Do Dogs Sweat?
Do Dogs Sweat?
When it’s hot outside, humans sweat—that’s just part of being a human. But have you ever wondered do dogs sweat the same way we do?
Dogs’ bodies are usually covered in hair or fur, depending on the breed and type of dog in question. Even those that do not have hair, however, pant to relieve heat. So do they sweat at all, or is panting the only way a dog has to cool themselves down on a hot day?
The straightforward answer is yes, dogs do sweat. In the article below, we’ll explore the basics of dog sweating. You can use this information to better understand your own canine companion and their needs during the hotter times of the year. Let’s get started!
6 Facts That Help Answer the Question “Do Dogs Sweat?”
Now that you know that dogs do actually sweat, there are some things you should know about this behavior, and how it may differ than how humans sweat.
Below are 6 facts to know about dog sweating:
1. Dogs Have Two Kinds of Sweat Glands
When it’s hot out, your dog may lay on their side with all of their paws exposed to the air. This is because they are sweating from the glands on their paw pads. These glands are releasing moisture from the body, which is then cooled when air passes over it.
2. Dogs Don’t Sweat All Over
Dogs only sweat from their paw pads. This is the only part of the body on many dogs that is not covered in hair, other than the nose, and this is why dogs have evolved to sweat from their paws alone.
Unlike humans, who can sweat from their skin just about anywhere on their bodies, dogs rely on only their paw pads to release sweat. Additionally, a dog’s paws do not produce much sweat at all, so this is not the ideal way for a dog to keep themselves cool when it’s hot outside.
3. Dogs Don’t Have to be Shaved in Summer
With knowing that the answer to the question “do dogs sweat” is yes, another fact you should know about dog sweating is that some dogs don’t have to have their hair/fur shaved during the summer. Some dogs definitely should still receive a shave or at least a trim during the summer months. However, if your dog has a double coat, or if they have short to medium hair, they probably don’t need a summer cut.
Your dog’s hair can insulate the body, keeping warmth in during the winter and letting warmth out during the summer. Talk to your veterinarian or a professional groomer for recommendations about your dog’s shaving and haircut needs all year long.
The right grooming and coat maintenance can make all the difference in your dog’s health and comfort.
4. Dogs Use Panting More Than Sweating
Since dogs do not sweat very much, they need to pant to get rid of a lot of the heat and cool down their bodies. The hotter it is outside, the more a dog is likely to pant. However, some breeds are prone to panting most of the time, whether they are hot or not.
Panting helps expand the blood vessels in a dog’s face, which in turn cools down the blood during circulation. Additionally, air moving over wet tongues and mouths can help dogs cool down more quickly, too. In these ways, panting is much more important to a dog than sweating.
5. Dogs Can Suffer from Heatstroke
Since dogs are not as good at cooling themselves down as humans are, they are at a greater risk of heatstroke than humans, too. This is why it is unsafe to leave a dog alone in a vehicle even when the temperature is comfortable for you outside; this situation can often lead to heatstroke and death.
Learning how to recognize signs of heatstroke in your dog can help you react quickly when you notice them. Extreme panting and drooling, redness of the gums, seizures, and a very rapid heart rate can all indicate that your dog needs to see an emergency vet right away.
6. Dogs Without Hair Do Not Sweat All Over
Many dog owners believe a hairless dog can sweat all over their body instead of just from their paw pads. However, this is not true! Hairless dogs do not release sweat from anywhere else on the body other than the paw pads.
Hairless dogs can, however, become sunburned. Talk to your vet about the best dog-safe sunscreen for your hairless dog during the summer.
Contact Our Team for More Information About Dog Sweating
Now that you know more about how dogs sweat and when they may pant instead of sweating, you can recognize situations that may cause overheating risks for your pet.
Any time your dog is unable to pant or sweat enough to cool themselves down, they are too hot. Make sure you provide plenty of cool, fresh water and shade for your pet during hot months, and keep them inside on the hottest days of the year for their safety.
If you want more information about the question “do dogs sweat,” or if you’re concerned about your dog’s sweating, contact our team at Heart + Paw by calling us or booking an appointment online. We have compassionate, caring veterinarians at all of our locations who care as much about your pet’s health as you do. We’re here to be your partner in your pet’s health.
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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.
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