A lot of Pom owners ask:
Do Pomeranians always pant?
And, why do Pomeranians pant so much?
In this article you’ll discover:
- What panting is an indication of.
- How to tell why your Pom is panting at night.
- Why you should choose a harness over a collar (tip #3).
- And more…
Table of contents
- Why do Pomeranians pant so much?
- Panting explained
- Why do Pomeranians pant so much? 7 reasons
- How to recognize abnormal panting
- What amount of panting is normal?
- How do I help my Pom when he is panting excessively? 6 tips
- My dog is shaking and panting suddenly… what is going on?
- My dog pants at night
- Related questions
Why do Pomeranians pant so much?
Pomeranians pant when they’re hot and want to cool down. The same applies when they’re excited, or energetic. Heavy panting could be an indicator of overheating or a present health issue though and deserves your attention.
Pomeranians belong to the Brachycephalic (shortened-headed) group of dog types. Some examples of such dogs are Pugs, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, and Chow Chows.
The physical features of Pomeranians and the other dogs of this group make them prone to several kinds of issues.
They could have trouble cooling down which could cause heatstroke. Exercising a lot might also lead to respiratory problems.
You can recognize that your Pomeranian is panting when his tongue is out and the breathing is divided into short quick breaths.
It happens when the Pom is out of breath. It can also be a comforting coping method when your Pom is in some kind of pain.
Why do Pomeranians pant so much? 7 reasons
One of the most common reasons for panting is overheating. Let’s not forget that Pomeranians have been bred from sled-pulling arctic dogs. The Pomeranian coat consists of two parts – the inner and the outer. It’s the inner coat’s job to keep the Pomeranian’s warmth.
It’s normal to see your Pom panting on a hot day or immediately after exercise. Dogs have sweat glands on their paws and within their ears. The glands have only a slight cooling effect.
It’s your responsibility as an owner to prevent your Pom from getting too hot. If you’re walking your Pom out in sunny weather and your Pom starts to pant, stop under the shade to rest and give him water.
Note: Make sure to always have a bottle of water and a bowl before you go out. Frequent breaks and clean cool water should do the trick.
#2: Collapsed trachea
A collapsed trachea causes a smaller airway for the Pom to breathe normally. This in turn could lead to excessive panting.
#3: An enlarged heart
An enlarged heart could be the reason behind heavy panting and even sneezing. Then the Pom will be out of breath very easily. This condition can be controlled through medication. If the Pom runs too much though, he will start panting again.
#4: Heatstroke and dehydration
Several ways to recognize heatstroke are to look for the following signs:
- Thick and sticky saliva coming out of the mouth.
- The tongue turning bright red.
- The Pom appearing weak.
- Having difficulty walking.
You can tell your Pom is dehydrated when you notice:
- Sticky gums.
- A very dry nose (a healthy dog’s nose should always be wet).
- Your Pom is lethargic.
- Sunken eyes.
#5: Illness or disease (Anemia, Lung Disease)
Sometimes panting could not be due to an attempt to cool down after play but a sign of an illness or a disease. In this case, panting could occur due to fluid in the lungs, pneumonia or kennel cough, or provided your Pom is obese.
If you notice your Pom is panting for no apparent reason, it’s advisable to go to your vet for a check-up. The vet will run some tests to find out the cause and prescribe any medication if needed.
Two possibilities to have in mind are anemia and lung disease.
Anemia is characterized by a decreased quantity of blood cells. The blood cells are responsible for transferring oxygen to the body’s tissues. Moderate or severe anemia results in oxygen deprivation. The dog’s body responds to this by heavy panting and escalated respirations.
Oxygen gets transferred to the bloodstream in the lungs. Lung disease stops this from happening. What happens as a result is that the Pom starts breathing faster and harder. Then you’ll notice excessive panting.
Experiencing levels of stress can be manifested in many ways. One of them is fur loss. Another could be panting.
Your Pom might experience stress when being exposed to too loud noises. Some examples of these are fireworks and thunderstorms.
Other cases when a Pom could become stressed is when there’s a big life change. This can be moving into a new house or bringing a new member in the family such as another pet, a baby, or a spouse.
The solution to this would be to isolate the Pom from the stressor. It’s also advisable to speak to a pet behaviorist who can help your Pom overcome this.
Your Pom shows he’s anxious or fearful by panting, yawning, licking his lips, or pacing. Car rides might also make him feel insecure and uncomfortable.
By watching his body language and physical signs of distress, you can determine whether this has something to do with your Pom’s behavior.
