They’re called “man’s best friend” for a reason. Dogs are loving, expressive, playful, and fun. But did you know that these creatures are also incredibly fascinating? Even though we consider them to be our best friends and loyal companions, most of us don’t know much about dogs. And that’s exactly why we created this list of awesome facts about dogs. We want to inspire people to learn more about the world around them – starting with their furry friends! So, are you ready to learn some fascinating facts about dogs? Read on!
#1 A Dog's Nose Prints Are Unique, Just Like Human Fingerprints.
Each dog’s nose prints are unique, just like humans have unique fingerprints. What makes them unique is also the same. Human fingerprints and dog noses both have dermal ridges that result in unique patterns of bumps, whirls, and lines in the skin. Since humans can be identified by their fingerprints, some companies are trying to use dogs' unique nose prints to identify and return lost pets.
#2 A Dog’s Sense of Smell Is at Least 1000x Better Than a Human’s.
A dog’s sense of smell is between 1,000 and 100,000 times better than a human’s, depending on the breed. The area of a dog’s brain that detects different smells is about 40 times larger than a human’s – this is what allows them to pick up on so many more scents than us. This fascinating ability is why dogs are often used to sniff out drugs, money, weapons, and even people.
#3 Greyhounds Are the Fastest Dog Breed.
While most dogs can easily outrun a human, greyhounds are the fastest dog breed. They can reach a top speed of 45 mph just seconds after starting to run! And they can run at speeds of over 35 mph for 7 miles! To put it in perspective, a cheetah can run at almost 70 mph, but they can only maintain that speed for about 30 seconds.
#5 Dogs Have a Dominant Paw.
We all know that humans can be right-handed or left-handed, but did you know that dogs can be right-pawed or left-pawed? It’s true – dogs have a preferred paw to lead with. Want to find out what your pooch’s preferred paw is? Give your furry friend a favorite toy and observe which paw they use to help them first!
#6 Dogs Have 18 Muscles Responsible for Moving Their Ears.
You’ve probably noticed that dogs move their ears a lot. There are about 18 muscles responsible for helping your canine’s ears move. These muscles help them change the direction of their ears slightly so that they can hear noises better. Dog’s also use their ears to express how they are feeling. This aspect of canine body language helps dogs communicate with each other as well as with their human companions.
#7 Puppies Are Born Deaf and With Their Eyes Closed.
Puppies come into the world without a sense of hearing or sight. They navigate the world using their sense of smell. When they are about 14 to 21 days old, puppies’ eyes will open, but their sense of sight remains limited. Hearing is the last sense that puppies develop. They are deaf until they are around 3 weeks old. However, once their hearing does kick in, they are able to hear 4 times better than humans.
#8 Chocolate Is Toxic to Dogs.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains a chemical called theobromine. The caffeine in chocolate is also an issue for dogs. Dogs cannot digest either compound, so they can become very sick if they ingest chocolate. If the amount of chocolate eaten is large enough relative to the dog, chocolate poisoning can occur and can be fatal. (If your dog eats chocolate, you should contact your veterinarian right away. In some cases, you may even need to take your dog to the clinic immediately.) Chocolate isn't the only food to watch out for, though. Other foods that are toxic to dogs include macadamia nuts and garlic, but that’s not an exhaustive list, so be sure to check with your vet about what you can and cannot safely feed your furry friend!
#9 A Dog's Sleeping Position Has Meaning.
Like humans, dogs have different sleeping positions. Different sleeping positions may indicate different things. When they are cold, dogs will sleep curled up in a ball to conserve warmth. They may also sleep this way to feel more protected. Sleeping curled up in a ball is a common position, especially in cold weather. Sleeping on their side is also a common position for dogs and means that they feel relaxed, comfortable, and trusting of their surroundings. Some dogs spread out flat on their bellies in “superman” position to sleep; researchers aren’t sure why, but it’s thought that it relates to temperature regulation, since dogs often sleep this way when the floor beneath them is cooler than the air around them. Some dogs like to cuddle while sleeping. What’s going on there is actually pretty adorable: it’s a holdover from puppyhood. In puppyhood, the position serves a practical purpose by helping to regulate body temperature, but adult dogs simply recall that it’s comforting and will seek it out with owners or other pets.
#10. Dogs Have a Sense of Time.
Ever noticed how your furry friend knows when it’s time for dinner or a walk? Dogs are able to predict future events when conditioned to. They can also tell the difference between one hour and five hours. Dogs become more excited to see their human companions the longer you’ve been away, which explains why your furry friend jumps and barks a lot more when you return from a 10-day vacation than when you get back home from a day at the office!
Want to learn more amazing facts about dogs? Watch the video to discover even more about our fascinating furry friends!
Not enough? Want to read more fun facts? Then check out our article detailing 7 fascinating facts about animals!