One of the anxieties that the summer brings is the excessive heat that makes us sweat a lot, but human beings are not the only ones who suffer from it: our dogs also suffer when the temperatures are high and, to lower the level of body heat, the dog’s body reacts in different ways. Let’s find out how dogs sweat!
Dogs do not have sweat glands, so their thermoregulation system is less effective than ours. Nevertheless, they manage to cope with high temperatures and cool themselves down in three ways: through their paws, their tongue and their breathing.
Sweat is mostly released through the pads on their paws. In fact, this is where the eccrine glands are located, which are responsible for the secretion that keeps the area soft and moist, so don’t be alarmed if, when the temperatures are hot, you find your furry friend’s paw prints dotted over the floor of your home and you notice that the pads of their paws are slightly wet when you touch them: this is your pet’s way of sweating and maintaining a suitable body temperature.
To get rid of the heat they have accumulated, dogs also use their tongue. In case of high temperatures, the dog’s body reacts by sending warm blood to the lower part of the snout, towards the tongue. The salivary glands thus become the tool to expel heat through the moisture.
Have you ever noticed that dogs pant when he’s hot? The dog’s laboured breathing that occurs when it is very hot or following a session of intense physical activity, causes an abundant flow of blood to reach the animal’s tongue. The salivary glands produce a lot of moisture, so the dog cools down when he breathes and drools by keeping his tongue out of his mouth. In conclusion, the dog simply pants with the aim of expelling as much heat as possible.
However, the snout and the ears also have an important role and help your furry friend to stay cool in the scorching summer days. When it is hot, in fact, the veins of the dog’s snout dilate and expand to better irrigate his ears, face and head so that the excess temperature drops.
Useful tips to help your dog withstand the heat
To help your four-legged friend endure the summer, always try to ensure that there is water in his bowl. When possible, take him to bathe in a stream or in the sea and you will see how he feels a sensation of relief and coolness in his paws and chest as soon as he gets into the water! If possible, take your dog for his daily walk late in the evening or early in the morning and never, for no reason in the world, leave him in the sun for long, but always find shady areas.