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Do Dogs Sweat?

June 23, 2023 | 3 min read

Updated June 23, 2023

By Sarah Milton


Published: May 26, 2023

Summary: Have you ever wondered “do dogs have sweat glands? How do dogs sweat?” Well, in this blog, we’ll learn all about dogs sweating and where they sweat from... 


You may have heard the popular theory that dogs don’t sweat. But, is this true? Do dogs sweat...?  

Well, they in fact do sweat but the function of sweating in dogs isn’t a prominent part of the body’s cooling down process as it is in human beings...

How Do Dogs Sweat?  

Dogs have two types of sweat glands – Merocrine and Apocrine glands. The merocrine glands are located in a dog’s paw pads and become active when your dog is hot or stressed. You may notice damp paw prints on the sidewalk on particularly hot days or if they’re very stressed out, but this is most likely a sign that your dog is too hot or wound up and they should be taken home, calmed, and cooled down.   

Sweat glands elsewhere on their body wouldn’t be effective – the fur would absorb the sweat, rather than evaporate and it’s the act of evaporation that cools the body down. Your dog’s paws are their least furry area, which is why their sweat glands are there. 

A dog’s apocrine glands do secrete sweat, but mainly as a way of emitting their pheromones and unique scent which helps communicate important information about themselves to other dogs. Their purpose is not to cool the body down.  

The most effective way that dogs regulate their body temperature is through panting... 

A small gray/cream, dark, brown-eyed Shih Tzu wearing a black, guitar-patterned coat/harness stands on a deep, concrete step to the right of the image, looking out to their right with their mouth slightly open

When dogs pant, the moisture present in their nasal passages, on their tongue, and within the lung lining evaporates which cools them as air passes over the moist tissue in these areas.  

Their blood vessels also expand when they’re hot. This is a mechanism the body uses to bring hot blood closer to the surface of the skin so it can cool before it makes its way back through the body to the heart – a very clever way the body regulates its temperature.  

Because they have limited ways of being able to cool down, dogs are very susceptible to heatstroke. You should always make sure your dog has constant, easy access to clean, fresh water at all times and actively try to keep them in the shade and cool on hot days.  

You may be tempted to shave your dog’s fur as a way of helping them keep cool, but their fur acts as an insulator. So, fur can in fact help your dog keep cool in warm weather, but warm in cold weather. Taking away this insulating mechanism that is their fur completely, will leave them at a higher risk of heatstroke.  

You can read our blog on preventing heatstroke in dogs here. If you suspect your dog is experiencing heat stroke, attempt to cool your dog down and call your vet immediately.  


Author Burke, Anna “Do Dogs Sweat?” American Kennel Club, Apr 25. 2022  

Author Pendergrass, JoAnna DVM “How Do Dogs Sweat?” Pet MD, Sep 19. 2018  

Author Bauhaus, Jean Marie “Do Dogs Sweat? How Your Dog Keeps Their Cool” Hill’s Pet, Feb 14. 2020

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Sarah Milton

Authored By

Sarah Milton

Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!




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The information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice. PetLab Co. is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your pet has, or you suspect your pet has any medical condition, you are urged to consult your veterinarian. Medical conditions can only be diagnosed by a licensed veterinarian. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Results May Vary. Not intended for human consumption. Please consult your veterinarian regarding any change in treatment or supplementation.
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