Dogs are excellent companions and have been living alongside their humans for thousands of years. While many of us are familiar with some of the more common facts about dogs, there are some fun, interesting, and surprising things that you might not know about your furry family member. Let’s explore 10 of the most fun and interesting facts about dogs and some tips for keeping them happy and healthy.
Interesting Facts About Dogs You Might Not Know
1. Dogs Can Smell Fear
Dogs are known for their incredible sense of smell, but did you know that they can actually smell fear? When a person is afraid, they release pheromones that dogs can detect. That’s why dogs are often used in search and rescue missions, as well as in law enforcement. It is also the reason why your dog may become agitated or nervous around certain people.
2. Dogs Can Detect Some Medical Conditions
In addition to their ability to detect fear, some dogs have been trained to detect certain types of cancer and other health conditions. Studies have shown that dogs can sniff out skin, breast, lung, and ovarian cancers by smelling the volatile organic compounds that are emitted by cancer cells. It is this same heightened sense of smell that allows service dogs to predict when their person is about to have a seizure or another health emergency.
3. Dogs Can Hear Things That Humans Can’t
Dogs have a much wider range of hearing than humans, and can hear sounds that are either too high-pitched or too low-pitched for us to hear. They can also hear sounds from much farther away than humans can. It is said that some dogs can hear their pet parent’s car up to one mile away. Your dog may howl in response to a high-pitched noise, but howling can also be a sign that your dog is in pain, so if your dog is howling more than usual and you aren’t sure why, it’s best to consult your veterinarian.
Facts About Dog Anatomy
4. Dogs Have Three Eyelids
Unlike cats, dogs have three eyelids – an upper eyelid, a lower eyelid, and a third eyelid, also called the nictitating membrane. The third eyelid is a protective layer that helps keep dogs’ eyes moist free of debris.
5. Smaller Dogs Have Faster Heartbeats
Small dogs actually have a faster heartbeat than larger dogs. This is because their bodies require more oxygen, which is carried by the blood that is pumped by their heart. Smaller breeds have some unique health features, and may be more susceptible to periodontal disease and some orthopedic issues. Make sure to discuss your smaller breed’s preventative vet care needs with your veterinarian.
6. Dogs Can See in the Dark
While dogs may not be able to see everything in a full range of color like humans can, they do have excellent night vision. This is because dogs have a layer of tissue in their eyes called the tapetum lucidum, which reflects light back through the retina and allows them to see in low-light and dark conditions.
7. A Dog’s Nose Print is as Unique as a Fingerprint
Just like humans have unique fingerprints, dogs have unique nose prints. Each dog has their own unique pattern of ridges and bumps on their nose, which can be used to identify them in the same way that a human can be identified by a fingerprint.
Fun Facts About Dogs
8. Some Dogs Can Run as Fast as a Car
While most dogs can’t outrun a car, some of the faster breeds can actually run as fast as a car. A Greyhound, for example, has been clocked at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. While faster breeds need a lot of physical exercise, you’ll want to make sure that your active dog has a safe place to run, away from traffic. If your dog has a tendency to escape to get their exercise or to run away from home, microchipping your pet can help give you peace of mind.
9. Dogs Are as Intelligent as Most Toddlers
It is believed that dogs are about as intelligent (and know as many words) as a two-year-old child. Studies show that dogs can learn over 100 words and gestures (including sign language). Because of their ability to learn words and commands, dogs can assist the police, the military, and make great service pets.
10. The Most Popular Dog Breed is the Labrador Retriever
Because of their loyal and loving personalities, dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world, and Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed. Labrador Retrievers are known for their intelligence, gentle natures, and athletic abilities, which makes them a great pet. Are you wondering who is in second place for the most popular breed? The lovable French Bulldog!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do dogs wag their tails?
Dogs wag their tails as a way to communicate non-verbally with their humans or other animals. While wagging their tail is usually a sign of happiness or excitement, a dog may also wag their tail when they are feeling cautious or threatened. The type of tail wag can indicate how they are feeling – a high, fast-paced tail wag is usually a sign of excitement, while a low or slow-wagging tail can be a sign of fear or aggression.
Why is chocolate bad for dogs?
Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that dogs process much more slowly than humans can. Depending on the amount of chocolate your dog consumes, theobromine can build up in their system to a toxic level. Any time your dog has accidentally eaten chocolate or a chocolate-based food, you should check in with your veterinarian right away.
Do dogs dream?
Just like humans, dogs dream in REM sleep, which is the deepest sleep cycle. You may notice your dog twitching, vocalizing, and even running in place while sleeping, which are all signs that your dog is probably dreaming.
Dogs make wonderful pets and companions and these 10 fun and interesting facts are just some of the reasons why they have a special place in our hearts. If you are thinking about adding a new puppy or dog to your household, our mobile veterinarians can keep your furry friend on the path to good health. Book a wellness checkup and make sure they are up-to-date on all of their necessary immunizations.