Amazing Facts: 8 Reasons Why Dogs Rule!
Updated: Aug 24
Dogs are phenomenal! We do not need to share with you what everyone already knows - dogs provide us with unconditional love, loyal companionship, and are always there when we need a snuggle, a cuddle, or even a cry. But, did you know there is far more to dogs than meets the eye?
We all know dogs have been 'man's best friend' for thousands of years, but there are loads more to our four-legged friends that make them extraordinary.
Today, the Virchew Crew put together some of our favourite canine facts that will help you understand our furry friends more!
1. A dog's sense of smell is at least 40x better than hoomans!
The area of cells in the brain that detect different smells is around 40 times larger in dogs than in humans - this means that your dog can pick up on way more smells than we ever could and why dogs are often used to sniff out people, drugs and even money!
2. Some dogs' noses are so good they can smell disease.
'Calling Doctor Doggo!' Yuppers, medical detection dogs, are a thing. Because their sense of smell is so great, some dogs can be trained to sniff out medical conditions. They are used to diagnose a particular condition or alert their owners if they need more medication. Some have even been trained to sniff out Covid-19!
3. Doggos can breathe and sniff at the same time. Rebarkable!
Dogs rely a lot on their sense of smell to find food, potential dangers, and friends, so needless to say; they sniff a lot. Their noses are designed so smells can stay in their nose while air can move in and out of their lungs simultaneously, which means they can breathe freely and still work out what that smell is!
4. Some are really, really fast and could even beat a cheetah! Whaaat?
Most dogs can easily outrun us, but did you know the fastest breed of dog is the Greyhound? These 'hard to catch' hounds can reach a top speed of 73 kms/hour within seconds of starting to run. Sure, but how does this beat a cheetah? It is all in the math! While a cheetah can quickly get up to almost 113 km/hour, it can only keep up this pace for about 30 seconds. Conversely, Greyhounds can easily run at speeds more than 73 kms/hour for seven miles. So despite the cheetah's head start, they would be left in the dust by the Greyhound! (FYI, we obviously we don't agree at all with commercial dog races! But, a freedom run at the dog park...YES!)
5. Dogs don't sweat like hoomans.
Human biology creates sweat - a watery liquid to cool down - over the whole body, whereas dogs produce a substance that is pheromone-laden oily that we humans cannot detect. The only place that dogs sweat like us is on their paws, so instead, they pant to cool down. This is why it's so important to keep your dog cool on hot days to make it easier to be comfortable.
6. Dogs are also left or right-pawed.
While there have been a few studies around which hand is which, ermm... we mean which paw is which, they have shown that dogs have a preferred paw to lead with. You can determine whether your pupper is left or right-pawed by tossing their favourite toy to them and observing which paw they use to get it first.
7. Dogs' hearing is super sensitive, not unlike their noses.
We all know dogs hear at much higher frequencies than we do, but did you know they can also hear further? Dogs hear much softer sounds than we do, so they can listen to things much further away. This is another trait that makes them great search and rescue dogs!
8. #DYK that 18 muscles control dogs' ears?
Have you noticed that dogs move their ears around a lot? They have an incredible 18 muscles responsible for moving their ears about. These muscles assist in changing the direction of their ears - the ever so slightly - to better hear noises around them. Canine ears also play a large part in letting us know how our dogs feel. So much of a dog's body language is expressed through their ears - to both us and to other dogs.
MORE QUICK AMAZING FACTS - #DYK:
Dogs don't have an appendix
When your dog is frightened it puts its tail between its legs. Doing so covers the scent glands in the anal area, which carry the personal scent of the dog and identify it to other dogs. This behaviour is the equivalent of a human hiding their face with their hands
Dogs have a visual range of 250 degrees compared to the human range of 180 degrees
The word puppy derives from the French word poupee which means doll
Puppies are born blind, deaf and toothless
A puppy begins to see when it is between 2-3 weeks old. At 3 weeks it will develop a sense of smell
Dogs turn in circles before lying down out of instinct. In the wild, this action would turn long grass into a bed
Aside from all of these incredible facts, do you know what else we feel is amazing about dogs? They teach us to pause and to smell the air. They connect us to what really matters (like belly rubs). They connect us to people we meet on the street with their unconditional wags. They feel our sadness and our smiles. They are there for us with a wet nose kiss first thing in the morning.
Lastly, by sharing our lives with dogs they show us that all animals, big or small, wild or companions deserve love, kindness and compassion. May the world continue to evolve and awaken so that someday there are no longer animals on our plates or in our dog's bowls. Only in our hearts.