Why Do Dogs Pant in the Car?

February 11, 2023

Every dog pants from time to time. Panting is a natural cooling mechanism that helps regulate a dog’s body temperature.

In the car, dogs tend to pant more than when they are walking or exercising because the air inside the vehicle can be very hot compared to the outside air. This can make a dog feel uncomfortable and if they are not properly hydrated, they may pant excessively.

Travel anxiety

One of the main reasons that dogs pant during a car ride is because they are feeling anxious. This can be a normal response to a new environment, but it may also indicate something more serious, like a medical condition.

Motion sickness

Young pups are more susceptible to motion sickness than older dogs, so they need to get used to driving slowly and calmly. They may also need to be crated if they feel too queasy for comfort.


Dehydration is a common cause of panting, so it is important to keep your dog’s water supply up. It is especially important in the summer, when a dog’s body can heat up more quickly and they may not drink enough to stay cool.

Excessive panting and drooling

A dog who is excessively panting, drooling, or shaking is usually feeling hot, thirsty, or needing to use the bathroom. If these symptoms persist, they should see a veterinarian.

Other signs of dehydration include weight changes, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.

In addition to the above reasons, your dog’s panting could be due to discomfort or pain. They may be feeling hot or numb, or they might have muscle cramps, so it is important to check them out.


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