You might be thinking that just like humans, all animals sweat out to keep their bodies cool. In fact, there are only a few specific animals with large enough sweat glands to produce sweat in the same way humans do.
The only animals who sweat are mammals such as humans, dogs, cats, apes, elephants, tigers, and other mammals. Some mammals sweat more than others; for example, dogs and cats only sweat on hairless parts of their bodies such as their nose or paws. Some mammals, like horses, apes, and monkeys sweat out as much as humans do, given that they have plenty of large sweat glands.
Read on to learn more about which animals sweat as well as how they sweat and keep themselves cool.
What Animals Sweat? Dogs, Cats, Pigs, Cows?
If you have pets, you’d wonder if they sweat or if it’s alright if they don’t sweat at all. Sometimes, you may wonder if sweat is the culprit behind that stink you smell on your dogs, pigs, or cows that won’t go away. You wash and bathe them today, and a few days later, there goes the smell again.
The thing is, sweating is a unique and essential cooling function among humans, including a few animals. There are so many ways animals can keep their body temperature regulated, so there’s not much need for sweating out. But that doesn’t mean that animals never sweat. In fact, we have a list of animals that sweat and a bit of an explanation of how they do it.
Ready? Here we go:
1. Do Dogs Sweat?
The first animals in our list of what animals sweat are dogs. Do dogs sweat? The answer is yes! Dogs do sweat. However, dogs can only produce sweat in the furless areas of their body. So, you’re more likely to find sweat on your doggie’s nose and the pads of their paws.
How do they sweat? Unlike humans, dogs have fewer sweat glands. The merocrine glands located on dog paws are the only sweat glands active on dogs, so they rarely sweat in other areas of their body, particularly in areas covered in fur. But since the sweat glands located in dog paws are not enough to cool them down, dogs still have to do other things to keep their body cool.
So how do dogs keep cool if they don’t sweat much? Here are some ways:
- Panting – Some dogs pant when it’s hot to keep their body cool.
- Exposing Their Belly – Some may bare their bellies since their tummy has a thinner layer of fur. Thus, this body part is easier to cool down than other areas of their body.
- Drinking Cool Water and Urination – Of course, drinking cool water and peeing afterward are also natural ways of regulating the body temperature of your furry friends. It’s something you should keep in mind when the weather becomes too hot for them to handle.
2. Do Cats Sweat?
Second in our list of what animals sweat are cats. Do cats sweat? Even though cats don’t seem to sweat, they do sweat just like dogs. Cats have sweat glands on their paws just like dogs do.
How do they sweat? Their sweat glands are not as active when it comes to cooling their body temperature. They sweat when it’s hot or when they are highly stressed or anxious over a situation. That’s why you sometimes see cat paw prints on your table or any other furniture.
So how do cats keep cool aside from sweating? Since cats sweat only during stressful situations or when it’s scorching, there are other ways to keep themselves cool:
- Bathing – One is ‘bathing’ themselves with their saliva. Once their saliva evaporates on their body, cats feel cooler. It’s like a regular bathing routine on a hot day.
- Rest in a Cool Spot – Cats like to stay and lie down in cool places. This is why it is common to see a cat sleeping in front of the fridge or on a cool, tiled floor.
3. Do Pigs Sweat?
Third in our list of which animals sweat are pigs. Do pigs sweat? Pigs only have a few sweat glands on their body, so they don’t sweat that much. Given the limited sweat glands on their body, pigs cannot rely on it to keep their bodies cool. Because the sweat glands among pigs are almost dysfunctional, what they do is wallow in the mud to keep their bodies cool.
So, how do pigs keep cool if they don’t sweat that much? Pigs are always wallowing in water or mud because it provides the same effect as sweating. With their bodies wet, the evaporation process causes their bodies to stay cool amidst hot temperatures.
Here’s a fun fact: The only reason why we use the expression ‘sweat like a pig’ is that the iron smelting process resembles piglets when cooled and solidified. It has nothing to do with pigs sweating because their few sweat glands don’t really work.
4. Do Cows Sweat?
Fourth in our list of what animals sweat are cows. Do cows sweat? The answer is yes. Cows do sweat. However, cows may look like they don’t sweat at all because they don’t have many sweat glands to produce sweat actively. Cows sweat but not as noticeable as horses or monkeys do.
So how do cows keep cool if they don’t sweat that much?
- Panting – Unlike cats and dogs that can still sweat through their paws, the only way that cows can keep their bodies cool is through panting similar to what dogs do.
- Drink Water and Stay in a Cool Spot – Another typical behavior among cows is drinking more water or staying under the shade of a tree to keep their body cool. Also, a cow’s nose becomes wet as a cooling mechanism.
5. Do Chickens Sweat?
Do chickens sweat? Well, no. Chickens don’t sweat. Like dogs, chickens cool their bodies by panting. Also, the lack of sweat glands is the reason why chickens don’t sweat. They evaporate the heat through their lungs using the surface tissue.
