Why is My Husky Panting So Much? 

By Britt Kascjak

If you notice your husky dog is panting, there could be several reasons. While it’s normal for huskies to pant, excessive panting could be a sign of a serious health problem. Take a moment to assess the situation and contact your veterinarian.

Why Is My Husky Panting Excessively?

Normal Panting in Huskies

Huskies pant as a way of regulating their body temperature. As they bring in air, it evaporates moisture, effectively cooling them down.

If the temperature is high, panting is completely normal.

It’s also often seen if your husky has been playing or exercising a lot or if he’s overly excited about something.

But, if your husky is relaxing in the air conditioning or on a cool day and panting, take note. It could be a sign that something isn’t right.


Some huskies will pant excessively if they are frightened of a situation.

This is incredibly common in huskies that are afraid of thunderstorms or fireworks. It’s usually coupled with signs of anxiety like pacing around the house.

While fear isn’t life-threatening, you should work to ease your husky’s fear, where possible.

You can also try desensitization training to help your husky overcome his fear.

Heat Stroke

The most common reason for excessive panting is that your husky is overheated and trying to cool down.

Heat stroke is a potentially fatal condition. It occurs when a husky’s body temperature reaches 109 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

If your husky reaches this point, he is no longer able to cool himself off. Instead, he will need medical intervention.

Heat stroke can lead to a wide variety of health problems. This includes brain swelling, seizures, and irreversible kidney damage.

As the husky was bred for cold weather conditions, they are more sensitive to hot weather. This means they are at a higher risk.

In addition to heavy panting, the warning signs of heat stroke in huskies include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Deep red gums
  • Mental dullness or appearing confused
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Collapse

If you have any reason to suspect that your husky may be suffering from heat stroke, get him to the nearest vet. Time is of the essence!

On your way to the veterinarian, drive with the windows down to create some airflow.

Allow your husky to drink small amounts of cool water but be cautious not to let him overindulge. You can also poor cool (not cold) water over your husky to help cool him off.

Serious Trauma

Panting can also be a sign that your husky is in shock or experiencing significant pain.

This most often occurs after serious injury or trauma.

Other signs that your husky has sustained an injury and needs to see a vet include:

  • Enlarged pupils
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Licking or biting at one spot on the body

Illnesses and Health Problems

If your husky is panting excessively in cooler weather or after a period of rest, it could be a sign of a health problem.

This includes a problem relating to your husky’s heart of an allergic reaction.

Dogs that pant heavily for medical reasons will usually start to do so suddenly. If this occurs with no clear explanation, contact your vet immediately.

Especially if this panting is coupled with other signs of trouble, such as swelling, vomiting, or seizures.

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Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.