How Does Panting Cool a Dog Down?

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    Sticking out his tongue and panting is your dog's way of cooling down.

    Sticking out his tongue and panting is your dog's way of cooling down.

    zisaukus/iStock/Getty Images

    When the summer temperatures rise or you just finish a good workout, chances are you may notice perspiration. This perspiration is your body’s way of regulating your body temperature. Dogs, on the hand, do not perspire and use panting as a way to keep their body temperature around the normal 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Panting Means Your Dog Is Hot

    When your dog becomes overheated, whether by environmental changes or exercise, his brain sends signals throughout the body to stimulate a cool down process. At this point, the heart rate increases and lungs work harder to bring in more oxygen. When your dog hangs out his tongue and begins panting, he rapidly breathes in through his nose and out through the mouth. As the air passes over the tongue, it causes saliva and moisture to evaporate, cooling down the tongue and circulating this cooler temperature throughout the body.

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    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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