Temperatures rise and sweat runs off our foreheads. But what about our four-legged friends? Have you ever seen your dog or cat sweat? How do they regulate their body temperature?
Even if many people don’t like sweating, it is vital for our body to survive. Because the evaporated sweat on the skin surface cools our body down. The blood vessels under the skin are cooled and the body temperature lowered. People have about two to four million sweat glands. Dogs and cats have only a few, on the paw pads and between the toes. However, these do not contribute to thermoregulation as much as the release of scents to mark the environment. These glands also become active during stress. You can see the sweat paw prints of your pet, for example at the vet on the mat.
A distinction is made between apocrine and endocrine sweat glands. Apocrines produce a protein-containing secretion which mixes with sebum and forms a protective barrier for the skin. Endocrines are found in the hairless areas of our pets and are primarily used for territory marking.
How does your dog sweat?
Dogs cool their bodies mainly by panting. The respiratory rate rises up to 300 breaths per minute. The air is inhaled through the nose and exhaled through the mouth, resulting in evaporation cold as the moisture on the mucous membranes evaporates. The saliva, which evaporates on the tongue, also provides cooling.
How does your cat sweat?
Cats also pant in extreme heat, but they mainly cool their bodies by licking their fur. The evaporation of the saliva also causes evaporation cooling.
Tips for cooling
Animals who are allowed to dig in the garden also like to dig a hole and lie down in the cooling earth. Also keep in mind that the evaporation of saliva increases the need for water. Always give your pet enough fresh water. You can also wipe your pet with a wet towel, always starting at the paws. Further tips can be found at : Summer
Our animals cannot sweat as humans do. Especially in extreme heat it is difficult for them to regulate their body temperature. Our animals can sweat over the sweat glands on their paws, but not enough to cool down. So help your pet, if necessary, give him enough fresh water and don’t expose him to unnecessarily high temperatures!