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Uploaded:2017-08-22
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When people run around on a hot summer day, their sweat can help them cool off! But dogs can't sweat, and they have big, furry coats! So what can they do to stay cool?!

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SOURCES:
http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/why-do-dogs-pant/
http://www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/dog-behavior-decoded-why-do-dogs-pant
http://www.petmd.com/dog/behavior/evr_dg_why_do_dogs_pant
It’s been getting really hot outside recently, and Squeaks and I are coming up with all kinds of creative ways to stay cool.

We can find shade when we’re outside, and we can use a fan to blow the air around inside. We have friends whose dogs really like hanging out near the fan.

But when we’re outside and it’s hot out, there’s something else they do: they breathe in and out really fast, sometimes with their tongues sticking out. That’s called panting, and for dogs, it’s a great way to keep cool. For us humans, there’s something that happens to our bodies when we get very warm.

Can you guess what it is? [Squeaks squeaks] That’s right, we sweat! Water, along with some other stuff, like salt, goes from inside our bodies to outside on our skin, and that helps us cool off! Sweat cools us off because the water evaporates, meaning that it changes from a liquid to a gas and disappears into the air.

That’s what happens when sweat dries — the liquid water turns into a gas. And if you’ve ever spilled some water on yourself, you know that it can start to feel very cold as it dries! That’s because some of the heat from your body is being used to help the water evaporate.

Since your body is losing heat as it moves into the water on your skin, you feel less hot. So, sweating is a great way to cool down. But a lot of animals can’t sweat as well as humans can — including dogs.

Dogs can only sweat through the pads on their paws, which isn’t enough to cool them down very much. But with all that warm fur, they definitely need to be able to keep cool on a hot, sunny day! So even though they mostly can’t sweat, they have other ways to keep themselves cool in the heat. [Squeaks squeaks] That's right!

Like panting. Panting helps dogs keep cool in a way that’s actually very similar to how sweating keeps /us/ cool. We know that sweat keeps us cool by drying off.

Can you think of something that might be drying off as dogs pant? [Squeaks squeaks] Good guess, Squeaks! There’s lots of saliva, or spit, in a dog’s mouth! To cool themselves off, dogs pant to evaporate their saliva.

The heat from their bodies helps the saliva dry, so the dog gets less hot. It’s a lot like how we sweat through our skin, except dogs use saliva in their mouths instead! As they pant, dogs breathe really fast to move more air in and out through their mouths.

When they breathe out, they move the warm, wet air away, and when they breathe in, cooler, drier air can take its place and evaporate more saliva faster, so it takes less time for a dog to go from too hot, to just right. [Squeaks squeaks approval] Yeah, it is a pretty awesome way to cool off, but it can work a little slower than sweating. It takes a while for a dog to evaporate enough saliva to get a lot of heat out of its body. So when you see a dog panting really quickly, that’s a sign that it’s too hot and is taking some time to cool down.

Maybe we should go and cool off, too, huh Squeaks? [Squeaks squeaks] Thanks for joining us! If you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and we’ll see you next time here at the Fort!