Heat regulation in dogs
How do dogs sweat when they don’t do it the way humans do? Our pets try to keep cool by wheezing.
You’ve certainly seen a dog with a slobbering tongue hanging out of his mouth.
The most effective way for us humans to cool down is to sweat. But with dogs and cats it is most effective to cool the body by allowing them to breathe quickly.
Dogs start panting when their body overheats. The mouth is opened wide and the tongue is hung out of the mouth.
This allows the moisture on the tongue to evaporate and the heavy breathing also allows the lungs to serve as a surface from which moisture can evaporate.
In this way the dog can achieve a significant cooling of his body temperature.
Panting is the most efficient way for dogs to cool down and regulate their body temperature.
Breathing is increased tenfold and heat from the hottest part of the body, the chest, is absorbed by moisture produced by the mucous membranes of the tongue, mouth and throat.
The dog exhales the humid air and the evaporation process cools the dog’s body.
Another mechanism that dogs use to cool down is to enlarge or widen the blood vessels in the face and ears.
If it is not too hot outside, it helps to cool the dog’s blood by bringing the blood closer to the surface of the skin.
This mechanism works best when the overheating is due to exercise or exertion rather than a high outside temperature.
You have also noticed that a dog’s body is covered with fur, which can make the body quite hot in summer.
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