How Do Dogs Regulate Their Body Temperature?

Dogs don’t use their skin to perspire, like humans, because of their insulating coat. Their coat keeps them both cool in hot weather and warm in cool weather. Dogs do have sweat glands, located in the pads of their feet and in their ear canals, but sweating plays a minor role in regulating body temperature.

When the temperature is very hot and especially when it is humid, everything heats up…including a dog’s body. His body responds by trying to cool off and it basically attempts to use conduction, convection, radiation, and evaporation. He will seek a cool place in the shade to lie down to absorb the coolness (conduction). His blood vessels will dilate in his skin and tongue bringing hot blood close to the surface radiating his internal heat. He will seek out fans or breezes to blow air to transfer the heat from body to air (convection). He will pant to bring air into his upper respiratory system to evaporate water from his mucous membranes. He will drink a lot of water to compensate for the evaporation.

Stationary cars or other enclosed areas in that are in direct sunlight heat up very rapidly and stay heated even though there may be some slight ventilation. This is sometimes called the “hot house” effect. Basically, the windows allow the sun’s rays to enter but preclude the heat waves to exit. The whole interior of the car heats up quite quickly (seats, steering wheel, dash board) and hold the heat. Putting an animal into this situation is like putting an animal into an oven and turning on the heat.

How do dogs cool themselves down?

Once their body temperature rises, dogs can’t sweat through their skin like we do to cool off. Dogs do sweat through their paw pads, but it’s by panting that dogs circulate the necessary air through their bodies to cool down. Note: Dogs with short faces, because of the structure of their upper airways, do not effectively cool by panting and do not tolerate high temperatures.

How does a dog maintain homeostasis?

Sweating is your body’s way of cooling down, thus maintaining homeostasis. As the liquid dries on your skin, it cools your skin and lowers your temperature. Because dogs do not have sweat glands, they pant. … The major blood vessel in a dog’s head runs very close to the surface of its nose.

How do I cool down a hot dog?

Let your dog stand in a cool pool. Aside from panting, dogs cool down through the sweat glands in their paws. Having them stand in a cool pool of water or giving them a quick foot soak can help lower their body temperature. It can also be helpful to put some cold water on your dog’s chest.

Should I shave my dog in the summer?


[excerpt] “The “no shave” rule applies not only to super-furry northern breeds like Samoyeds, Huskies or Malamutes but to other double-coated breeds as well. Herding breeds like Aussie Shepherds, Border Collies, and Shelties are double-coated. So are Golden Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs and many more.

Double-coated breeds have two layers to protect against arctic weather. The long guard hairs form the outer layer and protect against snow or ice and even shed water. The soft undercoat lies close to the skin and keeps your dog warm and dry. In winter this undercoat can be so thick you may have trouble finding your dog’s skin.

In summer, your dog should shed his soft undercoat, leaving just the guard hairs. The job of the guard hairs in warm weather is to protect your dog from sunburn and insulate him against the heat. Without the undercoat, air can circulate through the guard hairs, cooling the skin.

Unlike single coated breeds, who have hair that just keeps growing, double coats grow to a certain length and don’t get any longer. So you can shave a single-coated breed down and the coat will grow back again without really changing it. But that’s not true for double coats. Shaving a double-coated breed can really ruin the coat.” Learn more >>

How do you know if it’s too hot to walk your dog?

Use the five-second rule to make sure it’s safe to walk your dog. This tip comes via Moon Valley Canine Training, and it’s pretty simple. Whenever you take your dog out, place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can’t hold it there for five seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog.

Posted in Pet Safety.