Dogs are wonderful, engaging companions for folks of any age. Dog lovers are dedicated to their four-footed friends and often treat them like family. Most dogs feel the same way about their owners and freely extend limitless amounts of unconditional love.
Even if you are a true lover of dogs with loads of experience owning them, there are some details you may not know about the popular household pet. Here are just a few…
“Dog breath” isn’t funny! Plenty of folks throw around the phrase “dog breath” in a comical way when talking about a person or animal with an unpleasantly odorous mouth region. If your dog has terrible breath, pay attention to it. When a dog has persistent bad breath, it could be a sign of potentially dangerous health issues. The problem could signal oral issues, like tooth problems, gum disease, or oral tumors. Even a simple cavity in a dog that’s left alone could worsen and lead to infection. Bad breath in a dog also can be a sign of health problems beyond the mouth area, including gastrointestinal illnesses or kidney disease.
Dogs are not really color blind. It may be a common belief, but it is not a fact. Dogs may not see colors exactly the way we see them, but they do see colors. According to research done on the subject, dogs tend to see colors with blue, yellow, and green tones, but not those with redder hues. Dogs may not see all the colors of the rainbow like most of us do, but they are able to see much better in dim light than us humans.
Tail wagging is not the same as a welcoming smile. We all tend to think a wagging tail means a dog is friendly and happy. That certainly may be true in many cases, but a dog's tail is a communication vehicle that shows a variety of emotions. A basic tail wag may just mean a dog is interested in what is going on in his/her environment at that moment. Sometimes, a tail that’s low to the ground and wagging quickly could mean a dog is feeling aggressive, especially if the dog’s muscles are tensed as well. A full body tail wag where the body itself is swaying and the tail is making big sweeping motions is the most likely sign that a dog is really ready for and excited about some friendly interaction.
Dogs have a keen sense of smell. Of course, we expect tracking and hunting breeds to be able to sniff out a target well. But, dogs in general have an ability to smell that is way beyond anything we humans can achieve. A dog has millions more scent receptors in their noses than we do, and the area of a dog’s brain that’s devoted to smell is far larger than ours as well. Your dog can recognize your scent quickly and easily even after you've left the room. That because, to your dog, your scent is completely unique to you, much like your fingerprints.
Dogs have hearing muscles in their ears. Dogs have many more muscles in their ears than humans. And all those ear muscles help them hear far better than we do. Their ear muscles make it possible for dogs to move their ears so they can localize sounds and tune into them, even when the sounds are far away. Because their hearing is much more sensitive than ours, dogs react to sounds we don’t even hear and they may be frightened by loud sounds that don’t bother us at all, like a slamming door or a loud bang when something falls to the floor.
No two dog noses are the same. Speaking of fingerprints, your dog’s nose is similar to a fingerprint because there's no other dog nose on the planet like it. If you look closely, you can see a pattern of ridges on your dog’s nose. That pattern is unique to your dog.