5 amazing dog facts that you probably didn’t know

Did you know these things about your dog? Well, let’s double check.

1. Dog Ears

You probably have noticed that dogs have bigger ears than us. Depending on the breed, the ears can be big, small, floppy, pointy, with more or less hair.

There are more than a dozen different muscles that control a dog’s ear movement and inside it, there is a specific L shape structure, which I have described in our previous blog together with the most common ear diseases in dogs.

Ear is an organ of balance and hearing. Dogs also use their ears in their communication.

K9 Stay have pretty well described “Dog Ear Language”: 

  • Forward – alert;
  • Sideways/resting – relaxed/ half-mast;
  • Laidback on head – nervous, uncomfortable, non-confrontational;
  • Held tightly on the back of head – angry, defensive, protecting themselves.

Did you know that they also have an incredible hearing? But it’s not always the same. Stanley Coren, Ph.D. in his book, “How Dogs Think”, says that “The truth of the matter is that, for some sounds, a dog’s hearing is really hundreds of times better than ours, whereas, for other sounds, dogs and humans have sound sensitivities that are very much the same”.

The average adult human cannot hear sounds above 20,000 Hertz (Hz), although young children can hear higher frequency. Dogs, on the other hand, can hear sounds as high as 47,000 to 65,000 Hz. These are sounds far too high-pitched for us.

2. Dog Eyes

In addition to hearing, they also have a very good vision. Have you ever wondered how their eyes are different from human?

Dogs have more rods in their eyes, which means they can see much better at night. Dogs also have a layer of eye tissue that humans lack called the tapetum lucidum, it reflects light into the retina. This boosts the dog’s night vision even more and would answer everyone’s question of why their eyes shine in the dark. 

Dogs also have three eyelids instead of two. They have an upper and lower lid like humans, but the third one is closer to the nose. It keeps the eye moist and protected.

Also dog eyes have their language:

  • Squinty – relaxed, non-confrontational/ calming;
  • Wide eyes/ whites visible – whale eyes, anxious, nervous, frightened;
  • Making direct eye-contact – nervous, defensive, offensive;
  • Looking away – nervous/respectful/non-confrontational
  • Holding eye-contact for more than 3 seconds – staring, looking at something = thinking about something, going to act out toward staring victim.

3. Dog mouth and teeth

The total number of teeth in dogs mouth is 42.

Dog’s teeth are changing just like humans while growing up. At first, they have milk teeth and then they start teething at around the 16th week. This means their milk teeth will begin to fall out and adult teeth will begin to poke through.

We also have a blog regarding dog teeth, common teeth problems and how to take care of them. Feel free to check it out here.

Have you ever said – look how he’s smiling? When you think that your dog is smiling he’s actually stressed or really hot. Open-mouth panting and breathing are signs of anxiety. This can be seen in situations where the dog feels uncomfortable or where he feels threatened.

If they’re not stressed then it might be too hot for them. Panting is one of the things dogs do in order to cool down.

You have probably noticed a thick, slimy residue on your dog’s mouth, on your clothes, or on the floor. The technical name for this slime is a biofilm. Your dog’s mouth and tongue contain bacteria that bind together and sticks to everything it touches.

4. Dog nose

Dogs use their nose to smell, and to cool off their bodies. The longer the dog’s nose, the more effective their cooling system is.

Dogs have a part in the brain that is devoted to analyzing smells and it’s about 40 times greater than ours. They have up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose, but we only have, approximately, 6 million.

Normally they have a cold, wet nose, but they can also have a warm and dry one. It’s not an indicator of their health.

Each dog’s nose is like a fingerprint, no two noses are alike.

5. Dog skin/fur

Obviously, dogs have a lot more hair than humans. But have you ever wondered, aren’t they hot during the summer? And are they even sweating?

Dog’s fur is made to protect the dog’s skin from cuts and scratches, and it also works for thermoregulation. Even in summer, they’re better with the fur than without it. 

Dogs have the so-called undercoat. It’s thinner during warmer months and thicker during cooler months.

In the summer, the undercoat traps a layer of cool air to insulate the dog against overheating and protecting the skin from sunburn. The sun rays are reflected and the body heat goes out.

In the winter, the thicker undercoat traps a layer of warm air to protect the dog from frostbite and hypothermia.

Read how to take care for your dog’s fur so he’s able to provide adequate thermoregulation for himself on a daily bases.

On the other hand, skin is the largest organ of your dog’s body. The skin may be 12% to 24% of his body weight.

And one of the main questions asked is, are dogs sweating? Yes, they are. But they don’t have the same thermoregulation as humans. They have two types of sweat glands. They are mainly located in their paw pads and work similarly to human sweat glands. The other type of sweat glands is to release pheromones, they’re located all over the body.