We know the technical name for a dog is canine, and we obviously know how lovable yet ornery they can be. But did you know that some interesting facts about our dogs make them quite amazing animals?
Man’s best friend, fur baby, part of the family… there are many ways to refer to our dogs, but AMAZING is certainly one word to describe them. This article lists ten amazing and fun facts about your pooch you may not know.
Fact 1: A dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10 million times stronger than ours.
Your dog has up to 300 million olfactory receptors in its nose, compared to about six million in us. In proportion to humans, the part of a dog’s brain that analyzes odors is approximately 40 times larger than ours. Dogs rely on their sense of smell to locate food, potential dangers, and friends. Our canine friends use a great deal of their brain power to decipher smells. Scientists estimate that a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than ours.
Dogs process smells much differently than humans. We humans breathe and smell through the same air passage in our noses. However, when dogs breathe, a “fold of tissue separates” the two functions of smelling and respiration.
Fact 2: Some dogs can sniff out medical problems.
Dogs can do some pretty amazing things for people who experience health problems. Dogs can be trained to help physically, visually, or deaf or hard of hearing people, provide support for those with mental disorders, such as anxiety or PTSD, remind owners to take medications, and assist those with autism with everyday activities.
Dogs can detect specific health problems in their owners, such as low blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Medical researchers are even experimenting with using dogs to detect human diseases - cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, and malaria - from smell alone.
Fact 3: Some dog breeds are incredible swimmers.
While some breeds of dogs may still struggle with swimming no matter how much they “dog paddle,” other breeds are fantastic swimmers. In fact, certain dogs were specifically bred for water rescue and activity.
Those breeds that love the water include the Labrador retriever, golden retriever, American water spaniel, Irish water spaniel, and Portuguese water dog. Spaniels and retrievers have strong, long hind legs, which are very helpful for swimming.
Fact 4: Some dogs are so fast they could keep up with a cheetah!
Your dog may be fast, but could it compete against a cheetah? The fastest dog in the world is the Greyhound. Compared to the average dog speed of 19 mph, a Greyhound can run up to an incredible 45 mph.
Fact 5: Dogs don’t sweat like humans.
Dogs have sweat glands in their paws, but sweating is not a dog’s primary means of cooling down. More specifically, the sweat glands are found between their paw pads. And because the area between their paws is so small, panting plays a much more significant role in lowering their body temperature. When a dog pants, heat comes out of its chest and exits through the moisture on its mouth, tongue, and throat.
Fact 6: Your dog could be left or right-pawed.
Your dog may prefer one paw over another, just like humans have a preference for our right or left hand. A dog’s brain is organized similarly to a human’s brain. The opposite side of its brain controls each side of a dog’s body. Hence, a preference for using the right side of the body, or right paw, is associated with a more active left side of the brain and vice versa.
Fact 7: A dog’s hearing is ultra-sensitive along with their noses.
Dogs hear at least four times better than us. This is because dogs have 18 muscles controlling their ears. These muscles work to raise, rotate, and tilt their ears to identify sounds from varying directions. Also, a dog has an L-shaped ear canal that can take an almost 90-degree turn horizontally toward the eardrum.
Fact 8: Some dogs are about as intelligent as a two-year-old.
Have you ever wondered why your toddler and dog get along so well? It could be because they are on the same wavelength. Similar to a two-year-old, dogs can understand approximately 250 words and gestures.
Fact 9: Puppies are born blind and deaf.
Newborn puppies are blind and deaf at birth because their eye and ear canals do not open until about two weeks after birth.
Fact 10: Dogs can read our emotions.
We cannot say enough about how remarkable a dog’s sense of smell is. Their sense of smell has been shown to detect anxiety, fear, and sometimes even sadness in humans. This is because of a dog’s sensitivity to adrenaline.
An increased heart rate and blood flow send different body chemicals to our skin’s surface. Dogs detect this sense of fear almost immediately. Because dogs can smell anxiety, panic attacks, and other fear in their human companions, they make excellent emotional support or service animals.