MadSci Network: Physics

Re: How does rubbing snow on dog's paws dry them?

Date: Wed Apr 11 13:53:58 2001
Posted By: Renafaye Norby, Faculty, Science Education, Black Hills State Univ.
Area of science: Physics
ID: 986522178.Ph

My only thoughts on this are that the rubbing is what warms the animals' 
paws, and the snow serves as a lubricant so that the rubbing doesn't damage 
the dog's fur or the persons hands.  If you or I rub our hands together 
they will get much warmer, but before long we'll be rubbing skin off our 
hands. therefore using the snow, which is handy as a lubricant, just serves 
to make it easier to rub without hurting the paws or your hand. The heat 
from the rubbing would evaporate the small amount of moisture in the snow. 
I have no scientific confirmation for this, but the next time it snows 
here, I will try this on my dog and see how it works. Experimentation is 
the best way to test a scientific hypothesis.
hope this helps!
Rena Faye Norby

[note added by MadSci Admininistrator (John Link):
As long as we're proposing possible solutions, I'll throw in my
2-cents' worth!  Since snow is actually fairly dry, it may be
able to absorb, in the air spaces, some of the water from off
the animal's fur.]

Current Queue | Current Queue for Physics | Physics archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Physics.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2001. All rights reserved.