How do dogs sweat?


One of the most frequently asked questions about dogs is whether they sweat or not, that is, sweat on dogs. As human beings, we know that when it is hot, our bodies perspire to release heat and cool us down. We also know that our canine companions they can't just take off their fur coats when the weather warms up.

So do dogs sweat? There are really two answers. One is yes, the dogs sweat. The other is that no, Dogs do not sweat like we do, the sweat in dogs is different from ours.

Confused? Well, you just have to read this article so you understand what we mean.

Sweat in dogs: Do dogs have sweat glands?

You don't need a degree in biology to know that, to perspire, sweat glands are necessary. So what you are probably wondering is whether dogs also have them or not.

You are right, Dogs have sweat glands, which is where sweat is released in dogs. But not like us. If you own a dog, you have most likely seen your furry friend spend a lot of energy on a hot day. You might have been surprised that his fur wasn't wet and matted later. What would be logical, perspire a little after physical activity, butwhere do the dogs sweat?

We often don't notice how our dogs sweat because most of the sweat glands they have are in their paws. If your dog is hot, you can notice some wet footprints left behind him when walking, it is sweat in dogs.

He Excessive perspiration on the legs can be really painful, excess sweat on the dog can be traumatic. The strongly keratinized paw pads are usually soft and delicate. When paw pads they are excessively wet, they can feel as if they had an open blister, something extremely painful.

If you notice that your dog is hot and that its paws are excessively moist, you should look for a cooler environment as quickly as possible. Doing so will help dry the legs and the animal will feel more comfortable.

Sweat in dogs and medical problems

Something that pet owners should keep in mind: Both dogs and cats can develop tumors of the sweat glands. Its appearance is of a mass of skin that can ulcerate or bleed ». Contact your veterinarian if you think your pet is experiencing these symptoms.

How do dogs cool?

If you have deduced, after what was said, that the sweat glands of our dogs are few, probably also you will have deduced that they are not enough to cool them on a hot day.

Each owner knows that when their dog is excited or wasting a lot of energy: they gasp. Panting serves an important purpose and It is the main means of cooling for dogs.

The gasp allows the moisture in the dogs tongue evaporates. The fast and heavy breathing our dogs do while panting It is a means for the wet lining of your lungs to provide an additional surface for moisture to dissipate. Panting is the most effective cooling method for dogs..

Another way for dogs to cool involves the dilation or expansion of blood vessels in the face and ears. The dog's blood cools as it flows closer to the skin's surface. However, this mechanism is only effective when it occurs in response to physical exertion or exercise. The expansion of blood vessels is less efficient when it occurs in a hot environment.

Signs of overheating

While it is perfectly normal for our furry friends for pants when they are excited or a little hot, there are some warning signs to look for to make sure they are not too hot. Overheating can be very dangerous for our pets, and it is important to understand the warning signs. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke and sudden death are all potential results of overheating.

If panting is accompanied by rapid and noisy breathing or disorientation, it could mean that your dog is overheating. Overheated dogs can also collapse, convulse, vomit or have diarrhea.

Some other signs of overheating include:

  • Glassy eyes
  • Bright or dark red pads
  • Stumbling or staggering
  • Drooling excessively
  • Excessive thirst

If you suspect your dog is overheating, you should wet your coat with cold water and go to the vet immediately because your life could be in danger.

Overheat Prevention

The good news is that it is relatively easy to keep our pet free from sweating and overheating. One of the easiest things to do and that is logical is don't leave the dog inside the car. Even if you think the exterior is not excessively warm, The interior of the car can heat up quickly. On a day of 29 degrees, it would only take 10 minutes for the interior of the car to reach more than 38 degrees, which, of course, is very dangerous for our pets.

If you leave home for long periods of time and your partner stays at home in a warmer climate, it is important make sure the house will remain cold enough while you are out. Don't forget to leave the air on or keep some windows open and fans running for an adequate current.

Fresh water is essential that is always available for your dog. Especially after a walk. Speaking of walks, remember that dogs do not walk with shoes as we do. If the pavement is too hot to touch, hotter is for its legs, and remember that the dog's sweat is through the pads of the pasta, so keep them from overheating. Better to go through the grass or shaded areas, which are always cooler. If this is not possible, you will have to choose to walk your dog during the coolest hours of the day, like in the early morning or at night.

As a climax

Although there are differences in where it occurs and the overall effect it has, the answer to the question "do dogs sweat?" Is a yes. Sweating itself is not particularly dangerous for our dogs. Sweating is simply a normal body function designed to keep them cool.

However, it is important keep your dog in comfortable environments as often as possible and understand the warning signs of overheating. A healthy dog ​​is a happy dog!

