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Paws and Panting: The Surprising Truth About How Dogs Beat the Heat

Paws and Panting: The Surprising Truth About How Dogs Beat the Heat

Have you ever found yourself on a hot summer day, sweating like you're in a sauna, and looked over at your fur-coated friend who seems oddly chill? It’s enough to make you wonder: Do dogs sweat? 🤔


Do Dogs Sweat Like Humans?

First things first: Yes, dogs do sweat, but not quite like we do. Dogs have two types of sweat glands: merocrine glands and apocrine glands.


  • Merocrine glands are located in dogs' paw pads. Sweating through their paws helps dogs cool down, albeit minimally. It’s like their version of sweaty palms, but way cuter! 🐾
  • Apocrine glands, located throughout your dog's body, also produce a form of sweat. But this sweat isn't for cooling down; it contains scent pheromones that help dogs identify each other. It’s like their secret handshake!



How Else Do Dogs Stay Cool?

While sweating through their paws helps a bit, the primary way dogs lower their body temperature is through panting. Here's the science:

When a dog pants, the evaporating moisture on their tongue, along with the evaporation of the moist lining of their lungs, cools them down. It’s their built-in air conditioning system! Think of it as the canine version of us sweating and then catching a cool breeze.

For more on how to keep your dog cool during walks, check out our post on when it’s too hot to walk your dog.



Can Dogs Sweat Too Much?

Humans prone to excessive sweating, even in a cool environment, have a condition called hyperhidrosis. But what about our four-legged friends?

Dogs sometimes sweat a lot through their paws when they're stressed, says PetHelpful. It’s believed that the excess moisture provides better traction on some surfaces, helping dogs run away from the source of their stress. This stress-induced sweating generally clears up once the stressful situation passes.

If you notice your dog's paw pads producing a lot of moisture, it’s time for a chat with your vet. They can offer advice on possible causes and ways to help your sweaty pup stress less. 🐶💦


Dog showing signs of overheating


Recognising an Overheated Dog

While dogs have mechanisms to cool themselves down, they aren't foolproof. Dogs can be prone to overheating in hot weather, which can quickly escalate to a life-threatening heat stroke if not dealt with immediately.


Watch out for the following signs of your dog overheating:

  • Heavy or rapid panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lack of coordination
  • Red gums
  • Rapid or irregular heart rate
  • Muscle tremors or seizures
  • Feeling warm to the touch
  • Loss of consciousness


If your dog shows any of these signs, act fast. Move them into an air-conditioned space or to a shaded area and offer them water to drink.

To prevent your dog from getting overheated in the first place, limit their physical activity in hot weather, keep them in the shade, and provide them with plenty of water. And remember, being a loving and responsible pet parent includes keeping your cool pooch from becoming a hot dog. 🌡️🚫

For more tips on caring for your dog in the summer, check out our guide on cleaning your dog accessories.



Keeping Your Dog Cool with Furry Tails Accessories

At Furry Tails, we’re more than just a brand; we’re committed to the well-being of your furry family members. Our harnesses and waterproof collars are designed to keep your dog comfortable and stylish, without compromising on safety.

For more about our commitment to quality and our love for dogs, take a peek behind the brand.


A thirsty pug needing water



So, in a nutshell: Yes, dogs do sweat, but it’s just a small part of how they keep cool. Their main cooling mechanism is panting, which is super effective but not infallible. As a pet parent, it’s our job to keep a close eye on our fur babies, especially during those scorching summer months.

Remember, a cool dog is a happy dog! 🐾❄️

For more detailed guides on dog care, from nutrition to training cues perfect for new dog mums, explore our Furry Tails Blog.

Stay cool, Furry Tails Family! 🐶💙

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