavy? He may be old!

In general, younger puppies breathe faster than adults, which is a normal canine thing. Contrary to that, senior dogs breathe slower as their metabolism is not as fast as it used to be.

As our lovely Rotties age, they may experience changes in their physical and cognitive health which can affect their breathing.

For example, senior dogs develop different panting patterns as a result of age-related health problems such as arthritis, lung, heart, or dental disease.

13. Laryngeal Paralysis

Ever heard of Laryngeal paralysis in dogs? It is not as complex as it sounds!

This health issue occurs when the muscles that control the dog’s larynx become weak or paralyzed. As a result, the larynx can’t open properly which is why your Rottie has trouble breathing and starts to pant excessively.

Dry heaving and gagging are also some of the signs of laryngeal paralysis in dogs. Many dog breeds, from Labrador Retrievers, Cane Corsos, and Huskies, to Rottweilers can develop this health problem.

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Panting Excessively?

adult rottweiler lying on the porch

Never fear, PupVine is here!

With all the potential causes of excessive panting in Rottweilers now understood, it’s time to focus on solutions.

To help your pupper resolve their panting issue, it’s important to remain calm and take action as soon as possible.

Here are some ways you can assist your Rottie.

1. Hydration Is Key

Let’s not look at dog panting as something super-negative. Instead, this may help your dog in getting rid of excess heat, if overheating is the cause.

Panting helps dogs to cool down by increasing blood flow to the surface of their skin and by evaporating moisture from their tongue and mouth.

This means that your Rottie NEEDS water!

You don’t want to leave your dog with a cotton mouth all day long, especially after you’ve seen it breathe heavily for a while.

2. Provide Cool Area

Aside from providing fresh water, you should move your panting Rottie to a shaded and cool area. Placing it in a dog bed won’t be a good idea because you will want him to cool down, rather than be snug.

If your room is not cold enough, you can keep the air conditioning on, or use fans to cool down the atmosphere. Avoid placing your Rott in an extremely cold room!

3. Keep Your Dog Fit

Regular exercise is super-important as it can help improve your Rottweiler’s overall health, but what’s even more important is that it will reduce excessive panting.

Cutting down your Rott’s body weight by going easy on the dog treats and introducing him to healthy amounts of physical activity is a way to go!

By keeping your pooch at optimum weight, you can also help reduce the strain on his respiratory and cardiovascular systems, which can help prevent panting.

Additionally, you can put your Rottie on a healthy raw diet or find the best dog food on the market. A quality diet will also prevent canine obesity, so that’s a plus!

4. Talk To Your Vet

It is important to address the underlying cause of a dog’s panting as soon as possible, and consulting with a veterinarian is the best way to do this.

Do not rely on self-diagnosis based on online research, as it can be risky and can lead to delayed or improper treatment.

Your veterinarian has the knowledge and tools to identify the cause of Rottweiler’s panting and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Concluding Thoughts On Rottweiler Panting

Why is my Rottie panting so much?

Because they’re trying to catch their breath after all that Rott-tastic playtime!

Okay, enough with the jokes! We’re at the end of our Rott-panting journey and have a few more things to tell you.

Rottweilers may be tough on the outside, but when it comes to panting, they’re just big softies.

Whether it’s from overheating or being too excited, these pups just can’t control their heavy breathing — but don’t worry, a little rest and hydration will have them back to their normal, stoic selves in no time.

Just be sure to visit your veterinarian if you notice frequent excessive panting that is accompanied by other symptoms.