My purpose in this posting is to ask if Ella's recent behavoir is cause for concern. To put it briefly, she is panting on walks more than in the past. I had kind of noticed it and the other day one of my dog walking friends also commented that she had rarely seen Ella pant, but she was panting on this walk. Not horribly so, but her mouth was hanging open slightly. She seemed happy. It was a hot day and we had been out a while. But it was worthy of comment.
Here is the background. Ella is 3 years old, not overweight, good diet, gets regular exercise. She is a healthy energentic Basenji. We live in Colorado and in the 2 summers of her life she has not experienced very many hot days. We have taken her with us to Arizona each spring where she has experienced 90+ degrees days and has gotten noticeably hot and panted like a normal dog. But back home it takes a particularly hot day or strenous activity to get her to even open her mouth while walking. She will famously run along side me as I cross country ski at 15 mph with her mouth completely shut and trotting like it is no work at all. I had read that basenjis rarely pant and she fit the bill.
We were in Arizona a couple of weeks ago and it was hot and she got into the habit of panting because it was very hot onall our walks. Again, pretty normal. Now that we are back home we have had some warm days, near 80 degrees and sunny. When it is hot she is now more prone to walking with her mouth open and tongue out a bit. It is really mouth breathing more than panting to me. The rest of her behavoir on walks is totally normal. If we encounter shade she stops or slows panting. It seems to vary with level of exertion. She is fine when we get water and get home. To me it seems like totally nomal dog behavoir, but it is a little new for Ella.
My gut impression is that it is not a health issue and that she is just maturing and at age 3 has figured out that on hot days panting a little feels good. Should I be concerned about a health issue? Do your basenji's pant?