A Dog’s Panting Habit

Dogs sweat but not like the way we do. Humans very important mechanism to beat the heat is to sweat. By sweating, excess heat is released from the body when the moisture on the surface of the skin evaporates. This is not so with our furry friends. There is a misconception that dogs do not have the capability to produce sweat. There is an assumption that because of the fur it would not be possible for the dog to sweat. You may have had dogs for years but it is highly probable that you have not seen one sweating. Dogs have sweat glands but they are very few and mostly found on the paw pads. The notion that dogs cannot sweat is simply untrue. On a very hot day, the wet paw prints of the dog can be seen on the floor.

What do dogs do to cope with the heat? Panting like barking is a trademark of dogs.. Panting is a dog’s effective technique of coping with the heat and ensuring that cooler blood will be circulated to all parts of the body and to prevent the brain, the most heat sensitive part from being affected by excessive heat. A dog that pants needs very little energy. The dog would simply hang out the tongue and the excess body heat will be chased away. The tongue therefore plays a very important role on how a dog manages the heat.

The dog’s few sweat glands are ineffective in cooling the body especially if the dog is walking or running on hot pavement. Regulating body temperature can only be done efficiently through the use of the tongue. The evaporation of moisture on the surface of the tongue is enhanced when the dog lolls the tongue. Air that cools the mouth and the blood vessels on the head is created when the dog pants. Once blood is cooled by the dog’s panting the normal level of body temperature will be attained.

Dog panting can have other causes. You will notice a dog panting excessively when the weather is hot. Excitement, stress or exhaustion from a strenuous activity will make a dog pant. Because of their physical structure, short faced dogs have the tendency to pant excessively. Seizures, heart and lung diseases are other reasons why a dog would pant.

Although panting is a normal behavior, an owner still needs to be observant. Panting is one of the symptoms of heatstroke. Dogs cannot cope well with high temperatures. Dogs must not be left in unventilated cars. A lot of dogs have died from heatstroke.

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