From hunting companions to protectors – the relationship between dogs and humans goes back thousands of years. Today, one of the most domesticated animals, in many parts of the world the Canis lupus familiaris is a beloved family member and friend we share our lives with. Here are 10 fascinating facts about our furry companions.
- Dogs can smell diseases such as diabetes and cancer, including prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and melanoma¹.
- Dogs can smell about 10,000 times better than humans².
- Dogs' noses are wet to help them absorb scent chemicals. Their nose secretes a special mucus, which they then lick to sample the smell, to then better understand what the smell is⁴.
- A bloodhound's sense of smell is so accurate it can be used as evidence in a United State's court of law⁴.
- Dogs have three eyelids. This third eyelid clears visibility in the front of the eye, acting as a "windshield-washer" of sorts, clears mucus and debris from the cornea, produces antibodies to fight infection, and protects the cornea from injury³.
- To drink water, dogs plunge their tongue straight into the water, pull it to the rear and shovel the water into their throat.
- The smell in a dog’s urine lets other dogs know if the one who left the message is young or old, male or female, healthy or sick, and happy or angry⁷.
- Dogs can see colors! But behavioral tests show they can only perceive blue and yellow⁵.
- Dogs can estimate the size of another dog by the sound of their growling⁶.
- Sweat ducts in dogs’ paws are activated when it is too hot but there's not enough of them to cool down. This is also why dogs pant⁸.