Contrary to popular belief dogs do have sweat glands.

They have two types in fact, apocrine sweat glands and merocrine (also called eccrine) sweat glands, but both only produce a very small amount of sweat which is not very effective in body cooling.

1. Apocrine glands are found all over the body and only produce a scent, like body odour. These do not aid cooling.

2. Merocrine Sweat glands which are located in your dogs paw pads and on the nose function similar to human sweat glands. They only produce only a tiny amount of sweat. It can be why you sometimes see wet paw prints on a hot day. The old myth of “a healthy dog has a wet nose” comes from this – a wet nose just means your dog is sweating!


The main way however for dogs to cool down is panting.

Panting increases the airflow across the moist surface of the tongue and inner lining of the lungs which causes evaporation and heat transfer.

The other way dogs can cool down is by vasodilation.

This is when there is increased blood flow to the surface of extremities and exposed areas of skin like the ears and feet causing more heat loss.

It is important to note that these means of cooling are not always enough, and pets can start to overheat very easily.