Wow! Has it been hot! We can see and feel the effects on ourselves and our pets. Everyone tries to find ways to stay cool. In the heat, you may have noticed that dogs can have an especially hard time. Our dog Winnie did.
We did an 'early' morning dog walk yesterday and found that Winnie started to pant not far down the path. Okay, it's a given that dogs pant when they're hot to keep cool. But when we got home, she went straight to her hard-sided kiddie pool, got in and stood there for several minutes. She was hot and we were glad that we had the pool for her.
Typically, when we think of overheating, we think of sweating. I've never seen a dog sweat so what was taking place when Winnie was in the pool? You're right with the obvious answer, but what was really happening? Here's a few interesting things about a dog's physiology and cooling their body temperature.
Dogs pant because they have actually do have sweat glands in their noses and feet pads and nowhere else. Who knew? When a dog inhales, the air taken in essentially cools as it goes into her lungs. However, when she pants, it's because the air temperature has increased and she has to work harder to regulate her body temperature. When air is taken in through the mouth, a dog's saliva evaporates, cooling the blood in the tongue's capillaries and veins, resulting in cooling through the blood's circulatory system. How efficient! But what if a dog pants excessively? She is too hot; get her out of the sun or hot area into a cooler place right away. Dog breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and those with shortened noses or flattened faces have a lower tolerance for heat so shortened walking times and more often may help.
a few tips for dog walking in very warm or hot weather . . .
Reana Selody Joubert
Pondering, mulling, musing with pen in hand about animals or people, sometimes family or sometimes wild. Oh, and news & events, too.
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