Most dog owners probably consider themselves experts on the subject. Yet, the more that researchers study dogs, the more they uncover truths about them that that will surprise even the biggest dog lover. We came across this list by Clayton Lunch at Honest to Paws – click here to read the whole post. See how many of these 20 fascinating dog facts you already know. They may just change the way you look at your best friends forever!
- Dogs aren’t just cute, they’re scientifically cute: If you’ve ever wondered why we find dogs so irresistibly adorable, it’s partly because they exhibit something called “neoteny.” That’s the retention of their baby-like characteristics, such as their big eyes and jovial demeanors, into adulthood.
- Dogs have an incredible sense of direction: A dog’s ability to see UV light and to “feel” the Earth’s magnetic fields means they have a great sense of direction. Some researchers have found they utilize the same ultrasound waves as bats too!
- A dog’s sense of smell is super powerful: It’s certainly no secret that dogs use their noses to guide them, but did you know they’re capable of sensing a spoonful of sugar in an Olympic-sized swimming pool? No wonder they can always find the treats in your house!
- Dogs’ noses are wet for a reason: Have you ever noticed your dog’s nose always seems wet? That’s because it secretes a layer of mucus to help them absorb incoming scents. Once absorbed, they lick their noses to sample or taste the scent.
- Dogs are capable of smelling human diseases: A study conducted at the Schillerhohe Hospital in Germany helped researchers learn that dogs can recognize certain organic compounds in the human body through their sense of smell. They can sniff out cancer and diabetes, for instance.
- Dogs have dreams: While sleeping dogs all exhibit brainwave patterns similar to those of humans, not all are created equal. In fact, research found that small dogs dream more frequently than large ones, having one every 10 minutes compared to one every hour.
- Dogs are smart. But you knew that already - It’s easy to write off dogs in the intelligence department, but the American Psychological Association would beg to differ. It found dogs can be about as smart as two year olds, with the ability to perform math equations and understand up to 250 words!
- Dogs are incapable of feeling guilt: While it’s believed dogs can experience a range of emotions, “guilt” is not one of them. When they do something wrong, they’re not really ashamed; researchers believe we’re simply projecting the way they’re supposed to feel onto them.
- Dogs run hot: Not only do dogs have a higher regular body temperature—100.4 degrees Fahrenheit to our 98.6—but they also only have sweat glands on their paws. So it’s important to be careful with them out there in the summer heat!
- Dogs can fall in love: Claremont Graduate University professor Paul Zak conducted a study that found a dog’s brain releases oxytocin—the “love” chemical—when it interacts with both dogs and humans. It works the same way as humans when we kiss or hug someone!
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