So how do chickens keep cool if they don’t sweat? If you look closely, you’ll see that chickens hold their wings away from their body–a similar action when they’re about to take flight. It’s a way for them to allow cool air to flow through and keep them cool.
Since this method is not always applicable, especially in extreme heat, chickens also find bushes, trees, and other places that provide some shade from the heat. Chickens even walk in a puddle of water to cool off or drink water.
6. Do Monkeys Sweat?
Do monkeys sweat? Yes, monkeys do sweat, same with apes and horses. Compared to other animals on this list, primates have plenty of sweat glands just like humans. It’s the reason why they sweat a lot like humans. You can see a monkey dripping wet from sweat due to exertion, stress, or even fear.
So how do monkeys sweat? Pretty much like humans do. The sweating mechanism of monkeys allows them to stay active during the day even when it’s hot because their bodies can keep cool by sweating out. On the other hand, other animals are forced to rest and stay under the shade to stay cool.
Which Animals Do Not Sweat?
Now that’s another good question. If animals with sweat glands can sweat a lot, cold-blooded animals, on the other hand, don’t sweat because they lack the sweat glands to do so. It’s the reason why fish, amphibians like frogs, and reptiles like snakes don’t sweat. They can keep their bodies cool already.
More Facts About Animal Sweating
We’ve looked at what animals have sweat glands and what animals sweat; now let’s look at some other facts regarding animals and sweating. Scientifically, sweating is a unique body function among us humans to help keep our bodies cool. Sweating is an efficient way to regulate the body’s temperature, especially when the weather becomes too hot to handle.
However, sweating among animals is not the same thing as humans sweating out. It’s a known fact that animals can stink a lot when it’s hot or when the weather’s warm enough to let humans sweat. But animals don’t really smell because of sweat. Sweating among certain animals can be minimal to none unless you’re a keen observer.
Compared to humans, animals only have a fraction of the million active sweat glands found in the human body. It’s one of the reasons why animals don’t sweat a lot (only in some areas) and why humans can become a well of sweat in no time.
Below are some fun facts about animal sweating.
1. Evaporated Sweat Keeps the Body Cool
Humans sweat just enough to keep the body cool. On the outside, the air that evaporates the sweat carries the heat and replaces it with a cool feeling, lowering our body’s temperature. Dogs do the same thing, too.
Unlike common belief, dogs have sweat glands all over their body but not active enough to create sweat. However, heat gets trapped in their fur, so dogs tend to lie with their bellies up to ‘evaporate’ the sweat on their bellies, which have a finer covering of fur. So the next time you see your dogs lying that way, let them be. They’re just keeping their bodies cool.
2. Only a Few Number of Mammals Can Sweat as Humans Do
Some of these animals are primates like apes and monkeys. Horses also sweat a lot thanks to their active sweat glands. Add to that the fact that horses are animals known for heavy-duty work and fast races.
3. Animals That Don’t Sweat a Lot Keep Cool in Different Ways
Because regulating the body’s temperature is very important among animals, they have to do different things to stay cool. The many ways animals try to keep cool can look weird enough to us humans. How weird, you may ask? Continue reading to know some examples.
4. Some Birds Will Try to Defecate on Their Legs
Bird poop is mostly liquid, so some species, such as vultures and storks, would defecate on their legs just to keep their bodies cool. The idea is that once their poop dries on their legs, their bodies become cooler, similar to the sweating process in humans.
5. Some Animals Cool Down in the Mud
For animals like pigs, boars, buffalos, and hippos, rolling in the mud is an excellent summer refreshment. So why not just roll in clean water? The thing is that water present in the mud evaporates more slowly than just plain water. It means that if these animals roll in the mud, they will feel cooler for a longer time than just dipping in water.
6. Blood Vessels in the Ear Keep Some Animals Cool
Jackrabbits and elephants may have ears that look cute. But when it comes to keeping their bodies cool, their ears play a significant role. That is, the network of blood vessels present in their ear dilates when it’s hot to promote heat loss. It’s also the reason why they are less likely affected by heatstroke and dehydration.
7. Animals Sleep It Off
Ever wonder how your pet dog or cat can sleep when it’s scorching hot? There’s a good reason behind it. That is, animals ‘estivate’ or sleep off to slow down their metabolism. When they do this, they won’t have to eat or move a lot, so there is also a lesser need for them to sweat.
To keep cool air in, what animals usually do is expel the hot air out and draw the cooler air in. They easily achieve this process through panting, which is something that you’d often see in dogs.
Conclusion – Which Animals Sweat? Dogs, Cats, Pigs, Cows?
To wrap it up: Which animals sweat? We can fairly say that almost all animals have sweat glands somewhere in their bodies. However, the amount of sweat every animal produces depends on whether or not their sweat glands are active.
Do dogs sweat? Do cats sweat? Yes, dogs and cats mostly sweat on their paws and noses. Do cows sweat? Cows also sweat on their nose, but that’s just about it. Do pigs sweat? Do chickens sweat? Pigs and chickens have sweat glands but not active enough to truly produce sweat. On the other hand, animals like apes, monkeys, and even horses sweat like humans because of their active sweat glands.