How Do Dogs Sweat?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. December 27, 2016
How Do Dogs Sweat?

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Sometimes we may ask ourselves how do dogs sweat?. Dogs are very active animals, who like trotting and moving about as they carry out their daily walks.

Logically, such activity should dissipate the heat accumulated in the canine body through sweat. However, dogs lack sweat glands in the skin and so they do not sweat like humans or other animals (horses, for example) do.

For all this, in this AnimalWised article we respond with necessary information to answer your question: how do dogs sweat? Find out!

You may also be interested in: How Do Cats Sweat?

Foot pads

For dogs the main way of sweating is through the pads of their feet.

Dogs have virtually no sweat glands in the dermis of their body. Therefore they hardly sweat through there. However, these glands do accumulate in the pads of their feet. For this reason the dog leaves wet foot prints on the floor when walking on a very hot day or after doing a big effort.

How Do Dogs Sweat? - Foot pads


The tongue is also an organ through which the dog can dissipate internal heat, which is the function of sweat on the human body (other than secreting body toxins). The canine tongue itself does not sweat as with their pads, but it does evaporate water which in turn cools the dog's body down.

How Do Dogs Sweat? - Tongue


When it is hot or after exercise the dog's body increases its body temperature, which sends a large flow of blood to the tongue and so the salivary glands produce abundant moisture which cools the dog when drooling out of its mouth with its tongue, thus sweating through its breath.

It is the combination of the panting and the tongue which constitutes a part of the canine thermoregulatory system. Canine body temperature is in the range of 38 ° C to 39 °C.

Do not forget that panting is very important for dogs, for this reason if you have a potentially dangerous dog that needs a muzzle remember to use the basket type muzzle, which is further described in our article about the best muzzles for dogs.

How Do Dogs Sweat? - Breathing

Thermoregulatory efficiency

The canine thermoregulatory system is less efficient than the human one and is more complex. The fact that they have all their body covered in hair explains the small number of sweat glands in the dog's torso. If they had their body covered with a sweat glad layout similar to that of humans sweat would seep through the fur making it wet and failing to cool the dog. It is the same phenomenon that happens to us humans who are not bald, when we sweat our hair gets wet with the sweat and we do not feel comfortable with a damp and hot head.

The face and ears also collaborate in the dog's cooling. Especially with respect to the brain. When noticing temperature increases they receive the brain order that facial veins will dilate and expand to better irrigate the ears, face and head in order to reduce excessive temperature.

Large dogs are less efficient than small ones at cooling. Sometimes they are not able to expel all the heat generated by their body. However, small dogs are less tolerant of natural heat.

How Do Dogs Sweat? - Thermoregulatory efficiency


There are some dog breeds that are free of fur on the body. These types of dogs sweat, as they have sweat glands in their body. One of these hairless breeds is the Xoloitzcuintle dog. This breed is from Mexico and is also known as the Mexican Hairless Dog. It is a very pure and ancient breed.

How Do Dogs Sweat? - Exceptions

If you want to read similar articles to How Do Dogs Sweat?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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