Where Do Dogs Produce Sweat?
There are a lot of misconceptions about how dogs stay cool during the hot months. We often see our companions panting is the heat, but have you ever wondered where do dogs produce sweat?
If you have, you’re in luck because our topic today is about sweaty (or not so sweaty) dogs.
Do Dogs Sweat?
The short answer is yes, dogs do sweat. But dogs sweat in a way that’s different than humans.
People sweat over most of their body. Parts of the body that get extra warm, like armpits and the core, seem to sweat more than other parts. Most people are aware that sweating is the body’s natural way of cooling itself down through evaporation. The heat that was in the body can escape when liquid sweat evaporates off your skin. Your whole body can cool itself since your entire body produces sweat.
Dogs sweat in a much different way. Since dogs are covered by fur, if they sweat like a human, they would basically just get a matted, wet coat. This wouldn’t work very well to cool them down. Instead, dogs have a different method to cool down.
Where Do Dogs Produce Sweat?
It’s important to note that dogs have two different glands that they sweat from. One set is called the apocrine glands. These are at the base of each hair follicle and doesn’t really produce a liquid sweat. These glands more produce pheromones to identify dogs to each other.
The glands in charge of dog’s sweating are called merocrine glands. These glands are primarily found in a dog’s paws. So, if you’re wondering “where do dogs produce sweat,” the answer in in their paw pads.
But a dog sweating through their paws is only part of how a dog keeps cool in extreme heat.
How Else Do Dogs Keep Cool?
Dogs do not really rely on sweat to keep them cool like humans. Instead, their primary source of relief from the heat is through panting.
When a dog pants, they are using evaporation to help cool themselves. This evaporation occurs on their tongues and in the lining of their lungs. Therefore, it’s important that a dog have access to cool water when they are overheated. If your dog “dries out” it will impact their ability to regulate their body temperature.
Another method for cooling off is through a process called vasodilation. This is an expanding of the blood vessels. When blood vessels expand, they bring warm blood closer to the skin’s surface which helps heat escape. Vasodilation is most common in the ears and face of a dog.
Does A Dogs Fur Make Then Warm?
A dog’s fur acts like an insulator. So, in cold weather, it will help your dog keep their warmth that they have. But in hot weather, their fur will make it harder for a dog to lower their body temperature.
Just think of dog breeds. Most dogs that come from regions where it is cold have a nice, thick coat and in some cases a double coat. These dogs are prepared for the cold weather since their coat insulates them from it.
Dogs from warmer climates usually have a single coat that is short haired. Dogs with a coat like this will be much more able to handle the heat.
Heat Stroke in Dogs
While dogs do have natural ways to stay cool, it’s always important to keep an eye on them when temperatures rise. If you see any of these signs, it is time to help your dog cool themselves down.
- Painting that just won’t stop
- Sweating from the paws
- Thick saliva
- Muscle tremors
- If they’re warm to the touch
- If they are flushed on skin, you can see like their underbelly
- If their gums are red
If you notice these symptoms on your dog, you must take action. These are early signs of heatstroke.
Provide your dog with plenty of cool water, shade, and rest. If it is very warm outside, you can move your dog indoors into the air conditioning.
If you know the day will be very warm, you should also consider taking your dog out for exercise only during the early morning or at night. This is when days are usually their coolest while midday is certainly going to be warmest.
You can even consider giving your dog a frozen treat to help cool down. Something like a Kong with a frozen treat inside is a nice way to cool down. You may even consider freezing some broth as a nice treat as well.
Giving your dog help in cooling themselves is going to be the best way you can help ensure they stay safe in extreme heat or after over exertion.