Skip to Content

Dog Panting After Vaccines: 11 Vital Tips (Updated 2022)

Dog Panting After Vaccine

It’s normal for dogs to start panting once in a while. 

Especially if the weather is too hot… 

Or if they just finished playing.

But it’s alarming if they start panting right after their vaccination.

Not knowing what to do…

You might start to panic.

Should you speed-dial your vet? 

Not so fast. There are many possibilities to consider first. 

Find out as you read:

  • 9 Reasons why your dog is panting.
  • Whether it’s normal for dogs to do this or not.
  • At what point should you visit or contact the vet.
  • 11 vital tips when your dog is panting after a vaccine. 
  • And a lot more…

Is it normal for dogs to pant after vaccines?

It’s normal for dogs to pant after vaccines. This can go on for 24 up to 48 hours, and then it’ll stop on its own. It happens because their body is exerting energy as it fights off the vaccine. But in rare cases, heavy panting can occur. This is abnormal and requires a vet’s attention.


Dog panting after vaccines: 11 tips


#1: Help your dog cool down 

Dogs pant for many reasons. 

But the most common cause why they do it is that they can’t sweat.

According to research, panting is a dog’s way of regulating their body temperature.

So if it happens right after your dog gets a vaccine… 

You can relax since it’s a normal reaction. Their body is going through changes after their shots. 

And having a higher body temperature is an expected side effect. 

Thus, your dog may start panting as a reaction to the vaccine. 

It can also happen if your dog gets stressed, anxious, or even too excited after it. As PetMD states that these emotions can cause your furry friend to pant.

Plus, dogs can feel overwhelmed whenever they go to the clinic. This is another reason why some dogs pant after vaccines.

In most cases, panting only lasts for 1 to 2 days. 

So to help your dog cool down during that time, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Place a cooling fan near your dog. 
  • Wipe their body with a soaked, soft cloth.
  • Make sure to wipe the paws and ears too.
  • In case you’re outdoors, let your dog rest under a shade first.
  • If your dog feels stressed or anxious, comfort them until they relax.

Moreover, some fur parents decide to wait in the clinic for a few hours after vaccination. 

They do this to make sure nothing serious happens after the shot.

And you can consider doing this next time for your pooch.

How to tell if my dog’s panting is abnormal?” 

There are a few factors you can pay attention to.

And they can be easy to spot if you’re always around your pooch. 

Here are 7 signs of abnormal panting in dogs:

  • Coughing.
  • Excessive drooling.
  • If it has a raspy tone to it.
  • Persistent panting throughout the day.
  • Panting louder and harsher than usual.
  • When it occurs despite having no physical activity. 
  • If panting happens even when the weather isn’t too hot.

Note: If your furry buddy is showing one or more of these signs, contact the vet ASAP.

#2: Don’t give your dog a bath

Now, I did say you need to help your dog cool down if they’re panting.

But it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to give them a bath. 

For safety, it’s better not to bathe dogs for at least 1 week after vaccination. 

“Why not?” 

Instead of helping them cool down… 

Your furry friend can easily catch a cold after vaccines. 

The reason behind this is because of their immune system. 

After vaccines, their body is in a sensitive condition. Hence why some of them are panting too much.

You can think of it as an ongoing battle inside your dog. 

Picture it this way:

Humans also have this constant war inside our heads sometimes. Whenever we experience that, it can be exhausting.

Not only physically, but it’s also mentally draining. 

Now, imagine something similar happening to your dog’s body. 

The war that they have is a battle against the vaccine’s antigens.

Their bodies are reacting well to them. So, your furry companion’s constantly exerting energy. 

This leaves their immune system more vulnerable.

And that’s exactly why they need to avoid baths after vaccines.

“What if my dog really needs one?” 

You can use any soft cloth to wipe your fur baby clean. If you prefer using dog wipes, that’s a good choice too. 

If you’re going for the former, don’t soak them too wet. Then use that to pat your pooch dry. 

This will ensure that your furry pal doesn’t catch a cold. 

