Updated: Feb 24
Dogs make great pets. They provide you with love, loyalty, and companionship. Although dogs have been considered “man's best friend” for many centuries. There is more to our furry friends than meets the eye. Dogs have unique characteristics that make them awesome creatures.
Dog Facts 101
Here are several amazing facts about dogs that just might take you by surprise!
Powerful Sense of Smell
A dog's nose has millions more scent receptors compared to humans, making its sense of smell 40 times more powerful than that of the human nose. Humans have only an average of 5 million scent receptors while a Dachshund's nose has about 125 million. It’s no wonder why dogs are often used for sniffing out illegal drugs, carcasses, explosives, and more!
Their powerful sense of smell gives them the ability to detect cancer and other diseases in humans as well. Cancerous cells give off unique metabolic waste products than healthy cells. Dogs can easily sniff out cancerous cells through someone’s breath.
Furthermore, a dog has the ability to smell your feelings. Dogs can sense if you are feeling sad, happy, or scared. Feeling scared can make you perspire, and your dog can easily detect the change.
Ability to Sniff and Breathe at the Same Time
Dogs use their sense of smell to search for food, detect dangers, and identify friends. Needless to say, they sniff and breathe at the same time. They have the ability to hold the smell in their nose while moving air in and out of their lungs at the same time. It means that dogs can breathe freely while identifying the smell.
Super Sensitive Sense of Hearing
Dogs are not only known for their powerful sense of smell—they also have an impressive sense of hearing. Due to the positioning of their ears, dogs can hear much softer sounds and listen to a host of sounds that humans are not able to pick up. Additionally, scientists believe that dogs tilt their heads to locate the source of the sound.
Can See in Colour
For many years, people believe that all dog breeds can only see in black and white. However, various studies have found that our furry pals can see colours though not as vividly as humans. While humans have 3 cones in their eyes to detect colours, dogs only have 2. Although dogs are able to see colours on a yellow and blue scale, they find it difficult to differentiate between colours green and red, However, dogs have better night vision compared to humans.
Sense Earth’s Magnetic Field
This is probably one of the dog facts you didn’t know. When dogs get lost, they do not need a compass to find their way home. This is due to their ability to sense the earth’s magnetic fields. Furthermore, dogs can also see ultraviolet light and hear ultrasound waves that bats use to navigate in the dark.
Boost Physical and Mental Health
Various studies show that petting a dog can help reduce the level of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body. Moreover, interacting with your dog also stimulates your brain to produce more oxytocin (feel-good hormone), which helps improve your physical and mental wellbeing.
Smart as a 2-Year Old
Studies claim that dogs are as smart as a 2-year old child. Perhaps you have seen videos on social media showing children around this age having a special bond with the family dog. Scientists believe that both speak the same language, roughly 250 words, and gestures.
Tail Wagging Does Not Always Mean Happy
When a dog wags its tail, it does not necessarily mean they are happy—it may be telling you something. A happy dog usually wags its tail to the right, while a frightened dog wags its tail to the left. Wagging low signifies insecurity while rapid tail wagging with tensed muscle or dilated pupils indicates aggression. Every tail wagging means something different, which is why it is important to read and understand the signs.
Unique Nose Print
Your dog’s nose may look like other dogs’ noses, but it is actually unique. Just like human fingerprints, it has a distinctive combination of creases and ridges that can be used to identify them.
Born Blind and Deaf
Even after birth, newborn puppies are still in the process of developing. That is why their eyes and ear canals remain closed. It usually takes about 2 weeks for their sense of sight and hearing to be fully developed.
Eating Feces is a Normal Behaviour
Although the sight of your dog eating their feces can be gross, it is pretty normal in dogs. This behaviour stems from their pre-domestication days thousands of years ago. While common in puppies, dogs will eventually outgrow this behaviour once they reach adulthood.
Fewer Taste Buds
Unlike humans who have about 9,000 taste buds in their tongue, dogs only have about 1,700. However, just because they have fewer taste buds doesn’t necessarily mean dogs aren’t discriminating eaters. Their noses have more than 200 million scent receptors, that is why it is crucial that their food smells and tastes good.
Left or Right Pawed?
Several studies have found that dogs have a preferred paw (in our case, hands) to lead with. If you want to find out if your dog is left or right-pawed, hand them their favourite toy and observe which paw they use first.
Do not Sweat As Humans Do
Dogs do sweat but do not expect their bodies to get damp any time soon. While humans produce watery liquid to cool down, dogs sweat a pheromone-laden oily substance on their paws that is impossible for humans to detect. However, sweating does not completely help cool down their body. To do so, they have to pant, instead. That is why it is crucial to find ways to keep your dog cool, especially on warm, summer days.
Here is another dog fact that makes them interesting. Do you know why dogs twirl around before doing their business? This behaviour has puzzled researchers for many years. However, they came up with a theory that this behaviour may have to do with the Earth’s magnetic field. Dogs usually poop facing north or south. They use an internal compass by spinning around.
Like humans, dogs can also get jealous when you give more attention to other dogs. Although it might not be the same level of jealousy an adult feel, scientists claim that the feeling is similar to how a toddler gets jealous.
Dogs also need to exercise to stay in shape physically and stimulate them mentally. Taking them for a daily walk helps prevent various health problems, such as obesity and behavioural issues. However, because of our busy schedule, we cannot take our dogs to walk and leave them alone in our homes. Luckily, you can find dog walking services in Etobicoke.
Call Hot Diggity Dogs Toronto today at (647) 931-9103. Our years of experience in providing dog walking and daycare services to Etobicoke fur parents enable us to work with you and your dog and make every day a new adventure for them.