Dogs Have Built-In Mukluks

Cool! (ha!)  It turns out we don’t need to worry so much about our dogs’ feet getting too cold.  Researchers have learned that dogs’ feet are specially adapted for cold weather and are similar to penguin wings, dolphin fins, & arctic foxes.  The vascular network draws cold blood from the surface of the pads and also rewarms the blood before it continues into the dogs’ core because the veins (carrying cold blood) are running right next too arteries (carrying warm blood) which rewarms the blood in the veins. (thanks Margaret!)

Just because they can withstand extreme cold though, doesn’t mean your dog wants to.  And you do need to protect them from other things that might harm their feet like de-icers, etc.

Scientist Finds Evidence Of Oldest Domesticated Dog In Americas

What’s interesting is not just that a scientist found an ancient bone fragment, it’s where he found it. The 9,400 year old fragment was found in a “human paleofecal sample”—really, really old poop.  Which means this dog was someone’s supper.  The dog was probably 25-30 lbs. and is closely related to a Peruvian species of dog.  According to studies, dogs were eaten in times of famine and at celebrations.  It’s unknown if the bone fragment came from a dog raised to be food or if it was a companion/working dog.