Recently, while hanging out and chatting with some folks on Facebook, I was asked a question. One that I thought was quite good as I know many pet owners wonder about the same thing. The question: Why do dogs pant? So I thought that I would try to give an explanation to that here.
Many people who have dogs really don't understand why the dog does a particular thing or what motivates them to do something.
When it comes to panting you need to think about the dog's body physiologically. If you do a quick search on Google about the anatomy of a dog you will notice that they don't have many sweat glands. This means that they really don't sweat very much.
This doesn't mean that they don't sweat. If you've ever had a dog give you the paw on a hot, humid day you may have noticed that its paw was a little damp or clammy. That's because dogs sweat from their paws and other areas that are less furry.
So when a dog is panting what they are really doing is cooling off. This is the primary method for them to cool down.
Now you are probably thinking, will this work for me? Well, no. The primary reason is that a dog can take as many as 300 to 400 breaths per minute when panting. And they can do this with very little effort so it doesn't create any additional heat.
If a person were to try and breathe 300 to 400 times per minute the first thing that they would notice is that they will become light-headed. This is called hyperventilation. The second thing that they will notice is that they will also begin to feel hot and begin to sweat. That's because for humans we need to expend a great amount of energy to breathe that fast.
For a dog, panting comes naturally and it's the best way for them to cool off.