In the cold, our bodies naturally attempt to warm us up. Shivering is a sign that the body is trying to bring your body temperature back up. Humans are not the only beings that need to stay warm when it’s cold. Layer upon layer provides additional shelter for us from the cold, but it’s likely that you’re not putting a coat on your dog to take it for a walk this winter. Dogs must rely on their natural biology to keep them warm.
Dogs, just like humans, have features that help keep them warm. Based on dailydogdiscoveries.com, here are some facts about how dogs are biologically designed to stay warm.
- Similar to us having “goosebumps”, dogs have something called “piloerection.” Piloerection happens when a dog gets chilly, their hairs will stand straight up, as opposed to being at a 30-60 degree angle. Essentially, piloerection is meant to trap warmth and create a layer of “insulation.”
- You know those cute little paw prints dogs leave in the snow? How do they keep their paws warm without socks and thick boots for insulation? The padding on their “toes” consists of layers of insulating fat. Also, dogs’ paws contain a series of blood vessels, providing excellent blood flow through their feet, keeping them warm.
- Like humans, dogs will also shiver to generate heat and maintain and healthy body temperature.
- That adorable curled-up sleeping position we find our dogs in isn’t just for show. Bushy-tailed dogs will curl up in balls to keep warm, covering their noses with their tails.
- Certain breeds of dogs have a double-layer of fur. The undercoat is fuzzy and short, preventing loss of body heat, while the top coat consists of moisture-repellent strands of stiff hair as a shield from the weather.
This winter, please do not make the mistake of thinking that your dog’s fur is warm enough for frigid temperatures. Even with these special features, dogs still get cold. Refer back to yesterday’s blog post to discover ways to keep your dog warm.