Monday, January 19, 2015

What Keeps Your Dog's Feet from Freezing?

It's winter time and your dog is likely jumping from one snow drift to another without a care in the world while your feet, in spite of wool socks and foot warmers, are as cold as ice.
Canine physiology protects dogs' feet to temperatures
as low as minus 31 F.

What keeps your dog's feet from freezing?

A team of scientists figured out that dogs have special blood vessels in their paws that protect them from cold.  Using electron microscopes they found that heat was transferred from the artery in the dog's pad to a network of veins where the blood is warmed up before it returns to the body. This in turn  prevents the feet from cooling down. Dog's paws are kept at a constant temperature in cold weather.

Read more in BBC Nature News.

3 comments:

  1. My Border loved snow and would stay out for hours, even when the snow clumped on his feet, he wanted to keep playing. We haven't had any good snow, but the new pup loves it too.

    Debbie

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  2. I wonder if the same can be said for hot surfaces, like sand on the beach, or like bitumen in summer, as for snow in winter? During hotter days when I take my girls out for a walk, I always make sure they walk on the grassy verg so they don't have to walk on the bitumen........

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  3. Unfortunately it doesn't apply to hot surfaces. Like you, I always test the heat index of the concrete/asphalt before we spend a lot of time walking on it. Being impervious to cold is likely an indicator that domestic dogs evolved in northern climates.

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