Do Dogs sweat? How to control their body temperature in the sunny weather
- You probably haven’t given much thought to how your dog sweats and cools down on these sunny summer days. How is he able to regulate his body temperature under all that doggy fur?
- Do dogs actually sweat?
- How do you cool down a dog that is over-heating?
Humans sweat to prevent our organs from failing and overheating in hot environments. If you go for a jog with your dog, you could well return soaked and dripping in sweat, and yet his coat is totally dry.
Do dogs sweat?
Yes they do! However, not usually as abundantly as a human as they only produce sweat from their nose and paws, areas without fur. Dogs do have sweat glands, but unfortunately they can’t help a dog to cool down.
A dog sweats and pants to cool down
You may notice that your pooch does sweat from his paws in an effort to keep cool, but their major cooling mechanism is by panting. As a human sweats, water on the skin evaporates, keeping the temperature of the body lower. As your dog cannot sweat in the same way, he will pant and use the evaporating saliva to cool him.
Should you discover your dog panting unusually on a hot, sunny day, this is a result of him being too warm and the necessity to relieve some of this excessive body heat. As he pants, cool air is swept over his tongue and down to his lungs, thereby reducing some heat.
As your pet doesn’t have the capability or means to eliminate body heat and sweat, be aware that they are more at danger of suffering heat stroke if kept in a warm car, room or even outdoors if the temperatures are quite high. If possible, avoid him being outside during times of intense sun, ideally between 11am to 4pm, and always make sure he has a shady area where he can go to reach some respite from the heat. Don’t take your dog for a walk in the midday sun, and be aware that when your dog exercises and runs around, his muscles are generating even more heat and raising his core temperature.
It is essential to make sure he has an adequate supply of fresh, cool water, adding ice cubes if need be, to keep his temperature low. If it’s essential to take him in the car on a journey, never leave him alone inside, even with the windows open. Even with the air conditioning running, your car temperature can still be too warm for your dog.
Symptoms of heat stroke
- Panting excessively
- Extreme drooling
- Collapsing suddenly
- Skin feeling warm to touch
- Losing unconsciousness
- Fitting or seizures
How to treat heat stroke
It’s imperative to cool down your dog’s body temperature. Pour cool water over him, or sponge him down with cold water. Packs of frozen vegetables can be used wrapped in towels and placed against his skin, to help with speedier cooling. Provide plenty of cold drinking water, and try standing him onto wet towels or cool mats. If you’re close to home, run a cool bath and place him in it, sponging him down.
If you do not cool your dog’s body temperature down, the consequences may prove fatal. If heat stress occurs, your dog will need to release excess heat and will certainly need aid from either you or your Vet. Don’t hesitate to call for help. Don’t let this glorious sunshine and hot weather spoil your summer fun. Of course take your pets outside but keep an eye out to make sure they’re not struggling to cope.