Do you ever wonder why dogs don’t seem to mind the cold when they walk through snow or over icy streets in the winter? New research from Japan explains why Fido is able to romp through the snow without experiencing instant cold to his paws.
According to the research, dog paws have an intricate network of veins which helps blood circulate quickly to heat or cool their paws. (Have you heard that dogs use their paws to cool down on hot days as well?) Paws are also padded by fatty tissues which are more resistant to freezing and are similar to the tissues in a penguin’s wings that help them stay warm in cold temperatures.
The network of vessels within the paws help to quickly circulate blood from the paws throughout the body, so when the weather is cold, their body is able to continuously transfer warmer blood to the paws.
According to the TIME article, “Earlier research had claimed that dogs have tissue in their feet that keep them from freezing all the way down to -35 degrees Celsius, meaning you can let your pet dog play freely with your pet penguin without fear of frozen paws.”
Read more in the original article on TIME.
EDIT: Please keep in mind that although dogs’ paws can walk on cold grounds, their bodies can still get very cold just like yours or mine, depending on the thickness of their fur. When going into cold temperatures, please use caution and be sure to keep a close eye on your dog for signs of shivering or being too cold.