A Dog's Cooling System Is Very Inefficient

posted in: .. By SonjaHelga 1

Anne Syrjälä @ sxc

Panting is nothing more than rapid in and out breathing, and, if you are a dog, you have your mouth open and your tongue hanging out.

The reason a dog pants is to cool itself down. This manner of breathing is the only way a dog has of losing body heat. By panting faster with the tongue out the heat loss is increased.

A dog’s paws contain sweat glands. The other sweat glands are covered by hair, so the paws sweat glands are the only ones visible. But, they only play a minor role in heat loss.

Because dogs have a fairly inefficient cooling system they can overheat extremely easy. With summer around the corner, you need to remember this.

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  1. Nancy
    | Reply

    We’ve been warned of this quite a few times, although I never really thought of it before recently. We’ll be taking off in June to ride our bikes from Alaska to Argentina, and our Rat Terrier, Dash, will ride in a basket on the back of my bike – thus people started warning me. I’ve constructed a little sunshade to protect him on those sweltering hot days going through Central America, and I think it’ll work well. Although I don’t have a pic of the final version (it turned out beautifully in the end), I’ve got my first attempt posted here: http://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=149

    Dash also gets cold quite easily so I’ve come up with a system for dealing with cold and rain as well. I’ve posted all that here: http://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=90

    We can’t wait to get on the road, and I’m sure Dash will love the journey as much as we will!

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