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Which Property of Water Allows Dogs to Cool Themselves by Panting?

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Which Property of Water Allows Dogs to Cool Themselves Through Panting?

If you have ever seen a dog, you have also probably seen that they are normally covered in fur.  No matter what time of year it is, you have dogs that are completely covered in fur.  If it’s cold outside, the fur helps them to stay warm and everything is great.  But what about when it’s hot outside?  They still have all of this fur that has been designed to keep them warm, so how is it that your dog is able to stay cool when the weather is burning hot out?

When it is hot out, you have probably noticed that your dog tends to pant much. More than when the temperature is cooler.  This is going to be because your dog uses panting as a mechanism to help keep them cool.  While this makes total sense on the outside, have you ever wondered exactly how it is that panting keeps your dog cool when they start to get overheated?  Take a second and start panting for a minute.  Do you feel as though you have just cooled yourself off at all?  The answer is no.  So, if it doesn’t work for you, how is it that your dog is able to do it and keep their temperature nice and low?

How Dog’s Cool Themselves Through Panting

When it is hot out, dogs are going to require more water in order to keep them selves cool.  This is going to be good as the water is not only going to help keep them cool when they are initially drinking it, but as the water breaks down, it is also going to help them keep their body temperatures low as well.  This is going to be the exact reason that dogs will pant so much when they get hot (no matter if it is from the temperature outside or if they were simply running around and playing).  

Essentially, what is going to happen is that when your dog is panting, they are going to be evaporating the water molecules that they have in their bodies.  When this happens, the surface that the water has evaporated on is going to start to get cooler.  This is a process that is better known as evaporative cooling.  This evaporative cooling happens because the molecules that have the highest amount of kinetic energy are going to be lost through evaporation.

So, when your dog is panting, they are going to be helping the water that they have consumed to evaporate, which in turn is going to help them lower their temperature and stay cooler.  This is also going to be the same reason that your dog will want to drink much more water than normal when the temperature is hot out or they have been doing more activity than normal.  Their body temperatures have started to rise and they need to cool themselves off.

Your Dog and Water

When you notice that your dog is panting more than the normally do, it is going to be a good idea to allow them access to cool water if they do not already have access to it.  Think about if that was you for a second.  You have been working out or have been hanging around outside in heat that is much more than you are used to being in.  There is a very high chance that you are going to want to get some nice, cold water in you as soon as you possibly can.  The same thing is going to be true for your dog.  They not only want to get some nice, cold water in them, but they essentially are going to need to in order to cool themselves off.  It is going to be this cool water that they can then use with their panting to cool themselves off to a temperature that is safe for them.  

If you do nothing and let them continue to pant without supplying them with any type of cool water (or water at all), they will eventually start to become dehydrated and some serious side effects will start to happen.  If this happens, you will need to take your dog to the vet in order to get them hydrated again, as once they get to a certain point, giving your dog some water is not going to be enough to help them.

When it comes to your dog, they are essentially going to be very similar to you.  They need water to stay hydrated and to cool themselves off.  If they are not given the amount of water that they need, dehydration can set in.

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