The dog sweats through the pads of its paws

Most of the dog's sweat glands are located in the pads

The cells responsible for expelling the dog sweat and, with it, to help you reduce your body temperature, they are not distributed throughout the animal's body. However, although in smaller quantities, they exist and are located in the pads of the legs. "The fact that the sweat glands are mostly located in the pads explains that the dog practically does not sweat," says veterinarian Fausto Andrés.

The layer of grease contained in these natural cushions of the can allows cushions to be absorbed or the normal pressure of the footsteps and functions as an insulator of the extreme temperatures of the soil. But also, Dog pads are your sweating mechanism. This explains that, when the animal is hot, it is normal for it to leave a wet trail on the tiles or on other smooth surfaces it steps on. It is his perspiration.

Is it true that dogs sweat through their mouths?

Dog pads, however, are not enough to eliminate all the heat that our furry friend gives off. "In the absence of other systems, the most efficient way to lose heat by evaporation is through breathing," explains Andrés. For this reason, when the thermometer rises, dogs stick out their tongues, gasp and breathe faster.

A dog's body works like a thermostat, which detects excess heat and pumps it to the tongue to eliminate it

The body of a dog works, in this sense, as a refrigerator. Its normal temperature ranges between 38ºC and 39ºC. The animal detects when there is an excess of heat and pumps hot blood to the languagewhich is navy with efficient salivary glands, which eliminate excess temperature in the form of moisture. The dog expels heat through that evaporation from its mouth.

"He dog sticks out his tongue and the hot water vapor that comes from the lungs condenses when you touch the mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue, cooler, "the veterinarian adds. This explains that the steam that condenses, in the form of liquid water, falls from the tongue and drip on the floor.

The face and ears also help the dog eliminate heat

When the dog expels water vapor through its tongue it also helps, with this mechanism, to cool its brain. The air cooled in the tongue returns with less temperature to this vital organ of the dog.

However, even the head and the dog ears They help you eliminate heat. Can's natural refrigerator order to the veins of these areas dilate or expand. If the ambient heat is not excessive, this helps lower the blood temperature of our furry friend.

Four keys to dog sweating

1. The dog cooling It is more complex than human and less efficient. This key must be taken into account to avoid dangerous heat stroke.

2. Most heat stroke is due to two reasons. "Good because the animal generates more heat than it can eliminate or because the ambient heat is excessive," explains veterinarian Fausto Andrés.

3. Large dogs are refrigerated worse than small ones, that is, they sweat less. Their large size makes them generate more heat than they are sometimes able to expel.

4. Small dogs, on the other hand, are more sensitive to high ambient temperatures.

How dogs sweat

The skin of your little pet is not like yours! One of the big differences is that your dog's skin does not have the glands that human skin has to sweat. A curiosity is that Your pet perspires through its pads, and regulates its temperature by expelling heat through its mouth. That's why dogs are mistakenly thought to sweat through their mouths!

(Photo via: supercachorros)

Dogs sweat differently than humans

One of the big differences between humans and dogs is that Humans sweat mostly from ambient heat, or simply by the practice of sport, however in both cases, perspiration occurs very quickly. In the case of Dogs, having no sweat glands on their skin, panting in their mouths, will be one of the main methods of cooling.

Dogs also sweat ... Through the pads!

One of the curiosities that attracts the most attention is that much of the sweat glands of dogs, concentrate on the pads of their paws (instead of being distributed by your body). The layer of fat that the pads have, apart from allow him to sweat a littleIt also has other functions, and on the one hand it dampens blows, and the pressure of the tread, and on the other hand, it insulates you in the case of extreme temperatures in the ground.

Being the pads, its sweating mechanism, it is possible that when our four-legged friend is hot, leave a wet trail on the tiles or other smooth surfaces, Remember that it is your way of perspiring!

Dogs sweat through their mouths

Despite what we have said about these pads, they are not enough to eliminate all the heat! It is because of that To complement this perspiration system, evaporate heat through your breathing. Therefore, if your dog is hot, it will stick out its tongue and gasp faster!

Your pet's body works like a thermostat!, if it detects heat, with mouth breathing, it will eliminate it. The normal temperature of a dog is between 38 ° C and 39 ° C. How do you eliminate heat by mouth? When your little friend detects excess heat, it pumps hot blood to your tongue, where your salivary glands, make this excess temperature free in the form of moisture.

Do dogs perspire through the face and ears?

To regulate its temperature, Our pet has several options, and not only does he use his pads, and his breathing, he also uses his ears!

The ears of dogs have veins that can dilate, although it is not one of the differential aspects to cool your body, Can help you! And this way, it regulates the temperature of your blood.

Aspects to consider about the sweating of dogs

Your dog can also suffer a heat stroke! How is this possible? Your pet may suffer a heat stroke if it is generating more heat than it can eliminate, or if the ambient heat is excessive.

The way to regulate the temperature in dogs is more complex and less efficient! Do not leave your pet in full sun, without water in summer, it can give you a heat stroke!

Is your dog from big size? Remember that then, regulate its temperature worse than if it were a small breed, large dogs generate more heat than they expel.

