Does your dog sweat in hot weather?

The answer is not what you might expect….But what do dogs do when their bodies are too hot?

A dog’s skin is different from human skin. While they do sweat, they do so in much smaller quantities than we do. Most of their perspiration occurs through their paw pads, and it’s not enough to greatly change their body temperature.

The main way dogs cool themselves is by panting and breathing. Have you ever felt a dog’s breath as it panted? It’s much warmer than you might expect. This is because a dog’s tongue and the lining of their lungs are the primary locations where body heat is transferred to the air. Many people believe that a dog’s tongue contains sweat glands, but this is not true.

Dogs also dissipate heat by dilating (expanding) blood vessels in their face and ears. This helps to cool the dog’s blood by causing it to flow closer to the surface of the skin. Put together, these 3 methods of temperature regulation aren’t extremely efficient. A dog’s body can be easily overwhelmed by heat, often causing the dog to suffer from heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke.

Excessive play on a hot day can lead to overheating (hyperthermia) and eventually to heat stroke. A dog that is overheated will seem sluggish or confused. His gums and tongue may appear bright red, and he will be panting hard. The dog may vomit, collapse, have a seizure or go into a coma.

It is crucial to never, ever let your dog get this overheated. Constantly offer him a supply of fresh water, and take frequent breaks from playing in hot weather. Make sure that he always has a shady and cool place to relax, and never leave him alone in a vehicle on a warm day.

If you ever find your pet has been exposed to extreme heat, seems sluggish, is vomiting, collapses or has a seizure…call us immediately.  With the summer fast approaching, we know that the lure of warmer temperatures and longer days can sometimes lead to overexposure for our furry friends.

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One Response to “Does your dog sweat in hot weather?”

  1. Worcester Vet Care Says:

    Reblogged this on WVC Blog and commented:
    A great reminder to help keep your pets cool during these summer months!

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