Know the reasons of Sweating in Dogs: You may see your dog pant in warm weather, but do they sweat? Contrary to popular belief, dogs sweat, but only partially, to cool down.
Know the reasons of Sweating in Dogs
How Do Dogs Sweat?
Dogs only sweat in certain areas. Two types of dog sweat glands:
- Metacrine glands
- Apocrine glands
- Merocrine sweat glands work like human ones. When your dog is hot, these glands in their paw pads cool them. The ground may have damp paw prints on hot days.
Sweat would not evaporate on most dogs because they are furry. Cooling occurs when sweat evaporates. Dogs’ sweat glands are more efficient in their paw pads, where there is less fur.
Apocrine sweat glands differ from merocrine. Veterinarians call apocrine glands sweat glands, but they release pheromones, not cool your dog. Every dog has these glands on their bodies to identify other dogs by scent.
Purpose of Panting?
- Sweat barely cools your dog. Dogs regulate their temperature mostly by panting. Dogs cool down when they pant because air passes over moist tissue in their tongues, nasal passages, and lungs.
- They cool off by expanding blood vessels, especially in their ears and face, through vasodilation.
- The blood vessels expand to bring hot blood closer to the skin, where it cools before returning to the heart and regulating an animal’s body temperature.
Does fur heat dogs?
- “Your dog’s coat insulates. Dog coats capture air to keep out the cold and hold heat in winter and cool your dog in summer.
- Double-coated breeds should not be shaved. Regularly shed inner coat is dog’s insulating coat.
- Shaving that coat to reduce shedding or keep the dog cool removes that insulating layer of fur, making the dog susceptible to heatstroke, improper hair growth, and follicle damage.
Heatstroke in Dogs
Panting, vasodilation, and limited sweating don’t cool dogs as well as sweating does for humans. This can cause heat stress, exhaustion, and heatstroke in dogs. Brachycephalic breeds like Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and French Bulldogs with short noses and flat faces are especially susceptible to heatstroke.
Due to their unique anatomy, these breeds breathe and pant inefficiently, making cooling less efficient. Obese, dark-coated, and heatstroke-prone dogs are also at risk. Heatstroke occurs when a dog overheats. It can kill if untreated. Every dog owner should know these heat stress and heatstroke signs:
- Heavy, frantic panting
- Body temperature over 41° Celsius (105.8° Fahrenheit) and your dog feels warm to the touch
- Excessive drooling
- Bright red gums
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
- Muscle tremors
- Lack of coordination (ataxia)
Remove your dog from the heat and call your vet if you suspect heatstroke or heat stress. Before taking them to an animal hospital, you can run cool water on them from a hose or bathtub or put a soaked towel on them. Stay out of the water with your head up. You can also give your dog cool water.
Keep Your Dog Cool
Controlling their environment can help dogs regulate their body temperature even though we can’t make them sweat. Always provide shade and clean water for your dog outdoors. Keep your house cool for your pets by monitoring the temperature. Never leave your dog in a car, even for a few minutes, as temperatures can quickly rise.
Avoid exercising your dog in the heat. Do it early in the morning or late in the day. Carry the ball home for your dog after playing fetch to help them pant and cool off. For longer dog comfort, buy a cooling vest. By understanding how dogs regulate their body temperature, you can keep them cool, safe, and healthy year-round.
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