Do Dogs Sweat? Here's How They Beat the Heat!

Many dogs love to get active, but when was the last time you saw your pup sweat? Even dogs with thick, furry coats don’t seem to perspire after rigorous playtime or an afternoon under the hot sun. We’ve explored the variety of methods furry friends’ bodies use to stay cool, including some you may not even notice!

So, Do Dogs Sweat?

Yes, dogs do indeed sweat. Canines and humans both have merocrine sweat glands, which are secretion-producing glands that activate when the body gets hot or nervous. Although pups have these glands, you may be wondering how dogs sweat if you’ve never seen them perspire.

While we humans sweat all over our bodies, dogs’ merocrine glands are primarily found on their paw pads. It may seem like an odd area to keep cool, but there’s a good reason for these strategically located glands! Because dogs’ bodies are mostly covered with fur, perspiration would not evaporate efficiently if they had merocrine glands all over—leaving your best friend a sweaty mess. The bottoms of the paws are not furry, however, allowing sweat to escape easily.

Dogs have a second kind of sweat gland located all over the body called apocrine glands, although these glands do not provide a cooling sensation. Instead, they give furry friends their own unique scent that lets other dogs identify them. Although people can’t sense these odors, dogs’ powerful sense of smell can easily sniff ‘em out!

Sweating is just one way dogs stave off the heat. Here are some additional methods they use to stay cool!


golden retriever panting outside

Sweating isn’t always obvious in dogs, but it’s easy to notice panting—and for good reason! It’s a much more effective way for dogs to regulate their body temperature, quickly replacing hot air with fresh air in their lungs. Water evaporates from a dog’s tongue, nasal passage, and respiratory tract when they pant, and the fresh air cools the body when it contacts this wet tissue.

While panting is normal, it may also indicate an issue. Heavy panting may signal your dog is anxious, in pain, overheating, or having an allergic reaction. Call your veterinarian for advice if your dog is panting more rapidly than normal.


Did you know your dog’s blood can help them cool down? As heat increases, blood vessels widen and lead warm blood closer to the skin’s surface. This process, known as vasodilation, cools the blood down before it’s pumped through the rest of the body and helps lower body temperature.

Vasodilation typically occurs in the face and ears, which may become red as the blood comes closer to the skin. If you notice this change in color, it’s best to take your pup to a spot away from the heat.


RELATED: 4 Fun Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool in the Summer


Fur Insulation

siberian husky sitting outside

You might think your dog’s coat makes hot weather feel even warmer, but it can actually shield against high temperatures! Like the insulation in your home, fur traps cool air during warm days and bottles in the heat during cold days.

Insulation is especially significant for double-coated dog breeds such as Siberian Huskies and Pomeranians, as their undercoat protects against harsh weather conditions while their topcoat prevents ultraviolet radiation from penetrating the skin.


Help from YOU!

Although dogs do sweat and have other natural responses to stay comfy, their bodies do not cool as well as ours do. Luckily, you can help! Provide cold water when your dog is working up a sweat to keep them replenished, and prepare a frozen dog treat recipe as an extra-special refreshing snack. If your pup is spending time outside, make sure they have access to a shady spot. Remember that hot pavement can burn your dog’s paws; if the surface burns your own hand, it’s probably too hot for them.

On those really hot days, consider taking playtime indoors or walking your dog at night when temperatures are lower. Have access to a pool or dog-friendly beach? Take along your pooch and a floatable dog toy!


Signs of Heat Exhaustion

Hot weather can lead to heat exhaustion in dogs, which occurs when their body temperature rises too high to be properly regulated. Common signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Drooling
  • Dry nose
  • Fatigue
  • Discolored gums
  • Vomiting

If you suspect your dog has heat exhaustion, take them to a colder spot, give them water, and contact your veterinarian right away.


Wick Away the Worry

A little precaution will go a long way toward helping your furry friend stay cool and comfy! Whether you want to keep your dog safe in the summer heat or enjoy a workout together, make sure you take frequent breaks and keep refreshments on hand.

How dogs sweat is just one of many fascinating aspects of pups’ bodies. Discover how dogs’ taste buds work and what makes them so unique.



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