Is your dog from small breed? Remember that, Your dog is more sensitive to high temperatures!

Did you find it curious how dogs sweat?

Leg pads

The main way to sweat dogs have is through the foot pads.

Dogs practically lack sweat glands in the dermis of their body. Therefore, don't sweat almost out there. However, in the pads of their feet they do accumulate these glands. For this reason a very hot day, or after a great effort, the dog will leave wet footprints on the ground when walking.

Language It is also an organ through which the dog can dissipate its internal heat, which is the function of sweat in the human body (apart from secreting body toxins). The canine tongue itself does not sweat sweat as it happens with its pads, but it does evaporate water and cool the dog's body.


Panting breath of the dog when it is hot, or after an exercise that increases its body temperature, sends an abundant blood flow to the tongue of the dog, and the salivary glands produce abundant moisture by which the dog is refrigerated when drooling with the tongue out of the mouth.

It is the combination of gasps and tongue that constitutes a part of the canine thermoregulatory system. The canine body temperature is in the range of 38º to 39º.

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

Thermoregulatory efficiency

He canine thermoregulator system is less efficient than the human and more complex. The fact that they have their whole body covered with hair explains the small amount of sweat glands in the trunk of the dog. If they had the body covered with a disposition of sweat glands similar to the human, the sweat would expand throughout the mantle by wetting it and cooling the dog very little. It is the phenomenon that happens to humans that we are not bald and when we sweat our hair we get wet with sweat and we are not comfortable with wet and hot hair.

The face and ears of the dog also collaborate in the cooling of the same. Especially as regards the brain. When they notice an increase in temperature, they receive the cerebral order that their facial veins will dilate and expand to better irrigate the ears, face and head in order to reduce the excessive temperature.

Large dogs are refrigerated worse than small dogs. Sometimes they are not able to expel all the heat generated by their body. However, small dogs withstand the ambient heat worse.


There are some dog breeds exempt from hair in your body These types of dogs sweat, since they have sweat glands in their body. One of these hairless breeds is the dog Xoloitzcuintle. This breed comes from Mexico, and is also known as Perro Azteca. It is a very pure and ancient race.

If you want to read more articles similar to How do dogs sweat?, we recommend that you enter our Curiosities section of the animal world.

Why don't dogs sweat like humans?

A healthy human being is able to easily regulate his body temperature and quickly refrigerate your body. That is due to the efficiency with which the sweat glands are activated to release sweat. These glands that make up the structure of human skin are specialized in releasing water vapor through the pores.

The skin structure of dogs is different than that of humans. Dogs do not possess sweat glands and cannot produce sweat or remove water vapor through the pores of the epidermis.

However, its more complex body cooling system and even changes fluids more constantly with the environment than that of humans.

Dogs do not have sweat glands throughout their body just to ensure proper cooling of the body. If a dog sweats throughout the body, this substance combined with excess hair would give rise to a kind of fatty layer. This would prevent fluid exchange with the environment and make heat dissipation difficult.

Therefore Dogs concentrate the set of glands that are capable of removing water vapor and dissipating heat. And they have them on their legs, on their tongue and through the breath of a panting type.

Fats in your pads

The pads have a thick layer of fat that serves to cushion impacts and the pressure of the footsteps. Also to thermally insulate and to eliminate water vapor. There the glands capable of expelling water vapor are concentrated. This mechanism is the closest thing to human sweat, although it is not exactly the same.

That basically explains that on hot days the pads of the dogs are usually wet. And why you should avoid taking the dog for a walk on surfaces with excessively high temperatures, such as asphalt. This could cause burns, scratches and damage to the animal's legs.

Another thermoregulatory maneuver of dogs is breathless breathing. The salivary glands eliminate water vapor and allow the body to cool down.

Panting is combined with the ability to dissipate heat from the dog's tongue. This completes an important and efficient cooling mechanism for these animals.

If you have a potentially dangerous dog and use a muzzle on your walks and social life, you should opt for a basket or basket type muzzle. This muzzle does not interfere with the dog's panting breath.

So is it true that dogs sweat on their paws?

The answer is yes and no. It depends on the degree of demand that is imposed on you, physically speaking.

As we have seen, canine pads do have glands similar to sweat. Although they do not produce sweat precisely equal to that of human beings. This action combined with the tongue and breathless breathing, allows the body to cool and change fluids with the environment. So, it is true that the closest mechanism of perspiration for dogs occurs through the paws.

But Dogs are not capable of producing sweat just like humans. What they do is remove water vapor through legs, tongue and panting breath. These mechanisms play in the body of dogs what mostly sweat glands do in the human body.

Regardless of the controversies about whether dogs sweat through paws or not, it is important to take good care of dog pads. These perform essential functions for the balance of your body. Therefore, reinforced care and abundant hydration are necessary on the hottest days of the year.