Ever see a dog with sweaty armpits? Not likely. But do dogs sweat? The answer is yes – I can vouch for it! However, we can cool off in different ways than humans do. When a man is too hot, his body regulates its temperature by releasing sweat from glands all over the body, especially his armpits. Sweating creates an evaporative cooling effect on a human’s skin, which in turn lowers his body temperature. Dogs do sweat when overheated, but we also use other methods to cool ourselves, primarily panting.
Many of a dog’s sweat glands are located near the paw pads, which is why you may see wet prints on the floor when a pooch is overheated. The process of sweating works similarly to that of humans: Fluid is released by the glands near our paws, and the moisture begins to cool our body temperature. Usually, this is not enough to lower a dog’s body temperature when a dog is overheating.
Since sweating is not the primary way we cool ourselves down, let’s discuss the methods we pups use when our body temperature gets too hot. The number one way we cool off is by panting. When we pant, a couple of things happen in our bodies. First, the moisture on our tongue begins to evaporate, and like humans, the evaporation process creates a cooling mechanism for our body. Also, heavy breathing causes the moist lining on our lungs to evaporate, as well, creating another cooling function to lower a dog’s body temperature.
The answer to why do dogs sweat is a simple one! Like humans, dogs sweat – and pant – most often due to changes in temperature or increased physical exertion, such as a heat wave or after a long run with our owners.
If you notice your dog is leaving a trail of sweaty prints on your floors, or is panting more often than usual, there are some things you can do to help your furry friend keep from overheating. Always be sure to keep a bowl of cold water available for your dog to drink. In especially warm temperatures, we’d love it if you added some ice cubes to our bowls! Be warned, though, we might take out the ice cubes and play with them. Another idea to help cool us off would be to fill a spray-bottle with water and spray us down. Lightly wet fur will help keep our body temperature cool. If you use spray-bottles for training measures, you might want to consider instead dampening a washcloth and using it to pet your dog instead of spraying them. If you’re able to regulate the heat your dog’s environment, such as by using an air conditioner, that too will help keep us comfortable. If you’re running errands, you might want to consider keeping us at home. Dogs are not meant for hot cars!
If you’re feeling warm, there’s a chance your dog (with all of that fur) is also getting too hot. Try these tips to keep your dog cool, and be sure to let us know in the comments section if there is anything else you do to cool off your pets!
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