Why Dogs Don't Need Snow Boots | The Institute for Creation Research

Why Dogs Don't Need Snow Boots

Human feet would quickly freeze if exposed to snow and ice without proper gear, but dogs don't seem to mind the cold. Since the pads of their feet aren't protected by fur like the rest of their bodies, it would seem that they'd be especially susceptible to freezing—but they aren't. Japanese researchers recently discovered why.

It turns out that dog paws have tiny blood vessels arranged as counter-current heat exchangers. This way, dogs' internal body heat is not lost through the soles of their feet. Instead, cold blood is warmed right in their paws before it re-enters the main blood supply. Plus, most of the core body blood recirculates back into the body, instead of straight to the feet, to keep the animals' temperature consistently warm even when walking on ice.

In their study published in the journal Veterinary Dermatology, the researchers found the dogs' "wonderful network" of veins by injecting something like liquid rubber into the blood vessels of the dogs' feet.1 They were then able to examine the three-dimensional vessel network after the chemical hardened. The vessels "formed a vein-artery-vein triad" where heat could flow at just the right pace across the system.2

This discovery only adds to the long list of known dog features that identify them as intentionally created creatures, including the dog's straight back that "better absorbs the power that is generated by the hindquarters when the animal is moving."3 Animal anatomist Daniel Schmitt called dog locomotion "an evolutionary miracle in my view."4

Also, a dog's sense of smell is so acute that it can distinguish between identical twins,5 and its hearing is so well-developed that it can hear sounds up to 40,000 cycles per second—twice what human ears can hear. And their ear structure enables them to hear "about 4 times farther than humans are capable of hearing."6

Superior dog engineering, from head to toe, should point thinking people to a superior Engineer.

References

  1. Newcomb, T. Dogs Have Built-In Snow Boots, Researchers Find. Time NewsFeed. Posted on newsfeed.time.com January 17, 2012, accessed January 18, 2012.
  2. Ninomiya, H. et al. 2011. Functional anatomy of the footpad vasculature of dogs: scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion casts. Veterinary Dermatology. 22 (6): 475-481.
  3. Case, L. P. 2005. The Dog: Its Behavior, Nutrition, and Health, 2nd ed. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing, 44.
  4. Dogs Chase Efficiently, but Cats Skulk Counterintuitively. Duke University news release, December 3, 2008, reporting on research published in Bishop K. L., Pai A. K. and D. Schmitt, 2008. Whole Body Mechanics of Stealthy Walking in Cats. PLoS ONE. 3 (11): e3808.
  5. Kalmus, H. 1955. The discrimination by the nose of the dog of individual human odours and in particular of the odour of twins. The British Journal of Animal Behavior. 3 (1): 25-31.
  6. Case, The Dog, 57.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on January 30, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Control Loops in Humans and Nature
Ever had a blood test? Along with a value measured, there are also the normal max/min limits for that value. This implies that the body normally controls...

NEWS
Creation and Climate Science with Dr. Jake Hebert
ICR physicist Dr. Jake Hebert* recently made a guest appearance on Good Heavens! A Podcast About the Universe with Wayne and Dan. Dr. Hebert presented...

NEWS
Inside May 2021 Acts & Facts
How should Christians respond when authorities are in conflict with God’s Word? Can we trust scientific measurements and reports about fossil...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Volcanoes
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Tributes of Honor and Remembrance
At the end of a long day, a boss I had early in my career would often tell me, “No more today, Henry. My brain is full.” I found his comments...

APOLOGETICS
Guided by Lynx to Appreciate Christ
Not all tour guides in Alaska are human. Amazing animals of Alaska can guide us into learning creation truth. In fact, such animals should direct us—like...

ACTS & FACTS
Zion National Park: Evidence of Deep Water Sand Waves
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* It was like driving into another world when we emerged from Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel right at dawn....

ACTS & FACTS
Is the Bible Evidence for Creation?
Have you ever had a skeptic tell you to keep the Bible out of it when discussing origins? Skeptics claim we Christians argue in a circle, that we are...

ACTS & FACTS
Vertebrate Origins on the Ropes…Again
In 1859, the Western world was turned upside down by the publication of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or...

ACTS & FACTS
The Fossils Still Say No: Enigma of the Carboniferous Explosion
Many creationists and evolutionists alike are familiar with the initial huge explosion of complex marine life buried in the Cambrian rock layers at...