As a society, we all love dogs. They star in memes, go viral on video and for many, they provide an unrivalled friendship. But how much do we actually know about the little pooch curled up on our toes right now? I’ve decided to gather some of the most interesting facts about dogs I could find, so you learn a little more about your favourite four-legged friends, and to put some common rumours flying around to bed!
Dog urine can corrode metal
Starting big, it would seem that an innocent pee against a lamppost is not as harmless as you may think. The acid in the urine can corrode metal, and in 2003, dogs were blamed for a spate of freefalling lampposts in Croatia.
Dogs CAN see in colour
There is a long-standing myth that dogs can only see in black and white. However, dogs can see in colour – just not as vividly as human, which is perhaps where the rumour began. Dogs have just two cones in their eyes to detect colour compared to the three that humans have. This means that they can see on a blue and yellow scale, but they can’t distinguish between green and red. That said, they actually have a better night vision than humans.
Dogs have a sense of smell around 1,000 to 10 million times better than yours
Dependent on the breed, dogs can have between 125 to 300 million scent glands – compared to only 5 million for humans. In addition, the part of the brain that controls smell is 40 times larger than the one that you have. So next time you cook a delicious meal and nearly scald yourself trying to eat it so quickly just IMAGINE how your dog is feeling!
And their hearings not too bad either!
Dogs can hear up to 4 times further away than humans, despite the fact they are born deaf. They can also hear higher pitch sounds, and are therefore more sensitive to those types of noise – no wonder they go so crazy at the doorbell…
Wagging tails don’t always mean happiness
Despite tail-wagging being a well-recognised symbol of happiness in the canine world, it may not always be the case. Wagging to the left may mean that a dog is frightened, low-wagging suggests they are scared and rapid-wagging could be a signal of aggression.
Puppy love is a real thing
It may sound a little far-fetched, but many suggest that dogs can in fact fall in love. A professor has found that a dog’s brain releases oxytocin – a love hormone – when it interacts with humans and dogs in the same way the human brain does when we hug or kiss. That confirms what we all already knew, that they are not only capable of loving each other, but loving their owners too!
Dogs noses are just like human fingerprints…kind of…
While dogs seem to have similar paw prints, their nose print is as unique as a human fingerprint. The combination of ridges, folds and creases is so distinct it could be used to identify them, although getting them to sit still long enough and dunk their nose in a pad of ink without sneezing is a separate issue…
Dogs can whiff out disease
You knew a dog’s sense of smell was superior to that of a human’s, but did you know they can even smell disease? Our four-legged, nifty-nosed friends are able to recognise the smell of a range of organic compounds that show that something isn’t quite right. This means dogs can actually smell cancer, diabetes and early signs of epileptic seizures – something doctors are keen to investigate further for obvious reasons.
The average dog can run at 19mph at full speed
Fast and not so furious! Dogs when chasing a ball, each other, or anything else for that matter can reach speeds of nearly 20mph. If they kept this speed up over the course of a marathon, they would run the distance in under one and a half hours, smashing the current human world record of 2 hours and 2 minutes. Move over Mo…
Dogs sweat out of their paws
Despite the popular belief that dogs sweat via their saliva, dogs actually perspire through the pads on their feet. The term ‘hot-dog’ comes to mind, as their body temperature is a degree hotter than that of a human’s anyway, and they also have a big fur coat to contend with. This is why dogs need special consideration when it comes to warmer weather, and should not be left in confined spaces such as cars under ANY circumstances.
There you have it – ten of the facts about dogs that I found the most surprising! They have been by our side for over 12,000 years, a tradition that doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon. Have you got any more to share? Let me know via my social media channels!