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January 24, 2012 at 8:50 AMComments: 4 Faves: 0

Dogs have built-in winter boots

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

The Kibble is back this week with a post that may make you a bit envious of your pet’s paws during the winter season. It may seem like a silly statement, but read on and you’ll see.

Ever wonder why dogs can go outside in the winter and not get frozen toes?

A new study released by the journal of Veterinary Dermatology reveals that dogs have a natural heat transfer system built directly into their feet, so they will stay nice and toasty. 

How it works: Dogs have connective tissue and fat located in the pads of their paws that warms up cold blood. A network of veins is also specifically placed in their paws to circulate blood quickly from the pads to the legs to keep the blood constantly warm. There are arteries that run close to the network of veins in the paws. These help to warm up the cool blood in the veins as warm blood passes by in the arteries.

What’s even better is that this system will keep dog’s feet from freezing all the way down to -35 Celsius!

Okay, now I am wishing I had this self-heating system. I wouldn’t have to buy boots and no more slippers. My feet, which are constantly freezing, would heat themselves!

Fun Fact: this is the exact same heat transfer system that is found in penguins!

So, no worries while your dog is running around in the cold this winter. He or she has his own pair of natural boots!

What's your take on this? Do you agree with the study?


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  • It's worth noting that their 'boots' are still just made of skin, so they can easily be damaged by jagged ice, rock salt, gravel, and other abrasives common to the winter scape.

  • Totally agree with you Seth. There are lots of factors that can hurt dog's paws during the winter. But there things that can hurt dogs' paws even in warmer months. Gravel as well, unknown objects on the road or in the park, how hot the pavement can get. Each season has it's own perils. I do see how winter's could be a bit worse, but at least their feet won't freeze!

  • Yes, but still take special care in keeping your pets paws safe in all types of weather....did you know that by pouring rubbing alcohol on your dog's pads will help to alleviate heat stroke, also pour it on their ears (NOT INSIDE) and their body….and of course seek medical attention immediately…

    Thanks Bri for the information!

  • Thanks for sharing that helpful tip Victoria! Taking extra care of your pet's paws during ALL seasons is very crucial to their overall well-being. :)

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