If your German Shepherd has been panting a lot at night it is probably quite concerning for you. This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what you should do about it.

So, why does my German Shepherd pant at night? Possible reasons are that it has just been active, it’s hot, it has heatstroke, it has anxiety, it’s dreaming, illness or injury or it is old.

There are a number of nuances that you can consider when trying to figure out why it might be doing it. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.

Why your German Shepherd pants at night

Each of the different reasons why your German Shepherd pants at night will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.

In the following sections, I’ll show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it, things to consider and what you can do about it.

It’s hot

The reason why it pants a lot could be that it gets hot at night. This would be more likely to be the reason if the room that it sleeps in is normally quite hot. In this case, it would help to let it sleep in a cooler room or to try to cool the room down itself.

It has just been active

If your German Shepherd tends to get exercise in the evening or it tends to become very active in the evening then it would be likely to be the cause of the panting. In this case, it would not be an issue to be concerned with.

Anxiety

The reason why it has been panting a lot at night could be that it is anxious. This would be more likely if it started doing it when something happened that might make it anxious or if there is something in its environment that could make it anxious. It could be that someone mistreated it, there tends to be loud noises such as wind or sirens or that it has recently moved homes and it is unsure of its environment.

It is dreaming

If it pants a lot during its sleep then it could be because it is dreaming. This would be more likely if it does not pant a lot constantly when sleeping and it only lasts as long as a dream would typically last. If it does not stop then it could be due to a more serious issue that gets discussed here.

Illness or injury

The cause of the sudden panting could be that it has an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly and it is not just panting more at night. It would also be more likely if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as vomiting, behaving differently or being fatigued.

In this case, the best option for you would be to take it to a vet.

Age

If your German Shepherd is very young then it will naturally pant more. According to Cuteness.com the normal breathing rate of a puppy will be 10 to 45 breathes per minute and it will pant up to 200 times per minute (source).

Things to consider

There are many things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd has been breathing fast at night. Below, I’ll show you some particularly important things to consider.

If it has always panted more at night

It would help to consider whether or not your German Shepherd has always panted more at night or if it has started doing it more suddenly.

If it has started panting more at night suddenly then it would make it more likely that it is due to illness, injury, a sudden change in the temperature or that it has been more active in the evenings recently.

If it has always seemed to pant more at night then it could be because it is still young, it is its natural breathing speed or it could be that there is a medical issue. In this case, it would help to consult with a vet the next time you take your German Shepherd for a checkup.

When it seems to do it more

The timing of when it seems to pant more would also be something to consider. If it does not always seem to pant more at night then it could be the case that there is something that has been triggering it.

Possible causes could be:

  • Someone being around that it doesn’t like
  • Sirens, thunder and lightning or fireworks
  • Having moved homes recently

How to get your German Shepherd to stop panting at night

The best way for you to get your German Shepherd to stop doing it will depend on the cause. However, I will show you some options that you have below.

Take it to a vet

If you are unsure of why your German Shepherd has been panting more at night, it is constant and excessive or if your German Shepherd has been behaving abnormally in other ways then it would be very important to take it to a vet and to get it checked out.

Give it exercise

German Shepherds are meant to be an active breed and they are supposed to get a lot of exercise daily. When they do not get much exercise it can cause them to develop health issues. Generally, it is recommended that a German Shepherd get an hour of exercise per day.

If your German Shepherd is not getting that much exercise then it would help to make sure that it does after getting the all-clear from a vet. You can exercise it by walking it, playing fetch with it or getting a dog walker to do it for you.

Give it access to a cool area

Since it might be panting at night due to being too hot it would help to make sure that it has access to a cool area at night. It would also help to make sure that its sleeping environment is comfortable, it has access to water and that its sleeping environment isn’t too bright.

If the weather is hot where you are it would also be helpful to help remove its undercoat by brushing it with a de-shedding brush.

Keep it out of the sun during the day

If the weather is hot right now then it would also be important to keep it out of the sun during the day. If it has been panting a lot at night after having been out in the sun for a long time then it could be due to mild heatstroke.

If it is hot then it would help to give it exercise in the morning or evening when the sun is not up. It would also help to give it access to shaded and cool areas during the day.

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