This requires immediate veterinary help as it could be life-threatening. This can happen sometime after your dog has eaten.
This condition can be recognized by your Pom panting and emitting saliva, biting at his sides, pacing, and making sounds as he’s about to vomit without actually vomiting.
Other reasons for abnormal panting include reaction to a certain medication and high blood pressure.
How to recognize abnormal panting
Don’t worry if your Pom is playing and having fun. Then heavy panting is totally in order.
But when you see your Pom just sitting around and panting, it’s not a good sign. The same goes when you notice your Pom panting in any other relaxing position or situation. Remember – in a time of excitement panting is expected.
When a Pomeranian is sitting, lying down, or eating, heavy panting should be considered out of the norm. Pay close attention when the panting occurs and how long it persists.
Another indicator that your Pom pants more than normal is if they get tired easier and faster than other dogs. To put it in simple terms – your Pom won’t be able to enjoy playtime much if they have an issue that’s causing them to pant.
What amount of panting is normal?
Vetstreet reports that the average dog’s breath rate is between 30 and 40 breaths a minute. Do expect that to go from 300 to 400 breaths per minute when your Pom is excited, overheated, stressed.
Note: Even if the panting of your Pom is normal, you should take some steps to cool him down.
How do I help my Pom when he is panting excessively? 6 tips
#1: Take his clothes off
If your Pomeranian is wearing clothes when going out, you might want to take them off when your Pom feels like playing.
#2: Consider medicine
When the panting is due to an enlarged heart, the only way to help your Pom would be to take him to the vet.
What you should consider is that your Pom might be in pain or experiencing severe discomfort. Based on that, the vet will either make a medical plan for your Pom or suggest surgery.
#3: Use a harness, ditch the collar
Poms are quite prone to a collapsed trachea. This condition could vary from mild to severe.
When this is the cause of panting, it’s very important that you refrain from using a collar. A collar might worsen the condition. Better get a harness that will allow you to have better control of your Pom and not pull him in a way that could have permanent damage to the neck.
Even if you don’t pull your Pom, he’ll likely burst into excitement when seeing something interesting. Then he could hurt himself by tugging on his leash. If you’ve used a collar so far and replaced it with a harness, you might notice reduced panting.
After you notice an episode of panting, check the color of the gums. Normally they should be pink like bubblegum. If that’s not the case and they’re blue or muddy-colored, book an appointment with the vet asap.
Meanwhile, try to calm your Pom down. As he continues to gulp big breaths, the trachea will stay collapsed. You could try lifting your Pom’s front legs up, while the Pom’s back is pressed against your shins. Then, gently start rubbing the belly.
#4: Feed your Pom food that’s low in fat
Being overweight can be a problem not only when we’re talking about panting. A Pomeranian’s metabolism is slower to a larger dog’s one.
Should you acknowledge that this could be causing the panting, lower the amount of food you put in the bowl with each meal. Also, consult with your vet about low-fat food to add to your Pom’s meal plan.
Reading tip #1: What fruits can Pomeranians eat?
Reading tip #2: What vegetables can Pomeranians eat?
#5: Don’t make your Pom run with you, use a human buddy
If you love more intense sports such as running or cycling, better not take your Pom to tag along. Take a friend of yours if you want company.
Save your dog’s health and energy for a nice chill walk in the park or the neighborhood. Take it slow when you’re together with your Pom.
During the hot summer season don’t neglect that your Pom still needs his exercise. Even if you don’t feel like you should exercise, don’t leave it out for your Pom.
#6: Let your Pom cool down with water
If you live in a house with a backyard, it’s a good idea to put a kid pool out so your Pom can jump in whenever he needs to cool down his body temperature.
If you live in an apartment, it’s an option to take your Pom to a dog park with a pond, or near a small river. A beach would do great too. But if there are waves, your Pom might be afraid to go in due to his small size in comparison with the waves.
In any case, take fresh water with you and don’t allow your Pom to drink from puddles, rivers, or any other water source that could be used for swimming.
When keeping your Pom inside, better cool down the room temperature by putting an air conditioner on.
You might also like: Can Pomeranians Swim?
My dog is shaking and panting suddenly… what is going on?
Usually, this happens when dogs are scared, nervous, or not feeling well.
The combination of shaking and panting could be a sign of heat exhaustion. If so, it should be treated with the help of a vet because it can be fatal.
