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Do Dogs Sweat? How Do They Regulate Body Temperature | Pupford

December 29th, 2023

Filed under Pet Parenting

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Many pup parents wonder if dogs sweat! Keeping your dog cool and comfortable during hot weather is crucial for responsible pet parents. Understanding how dogs regulate their body temperature and sweat is key to providing the best care and keeping them safe.

Let's explore the fascinating world of canine thermoregulation and discover effective ways to keep our beloved pets cool and content even on scorching days.


dogs sweat through their paw pads

Interestingly, dogs do have sweat glands, but their distribution is limited compared to humans. Instead of sweating profusely, dogs primarily cool down through panting, vasodilation, and sweating through their paw pads and ear canals.

Panting helps release heat through the respiratory system, while vasodilation allows more blood flow near the skin's surface for cooling. Sweat glands in their paw pads and ear canals play a minor role in temperature regulation.

Another important factor in temperature regulation is dogs' fur. Their fur is a natural insulator, protecting them from extreme cold and heat. However, it's essential to consider the breed and coat type when dealing with hot weather, as some breeds have dense double coats that require special attention.

Related Reading: Dehydration in Dogs: Symptoms, Prevention & Safety Tips


keeping dog safe in summer heat

Now that we've explored some of the biological factors of how dogs regulate their body temperature, let's dive into practical tips to help your furry friend stay cool and comfortable during hot weather.

  • Provide Shade and Water: Offering ample shade is essential when the temperature rises. Dogs can quickly overheat when exposed to direct sunlight. Providing a shaded area outdoors and keeping them indoors during peak heat hours can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related issues. Additionally, always ensure your dog has access to fresh and cool water throughout the day.
  • Monitor Indoor Temperatures: Indoor temperatures can also rise during hot weather, making it uncomfortable for your dog. Ensure your home has proper ventilation, and if possible, use fans or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable environment for them.
  • Create a Cool Resting Spot Indoors: Designate a specific area with a damp towel or cooling pad. These specially designed pads can absorb and dissipate heat, providing them with comfort and relief during hot weather. Having a dedicated cool resting spot signals to the dog a safe place where they can rest if they become overwhelmed with heat.
  • Foot Soak and Pool Time: To help your dog cool down, consider soaking their paws in cool water. Dogs have sweat glands on their paw pads, making this an effective method for quick cooling. Additionally, if your dog enjoys water, allow them some supervised pool and swimming time as it can be an enjoyable and refreshing activity on hot days.
  • ‘The Five-Second Rule’ for Checking Pavement Temperature: During hot weather, pavement and asphalt can become scorching hot, potentially burning your dog's paw pads. To check if it's safe for your dog to walk on, use the five-second rule – place the back of your hand on the pavement; if you can't hold it there for five seconds, it's too hot for your dog.
  • Use an Elevated or Cooling Bed: Provide your dog with an elevated bed to keep them off hot surfaces, or consider using a cooling bed made from special materials or filled with water.
  • Give Frozen Treats and Toys: Treat your dog to frozen treats like doggie popsicles, frozen fruits, or frozen chew toys to help them cool down and provide mental stimulation.
  • Encourage Outdoor Activities During Cooler Hours: When the weather is searing, try to engage in outdoor activities with your dog during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. This way, your doggo can enjoy some playtime without the risk of overheating.

PSA: Never leave your dog in a parked car! Leaving your dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes, can be extremely dangerous during hot weather. The temperature inside a parked car can rise rapidly, leading to heatstroke or even death. If you need to run errands, leaving your dog at home, where they're safe and comfortable, is best.

Related: Doggie & Puppy Popsicle Recipes, Games & More


prevent heatstroke in dog

Here are three more key things to know about dog sweating and signals of heating body temperature that you should be aware of:


It can be life-threatening for dogs, so it's essential to recognize the signs of heat stress and heatstroke, such as excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, and vomiting. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, take immediate action by moving them to a cooler area, providing water, and seeking veterinary help promptly.

Brachycephalic Breeds

With short snouts, these doggies face additional challenges in regulating their body temperature due to their shortened airways. Understanding these challenges can help you take extra precautions to keep them cool and comfortable.

Double-Coated Dogs

Shaving double-coated breeds during summer is a debated topic among dog parents. While it may seem like a good idea to remove excess fur, shaving a dog's double coat can have adverse effects.

The double-coat acts as insulation, providing protection not only from cold weather but also from the heat. Shaving can leave dogs susceptible to sunburn and skin irritation. Therefore, it's crucial to understand the pros and cons before making a decision and seek personalized advice and guidance from your veterinarian.


how to prevent dog from overheating

While dogs do have sweat glands, panting remains their primary cooling method, and their fur plays a crucial role in temperature regulation. By following our tips and consulting with your veterinarian when needed, you can help prevent heat-related issues. Being attentive to your dog's behavior and well-being will help keep them safe and happy throughout the year.

Want to learn more? Explore Pupford Academy for the guidance and skills you need to build a better relationship with your pup.


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