HealthAnatomyDo Dogs Have Armpits - What Are They Used For?

Do Dogs Have Armpits – What Are They Used For?

Dogs have armpits, but the technical term is axillary lymph nodes. Dog armpits function in the same way as humans. They have sweat glands that can help cool the body and release toxins.

Ah yes, the age-old question.

Do dogs have armpits, and if so, where are they located?

The simple answer is yes, they have armpits, but not in the way that you and I have armpits. In dogs, the armpit works in much the same way as in humans. As the dog overheats, its sweat glands release heat through evaporation.

It is in two spots, on either side of the dog’s two front legs, that these “pits” are located. Bald spots allow their sweat glands to release heat. However, these are not the only areas in which dogs sweat. Places where there is no hair (such as the pads of their paws) release heat as well.

Releasing Heat

Dogs release heat in a few different ways. While many mammals heavily rely on sweating to release heat and toxins, dogs have concocted a few other methods. Among these is sweating through their pits, paws, and panting.

Sweaty Sensations

The sole reason dogs sweat is not only to release heat from their body but also to get rid of toxins that have built up. They do this by filtering these toxins through their lymph nodes. These lymph nodes are located in their “armpits” and help release bacteria from the blood.

While sweating is every mammal’s response to overheating, it is also vital in ensuring a healthy and balanced body, free from environmental toxins that infiltrate the bloodstream. So, even when we think sweating is gross, remember it’s essential to maintain a healthy system.

Doggy Glands

Much like any other animal, dogs have glands. These glands are located all over their body. Mainly their snout, anal area, and paws. In these glands, special fluids are produced that help dogs fight off disease and other bacteria or fungi that might try to invade their body.

Among these glands are the sebaceous glands and the apocrine glands. Both glands have specific jobs that aid in keeping your dog healthy and are in areas such as the armpit.


All dogs have a specific set of glands that aid in producing good oils and body fluids. Among these glands are the sebaceous glands. These are the glands that produce good oils that keep your dog’s hair shiny and healthy.

They are located on your dog’s nose. That is why they often have wet noses. The oils or lipids help aid in the production of healthy fur. These are also the glands that aid in properly expelling bad bacteria from the fur and body.


Dogs also have apocrine sweat glands located in their mouths, paws, and anal areas. These are the glands that secrete pheromones. There are many ways that dogs do this. The main method is through licking themselves or others. Because the mouth secretes the most pheromones, when a dog licks you, it is marking its territory.

Lymph Node Locations

Just as humans have lymph nodes that help fluid flow throughout the body, dogs also have bean-sized nodes under their armpits.

When you take your dog to the vet, you’ll notice that they will check under their armpits. They are looking for any type of swelling in the lymphatic area. This is an important part of their checkup and can even be done from home when you know what to look for.


There are a few reasons your dog’s lymph nodes might be swelling. It is important to make sure you are regularly checking your dog’s armpits to see if a notch or large bulb is growing.

The underlying causes for lymphatic swelling vary. This includes infections, tumors, or fluid blockages.

Lymphatic Infections

Environmental changes normally cause infections in your dog’s body. It could be something as simple as your dog running through a briar patch and getting thorns stuck in places you might not see.

An infection can occur if the thorns stay inside your dog’s skin for too long. Only when your dog’s lymph nodes located under their armpits start to swell will you be alerted to an underlying problem.

So, make sure you are regularly checking your dog’s pits!

Pit Check

The best way to check your dog’s armpits is to simply feel underneath their front two legs. Under the creases in their legs are where you’ll find their armpits. Softly massage the area where their lymph nodes would be. They are usually the size of a small bean and can easily be overlooked.

If there isn’t any major swelling or if you feel nothing, odds are your dog’s armpits and body are healthy.

Ask your vet the next time they get a check-up about their lymph nodes. It’s better to be informed about your dog’s bodily functions.

Pouch Pits

Even though dogs don’t have armpits in the same sense that humans do, they still have “pits.” They function essentially in the same way.

Armpits are the business center for the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes help carry fluid throughout the body. This allows the body to produce sweat and excretes it through various areas in dogs.

Just like our armpits help us sweat and release toxins, the sweat glands in dogs help secrete and release heat in their bodies. It is in this way that dogs cool down.

Healthy Canine Friends

Your canine companion’s health is a very important thing to look after. They are your friend, and with that comes the responsibility to maintain their healthy habits.

Regularly checking for lymph node swelling in their armpits is a must. It is also important to periodically check the other parts of their body besides the armpits for swelling or lack of moisture. Dogs need to expel heat from their body, but when they aren’t healthy, that task becomes difficult.

Look for the signs of infection and keep maintaining your dog’s armpit health!

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