Cause if they do get sick from it…

Their panting will become severe as they struggle to breathe. 

This can lead to more unwanted issues for your furry friend.

Note: If your dog badly needs a bath, consult with their vet first. Ask whether your pooch is ready for a bath or not. Then, act according to their professional advice.

#3: Confirm if they have a fever 

Dog Has Fever If He's Panting After Vaccine

If your dog has a fever, expect them to pant. 

A study states that fever is a common side effect of vaccines.

Sometimes, it happens as an allergic reaction. 

In other cases, it happens since their body is using a lot of energy.

As a result, their system can’t function normally. Then, it leads to a fever. 

Now you must be wondering if you should worry about this. In most cases, fever after the vaccine subsides after 24 to 48 hours.

So it’ll go away on its own. You just have to let your furry friend rest.

“What temperature is a fever for dogs?”

In general, the normal body temperature of a dog should be around 101.0 to 102.5°F (38.3 to 39.2°C).

If it’s above 103°F (39.4°C), then it’s considered a fever. 

When this happens, your dog will pant more than usual. 

Warning: A temperature of 106°F (41.1°C) can be dangerous for dogs. If this happens, visit the vet ASAP.

How to find out your dog’s temperature

There are 3 ways to check your furry pal’s temperature. 

Most people use the third method, but it’s not that reliable. 

Moreover, ear thermometers seldom give an accurate result. But there are cases when they don’t work at all. 

So, the best way is to use a rectal thermometer. 

You can watch this helpful video to find out how:

#4: Regulate the room temperature

Here’s another easy way to help your furry friend.

Adjust the room temperature to help with their panting.

But what’s the ideal temperature for them?

Well, the most accurate setting varies between dogs.

There are different factors that can affect your pooch.

For example: Some dogs are fine with cold climates. Others are sensitive to it.

It’ll also depend on the current season. Is it summer, or is it winter?

And how thick is your dog’s coat? Coat colors can also affect how much heat they can absorb, according to PetMD.

For one, dark-colored fur absorbs more heat than light-colored ones.

With all these factors, it can be hard to give a specific answer.

As a solution, you can follow a balanced room climate.

The ideal room temperature for most dogs should be around 50°F (10°C) to 85°F (29.5°C).

Adjust this depending on their personal preferences.

And pay close attention to if their panting improves. If it does, maintain the temperature.

#5: Ensure they have access to water

If your dog has been panting a lot…

It’s a good idea to bring their water bowls within their resting space. 

Keeping them hydrated is an efficient way to reduce panting in dogs. 

But in most households, dogs eat in a separate room away from their beds. That’s why this tip serves as a reminder to bring their needs closer to them.

Why? 

The answer is that many dogs become lazy after vaccines. 

This includes not wanting to eat or drink for 24 hours.

But in reality, this isn’t your regular laziness. 

The truth is many dogs become lethargic after vaccines. It means that they’re too weak and unable to move with ease.

This may stop them from wanting to leave their beds at all. 

So by bringing their food and water closer to them… 

Then they won’t have to struggle too much. 

#6: Avoid too much physical activity

It’s normal for dogs to pant heavily after physical activities.

But since your dog just got their vaccines…

This is the time to track their movements for a while. 

For example, your dog is doing a lot of physical training. You’re teaching them a lot of tricks as a way to bond and play. 

But pause that for now until your pooch feels better. 

If you also go on long walks with your furry pal, that also needs to be on hold. 

As when dogs are panting, it’s a sign that they might have a hard time breathing

And if you take them for a long walk, they might end up collapsing on the way.

So, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

If you’re concerned about your dog’s daily potty breaks, you can do a short walk instead. 

Just ensure that your dog doesn’t end up exhausted. 

Reading tip: 17 Alarming Side Effects Of Rabies Vaccine In Dogs

#7: Let them rest in a quiet room

Normally, most dogs only need a simple break after vaccines. 

As long as they’re not panting heavily, your pooch will be fine in a few hours.

With that, you should leave them alone for a while. The same thing goes for other members of the family. 

