Do Dogs Sweat?Jessica Abazi
Those early morning jogs with your dog might leave you both panting, but you’re the only one visibly sweating. You might have been wondering if your running partner cools down by the panting alone, and even if dogs really sweat. They do!
The how and why of dog sweat
Dogs have two different types of sweat glands, each one helping them in different ways.
Merocrine glands, located in their paw pads, work very similarly to human sweat glands. They help your four-legged friend release excessive body heat and help them cool down a bit. The placement of their sweat glands is a very clever solution by mother nature, as if they were to sweat throughout their body, the fur would not allow it to evaporate.
Vets also categorise apocrine glands as sweat ones, though they have a purpose completely different from cooling. You must have noticed your dog sniffing others not only when they first meet them, but every time after too! The apocrine glands actually let our furry companions recognise each other! They release pheromones from all over the body and help dogs recognise each other by scent.
Why do dogs pant?
Merocrine glands are not only few, but they’re also inefficient. They are able to release much more heat by panting, through a process called thermoregulation. Beware of excessive panting, as it may be a sign of heatstroke! To learn more about the signs to look out for, check out our article on Heat Prevention.
Dog Fur in the Heat
You might be wondering if trimming or shaving your dog’s fur will help them stay cool. This is a misconception, as fur is an insulator, helping keep dogs cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As always, the best way forward is to consult your veterinarian.