How Do Dogs Maintain Homeostasis?

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Have you ever wondered how your body is able to fight off infection or heal a wound? Your body is constantly working to regulate and fix itself through a process called homeostasis.

Homeostasis is how the body regulates internal conditions to maintain stable health. This occurs in all living things and is a vital feature that contributes to your overall health. Without homeostasis, your body would not be able to react to imbalances in nutrients, regulate body temperature, or reduce inflammation on a regular basis. This process is constantly making sure your body is in-check and functioning how it’s supposed to.

Both the endocrine system and the nervous system work together to monitor and regulate the body’s internal functionality in response to both internal and external factors. Iron levels, temperature, and blood composition are all components that may be regulated during proper homeostasis in both dogs and humans.

Homeostasis in Humans

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One common process that your body regulates is your internal temperature. Your body is at its healthiest when it is at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to keep this temperature consistent, your body will involuntarily react with different behaviors. That’s why you sweat during hot summer days and shiver during chilly winter nights. This adaptive behavior is an example of homeostasis that constantly occurs within the human body.

Homeostasis in Dogs

In order for dogs to maintain homeostasis, they have to regulate internal body functions as well. One of the primary adjustments is reducing inflammation. High levels of inflammation in dogs can cause serious side effects and even lead to chronic diseases if gone untreated. When a dog is relatively healthy, homeostasis will reduce any inflammation in the body to bring it back to regular levels.

Another example of homeostasis in dogs is temperature regulation. Since dogs do not have the ability to sweat like humans, they will pant as a way to cool off. This physical behavior is their way for regulating their internal temperature, which keeps them from overheating.

When dogs are exercising, their body has to continuously regulate itself to produce the energy needed to sustain itself. In order to maintain this balance while exercising, the dog’s body sends lactate to the muscles, which increases their energy so they can push through their workout.

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On the other hand, as most dog owners already know, all dogs hit a wall at some point or another. This is where they take on a slower pace as well as experience physical fatigue. Once the dog is becoming tired, a signal fires off in their brain that they are out of energy. This signal will then increase the level of oxygen throughout their body so the dog can regain their strength.

Another way dogs maintain homeostasis is by maintaining the right balance of water in their bodies. Considering a dog’s body weight is made up of 60 percent of water, cells with too much water are capable of bloating and cells with too little water are susceptible to shrinking. In order to prevent these scenarios from happening, dogs must maintain the right balance of water to further uphold homeostasis.

However, homeostasis may become imbalanced if toxins enter the bloodstream. Fortunately, the dog’s body responds to signals of these toxins from their urinary system. The dog’s body will identify that these foreign objects are harming the body, and will then resort to other resources to rid these substances. When a dog urinates, they abolish the toxins that were originally found in the blood, which then reinstates homeostasis.

Homeostasis is maintained by several control mechanisms, internal signals, and various functions for both dogs and humans. Without homeostasis, your body would not be able to adapt to simple changes in your internal and external environments.

This process requires every part of the body to work together to make sure that the whole system is running correctly. Whether its ridding the blood of toxins or reducing inflammation, there are many ways your dog’s body works to maintain homeostasis.

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