Picture this: You’re out for a run with your dog, and notice sweat has completely drenched your new workout clothes. You look down at your pup and she looks seemingly unaffected. Sure, she may be panting and walking a bit slower, but not an ounce of sweat is seen on her body. The truth is, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean that it isn’t still happening. There are myths floating around the internet that dogs do not sweat. That is not the case. Dogs do sweat, but it is not the main way they cool themselves down when affected by heat. Unfortunately, dogs are not that well equipped at staying cool in warm temperatures. Dogs have two types of sweat glands called Merocrine glands and Apocrine glands. Merocrine glands are similar to human sweat glands and are located on your dog’s paw pads. If you look closely on a hot dry day, you may even see wet paw prints from your dog as you walk. The Apocrine sweat glands release pheromones, so their main purpose is not to release sweat! They are all over your dog’s body and help dogs identify and recognize each other.
So if sweating isn’t the main way that dogs regulate their internal temperature, what is? One way dogs try to stay cool is by panting. When a dog pants, they evaporate moisture from their tongues and the lining of their lungs. When this hits the air it helps to cool them down. Another misconception that people have is that fur heats up a dog like a jacket would on a human. In reality a dog’s fur coat acts as an insulator. What that means is, if there is prolonged heat, the dog will continue to heat up. This also means that it will take the dog a longer time to cool down.
Your job as a responsible pet parent is to help keep your dog at the right temperature. During the summer, you can do this by giving your dog plenty of water and making sure that they have a shady area to lay in when the sun is out. You should never do too much strenuous activity when it is very hot outside. During the winter, you may need to purchase a coat for your dog and limit their exposure to cold temperatures. There are even some dogs breeds that are cold-intolerant like Greyhounds. Special care needs to be taken to make sure these dogs are comfortable in winter. Thankfully, our LINK AKC Collar has ambient temperature alerts. This mean you can keep track of your dog’s temperature in extreme weather to make sure they are comfortable. It monitors your dogs environment to notify you if they are somewhere too hot or too cold for them.
So next time you and your dog are out playing in the hot Summer air, make sure to stay in tune with their heat indicators. If they are panting heavily or leaving wet paw prints on dry pavement, it may be time to take them to a cooler place and give them a nice big bowl of water.