By doing this, you’ll help your furry friend relax.

After all, loud places can stress out your pooch

Plus, traveling from the vet clinic back to your home can also add to their stress.

And what happens when they’re stressed? Your furry pal may pant more than usual.

So keep an eye on your dog, but give them space for now. 

You might also want to know: (11 Vital Tips) Dog Behavior Change After Vaccination

#8: Give them antihistamines 

A common allergic reaction to vaccines is itchiness. 

Itching in dogs after vaccines can lead to swelling. 

When this happens, it can affect your furry friend’s breathing. 

And breathing problems lead to abnormal panting. 

In minor cases, this is treatable with antihistamines.

These are drugs used for treating allergic reactions. 

But you can’t give them the same products that humans use. 

That’s because not all of them are dog-friendly. 

So, here are 3 antihistamines that are safe for dogs:

Note: Don’t give your dog any medication without a vet’s approval. Some of these drugs still contain ingredients that can be harmful to your dog. Vets can tell you the right dosage to give.

“Is this allergic reaction serious?” 

Most of the time, it’s not. 

Like the other side effects mentioned, this will also go away within 1 to 2 days.

But in rare cases, it can last for a week. 

To find out if your pooch has a severe reaction, there are 5 signs that you’ll notice. Namely:

  • Facial swelling.
  • Excessive scratching. 
  • Skin covered with redness.
  • Swollen legs and abdomen.
  • Having bumps under the skin.

If your dog is showing one or more of these signs, contact your vet immediately.

#9: Ask the vet for a pain relief prescription

Panting is another way for dogs to show their pain.

And after vaccines, it’s normal for them to feel this. 

Moreover, PetMD states that soreness is a common side effect of vaccines.

It typically starts around the injected area. This also explains the reason why some dogs limp after shots.

And even if they don’t have any visible injuries, your furry friend could be hurting inside. 

Look at it this way. 

When you get vaccinated, foreign elements enter your body. The same thing happens to your pooch. 

They’re going through a battle inside their body right now.

So to help soothe your furry pal’s pain, you can try to consult the vet first. Most vets will check if your dog will be fine.

If they think your dog doesn’t need any medicine…

Then you have to take their word for it. Vets are careful about this since some drugs also have minor side effects. 

You’d want to avoid that too for your dog.

As I mentioned, most side effects of vaccines go away on their own.

But if your pooch is still panting for more than 24 hours…

You can ask the vet once again for a 2nd opinion.

Note: Never give your pooch any medicine without asking the vet first.

#10: Check the color of their tongue or gums

You can tell if a dog’s panting is serious by checking their tongue or gums. 

Blue, white, or purple tongue or gums are signs of breathing problems.

These are rare side effects of vaccines in dogs.

But even if it’s rare, you should check your dog all the time. 

Especially if their panting is persistent and harsh.

If there’s any discoloration in your dog’s gums or tongue, it’s a sign of lack of oxygen.

Meaning your dog can pass out at any moment. 

This is a fatal concern, and you must take them to the vet ASAP. 

“How does this happen because of a vaccine?” 

Some dogs are sensitive to vaccines. It’s because of the ingredients inside of them. 

When vaccines cause an allergic reaction… 

It can lead to many side effects that can affect a dog’s breathing. 

But the most serious side effect is anaphylaxis

Find out what it is below. 

#11: Know the signs of anaphylaxis 

Anaphylaxis is an uncommon side effect of vaccines. 

But mild cases can still occur to many of our sensitive furry friends. 

It’s a combination of different side effects of vaccines in dogs. 

Since it can be fatal, knowing its symptoms is important.

Other than abnormal panting, here are 11 signs of anaphylaxis in dogs.

  • Hives.
  • Seizures.
  • Collapsing.
  • Excessive swelling.
  • Persistent drooling.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Itching and scratching.
  • Diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Blue gums and tongue.
  • Changes in their skin color.
  • Seizures and muscle stiffness.

According to PetMD, it’s best to take your dog to the vet ASAP if you notice these signs. If left ignored, this condition could lead to death.