How Does Panting Cool a Dog 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.