It’s crucial how fast you react when you notice this. You can hold your Pomeranian’s chest to check if the heart rate is faster than usual. It could be his heart and if you take your Pom to the vet, they can take precautions. Timing is everything.
Another possibility is that your Pom is in pain.
If you don’t have the possibility to get to an emergency vet clinic or visit your personal vet right away, make sure your Pom is comfy, his bed is near, he has enough water and some food. Stay with him and monitor how he’s feeling while setting up an appointment or asking for help.
My dog pants at night
In case your Pom’s panting is in some unusual way – for example, more intensive, bear in mind it could be due to:
- Heart failure.
- Respiratory problems.
- An injury.
- Thirstiness or nervousness.
Some questions you could ask yourself or the person of the family who has taken care of the dog this very day are:
- Has your Pom just finished his dinner?
Maybe something got stuck in his throat. If so, you’ll probably hear gagging and see your Pom trying to vomit.
- Has your Pom eaten anything potentially poisonous when he was outside?
You can tell your Pom has been poisoned if he starts vomiting, drooling, and experiences convulsions.
- Is it hot outside?
Then heatstroke is a possibility. If you can, take your dog’s temperature. If not, take him to the vet as soon as you can.
- Are your Pom’s gums pale or bluish?
Internal bleeding could cause the gums to turn paler or bluish.
- Is your Pom panting heavily while he’s relaxing?
This could be a sign of a fever. A fever occurs due to a bacterial or a viral infection. It’s advisable to check the body temperature and if it’s above 39,167 C, it’s time for you to act and head to the vet.
- Is your Pom old?
Heavy excessive panting in older dogs could be a sign of heart failure, especially if your Pom is panting heavily at night. Another thing that could point to this condition is if your Pom is exercise-intolerant.
- Are you aware of any respiratory problems your Pom might have?
The reason could be he has breathing issues, especially when it’s the time of spring allergies (which dogs too can get).
- Could your Pom be thirsty?
Make sure to always leave the water bowl in the room in which you’ll Pom will sleep. If he pants, try giving him water and observe if the panting continues after that.
- Has something happened that could make him nervous?
- Have you changed his sleeping spot recently?
Consider if there might be a possibility he’s afraid of something or nervous about anything that has happened recently.
Your dog’s ‘panting style’ is an indication of what could be going on with your Pom. Pay attention to any changes in the intensity of panting and how often it occurs.
Always look for additional behaviors that could be accompanying it and might point you in the right direction.
Why does my Pomeranian cough and gag so much?
Hearing a Pomeranian cough is one of the most painful things to hear. It’s usually loud and sounds like a major struggle so you won’t mistake it for anything else.
Reasons vary from a collapsed trachea, kennel cough, an infection such as bronchitis, a hairball from licking their coat, an elongated palate, or a heart condition.
If the cough is caused by the collapsed trachea, the Pom will have a cough that sounds very much like a goose honk.
What you’re hearing and thinking of as a cough could also be ‘reversed sneezing’. It’s not actually a sneeze but a spasm due to irritation of the soft palate.
Remember: Whenever you notice your Pom coughing often, it’d be good to get professional treatment at the vet’s and not delay it. The usual way of detecting what could be the reason is running a blood test and x-rays. If you wait too long, the problem might worsen and turn into something bigger.
Can Pomeranians Get Asthma?
Yes, Pomeranians can get asthma and panting can sometimes be a sign of it. If asthma is left untreated, it could become a life-threatening problem.
Consider asthma as an allergic reaction to something in the Pomeranian’s environment.
Whenever the Pom is exposed to the allergen, an inflammation process begins and the airways are blocked completely. Then breathing becomes a real struggle.
Here are some of the asthma triggers:
- Burning candles.
- Indian sticks.
- Air fresheners.
- Mold spores.
- Air pollution.
- Smoke (cigarette, fireplace, wood stove).
- Cleaning detergents.
The vets can diagnose asthma with x-rays and select an appropriate medication treatment.
Call your vet if your Pom shows any of the following symptoms:
- Heavy panting or breathing with a wide mouth.
- Panting longer and heavier.
- Being out of breath.
- Has pale or bluish gums.
- Has a loss of appetite.
- Severe contraction and expansion of chest muscles while breathing or panting.
Disclaimer: Don’t use the information in his article to make rash assumptions and decisions on how to treat your dog by yourself. This text is here to give you a basic idea of why your Pom could be panting heavily. From there on you must seek the help of a qualified vet to diagnose any arising health issues, prevent further development, and help you by prescribing medicine or a meal plan.