How Do Dogs Sweat?

Because you may not see your dog leaving a pool of sweat after sitting on the couch on a warm summer day, you may ask yourself, do dogs sweat? Dogs actually have different means of regulating their body temperature and you should know how this happens. You should also be aware that dogs may have difficulties coping with extreme heat, so that you can prevent heat strokes from happening.

How Do Dogs Release Heat?

Many dog owners think dogs don't sweat or don't release heat in any way; however, this conception is wrong. Dogs sweat, but this is done differently than in humans. Dogs will sweat through their foot pads. They will also release heat through panting. The release of body heat is not as efficient as in humans, as humans release heat through sweat and this is done through the skin. If you find your dog panting excessively on a warm day, this is because he is warm and he needs to relieve some body heat. By panting, the dog sends cool air on his tongue and inside, to the lungs, eliminating some heat.

Dog Sweat Glands

Dogs have sweat glands. The sweat glands are divided into two groups, and only one type of canine sweat glands performs the task of regulating the body temperature:

  • Merocrine glands are located in the foot pads of the dog and will be activated when the dog is warm.
  • The apocrine glands are also considered sweat glands, and are located all over the dog's body. The apocrine glands will not actually release sweat, but will be secreting pheromones, a means of communication between dogs.

Knowing about the sweat glands is essential, so that you won't cover these when it is warm outside or if the dog is in a warm room indoors.

Heat Stroke

Due to the fact that dogs don't have advanced means to eliminate sweat and body heat, they can suffer from heat stroke during warm days or if trapped in a warm room or car. You should avoid keeping your dog outdoors during times of excessive heat (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) or make sure the dog has a shade area where he can cool off. Giving your pet water during warm days is essential, as the cool liquid can help the dog keep his normal body temperature. If you take your dog on a car ride, never leave him inside the car with the heat on during the winter or without the air conditioning activated during the summer.

Watch out for signs of a heat stroke:

  • Excessive panting
  • Sudden collapse
  • Warm skin
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures
  • Excessive drooling
  • Coma

A heat stroke can be fatal if you will not cool the dog's body down. During a heat stroke, the dog will not be able to efficiently release heat and will need your help.