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Why Does My Pomeranian Pant?


It’s easy for an owner to focus on their Pom’s panting, wondering if it’s too fast, too raspy and so forth. One of the most common questions that we receive from owners is about heavy panting or hard panting that happens just about all of the time.

It is normal for dogs to pant…It is how they cool themselves off but we must remember that a pant is a breath… Just as we may take a deep breath, dogs do the same thing. 

So, when it comes to this issue, we are going to discuss out of the ordinary breathing… An excessive breathlessness that is noticeable enough to be troubling.
Reason 1 - Happiness | Excitement | Activity

The 3 words above most often happen simultaneously… When you are outside playing fetch with your Pomeranian or if you have just come home and are greeting your Pom, giving hugs and kisses, a lot is going on…

Your dog is happy to be engaging with you, especially if you’ve been away, so just the sight of you can make him overly happy. Add to that the excitement of a game and then the physical exercise that in incorporated into play and this can lead a Pom to make panting noises.

As long as it is not excessive and if your dog calms down once the activity slows, this is usually not a problem. If he seems to have a hard time calming down after seeing you, this may be an issue of over-excitement… One thing that you can do is to train your Pomeranian that seeing you does not equal a time of frenzy is to ease into the interaction that occurs when you arrive home.

It does take some will power, however you can do this by not immediately greeting your Pom. Enter the house, check the mail, wash your hands (anything for about a minute or so)…and then approach in a matter-of-fact manner, keeping your voice calm and giving gentle pats. If an owner does this and waits about 20 minutes to a ½ hour before a lively play session or a walk, it can help a dog learn to stay relatively calm upon seeing him or her.

Granted, your Pomeranian is always going to be happy to see you and will always enjoy time together, however this type of training does help if your dog is acting bananas (and some dogs get so revved up that they urinate in excitement).   
cute little Pomeranian
Likinia, 8 months old
Photo courtesy of owner: Kyrsten  
Reason 2 -In Response to Hot Weather |Overheating 

One thing to keep in mind about this toy breed is that a Pom can easily become overheated. An owner may feel that the temperature is just perfect, but with a combination of certain factors, it can spell trouble for a Pom.

If your Pomeranian is panting and shaking it may be heat exhaustion, which can be fatal without treatment…If it is simply a very hard pant, it may be a red flag that this condition is going to set in without intervention.

We have to think about what it is like for a Pom to have such a thick, heavy coat of fur. Some people assume that dogs are “used to their fur” and that it does not affect them, but this is not true.

The thickness of the hairs most certainly lends to a dog’s body temperature. Given that this breed has both a thick undercoat and a long overcoat, care must be taken to keep a Pom from getting too hot. 

If you are out walking or outside playing when your Pomeranian begins to pant heavily, it is time to take a rest in the shade and have a drink.
Be sure to bring a travel bowl and a bottle of water with you each time before you head out. 

If the gasping does not stop and it appears to be an emergency, you will want to stable your Pomeranian before transporting him to the veterinarian or animal hospital. A car ride, while suffering from heat stroke, can be extremely dangerous. It is best bring your Pom to a cool area such as the shade or inside into the house, place a cool, wet towel on him and offer water.
Panting and Vomiting

If both of these conditions are occurring at the same time, this means that you must take your Pom to the veterinarian or animal hospital. Causes can range from poisoning to a lung infection. This holds true also if a dog is dry heaving.  
At Night

You should be able to hear your Pomeranian breathing while he is sleeping, however there should not be a loud pant. It is normal, however, for canines to have brief moments of heavy breathing while experiencing dreams. As you probably know, dogs do dream…It is theorized that canines dream about recent events…Therefore, it is not illogical to assume that a dog will dream about taking a walk or running in the yard... Some will move their legs as if they are actually running…and some will pant. If this is the reason, it will only be a momentary issue and then breathing will resume back to normal.

Medical Conditions

Ruling out the above, if a Pomeranian is panting hard and it happens quite often, a veterinarian checkup is in order. There are serious medical conditions in which panting is a symptom. This includes: Fluid in the lungs, an enlarged heart, Cushing’s Disease, collapsed trachea, and infections such as pneumonia or kennel cough.
happy Pomeranian with mouth open
Cavu Corrao, 1 year & 7 months
Photo courtesy of owner: Melissa Corrao
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