Many owners today will buy their pooches booties to wear in inclement weather to help animals
, but dogs have been running around in the snow and ice for hundreds of years. Only now have scientists figured out the science behind this that makes it possible for dogs to walk barefoot in cold temperatures, Reuters
According to a study by Japanese researcher Hiroyoshi Ninomiya, of Yamazaki Gakuen University, dogs have an internal heating system that includes a "heat exchange system in their feet," Ninomiya told the news outlet.
"Dogs exchange heat at the end of their legs," the scientists explained to the news source. "Arterial blood flows to the end of their legs and then heats up venous blood before returning it to the heart."
The study, which was published in the February issue of Veterinary Dermatology
, involved the observation of a preserved dog's leg under an electron microscope. Ninomiya found that the proximity of arteries and veins in the foot pad makes it easy for the blood carried from the heart to the arteries to conduct heat to the cooler blood in the veins. This transer maintains a constant temperature in the pads of the dog's feet, the study found.