20 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Dogs


Dogs are amazing creatures that come with their own forms of comfort and communication.

All dog owners can feel the unconditional love of their pets.

These little blessings in life have their own sense of humor and special antics.

However, there are some other little hidden secrets about your dog that you probably didn’t know.

1. Dogs Can Read Your Emotions

Dogs do have their own unique ability to read emotions on the face of their human companions.

At a quick glance, your dog can tell if you’re sad, happy or angry by the look of your face.

Anyone who has had a dog for more than a couple of months knows that they are very intuitive and always know how you are feeling.

They know when you are mad or frustrated and often keep their distance in those times.

[mnleft]If you are feeling down or you have a cold and aren’t feeling well, your dog will always want to come and snuggle with you.

If you have an injury, your dog will notice and come to see if he can help you ease the pain.

They understand you and can recognize the way you are feeling just by looking at your face and your body language.

Dogs are smarter than a lot of people think, and not only can they understand your emotions just by looking at you; they also can change their behavior according to your mood.

Your dog knows when you are in the mood to play with him, but at the same time, knows when you just want to be on the couch and snuggle with him.

Many people also believe that the owner’s emotions can rub off on a dog. Lots of people report that their dogs often sympathize with them and feel down when they are feeling down.

While there might not be any scientific proof for this, dog owners know what we’re talking about.


2. Dogs Can Detect Early Cancer

Studies have shown that dogs have the uncanny ability to recognize certain scents within the human body such as the organic compounds of lung cancer and other illnesses.

These same studies prove that dogs can detect early onset of certain diseases of the human body.

Dogs and people are very close; everyone who owns a dog knows that.

And that is why it is in their nature to detect problems with their humans.

Dogs need humans to survive, and that’s why their instincts kick in and they try to care for their humans when they see that there are potential problems with their health.

If something is wrong with us, our dogs know that they will be affected. It is as simple as that.

If you have ever had a cut, you’ll notice that your dog detects that and tries to lick it in order to heal it.

[mnleft]It is a basic instinct for them to take care of their caregivers. Dogs have an incredibly strong sense of smell.

If you were to compare it, dogs smell as well as we see.

We can notice every detail of a room when we enter it, and just like that, dogs have fine-tuned senses of smell that give them the ability to detect many things that we cannot with their noses.

Did you know that there are trained dogs that sniff out cancer in patients? It’s true.

Cancer does give off a certain smell. Most trained medical professions can smell it on your breath at a certain point.

Dogs can notice it even before that.

3. Dogs Are Sensitive To The Hands That Smell Of Smoke

Second-hand smoke is not only detrimental to the health of humans but has also been found to cause harm to dogs, resulting in respiratory conditions, allergies, lung and nasal cancers.

There have been studies done that have confirmed this. According to these studies, second hand smoke even causes cancer in dogs commonly, especially when it comes to lung cancer and nasal sinus cancer.

These studies have shown that dogs that live with smokers are at a higher risk of getting cancer than dogs that live in households where there is no second hand smoke.

It is also interesting to note that dogs with long noses are more at risk than dogs with small noses.

However, this does not mean that it is alright to smoke around your dog if it has a small nose.

[mnleft]Even small nosed dogs are at risk. Also, it should be noted that long nosed dogs have a greater chance of nasal cancer, because there is more room in their noses for the carcinogens to take home in.

However, dogs with short noses are at a greater risk of lung cancer, because the smoke has an easier time getting to the nose through a short nose.

Your dog is always with you and is exposes to the same environment that you are exposed to.

So remember, if you are putting yourself at risk by smoking, you are putting everyone around you at risk, your pets included.


4. Dogs Can Be Recognized By Their Nose Prints

Just as you can be identified through your fingerprints, dogs can be recognized by their nose prints.

And not just that, you can tell by your dog’s nose whether he’s healthy and if not, what’s the health issue he is facing, in some cases.

The same goes for cats as well. If you take a long hard look at the dog’s nose, you will see that there are tiny bumps and shapes all over the nose.

For the best possible look, trying using a magnifying glass. You’ll see that there are all kinds of small patterns and creases there.

And just like people all have unique finger prints, all dogs have absolutely unique nose prints.

[mnleft]They are never the same, no matter what breed they are or whether they are family.

Every dog has a nose print of its own. They can be used for identifying a dog just like finger prints are used for people.

However, it’s still not being used to identify dogs, and a lot of people are wondering why that is.

Instead, people still implant chips in dogs in order to identify them. It seems that it would be much easier to simply get a print of the nose.

Also, it would be more effective since the nose is there to stay. There are many dogs that lose their chips by dislodging them.

Also, there are many chips that malfunction.

Perhaps identifying dogs by their nose prints is something that’s going to become popular in the future.

5. Why Do Dogs Put Their Tails Between Their Legs?

When a dog feels insecure and frightened, it puts its tail between its legs as you probably already know.

But what you didn’t know is the reason for this and that is because it blocks off its anal gland scent.

This gland is unique to the dog, similar to an ID card for your pet, and when they cut the smell off, they become unsociable.

Just like people can say a lot about their moods with their body language, dogs can do the same.

And when you are trying to read a dog and how they are feeling, the best thing to do is to look at the tail.

[mnleft]The tail tells a lot about a dog, and when it is very stiff and tucked under its legs, that means that the dog is very tense.

If you are approaching a dog that you do not know and you see that its tail is stiff and between its legs, then you should be very cautious when approaching it.

And you should also note that stiffness is the real thing to look for. Even if it is pointing up and is stiff, that means that the dog is tense.

When it is soft and released, especially when it is wagging from side to side, then you know that the dog is in a good mood.

You can also read a dog’s face if you have been with him for a long time, but if you are unfamiliar with the dog, looking at the tail is the best way to know how the dog is feeling and whether it is safe to approach him.


6. Dogs Ears Are Special

First of all dogs have twice the number of muscles for moving their ears than humans.

Their hearing is about the same as ours, although they are a bit better when it comes to octaves (10.5 compared to 10 in humans) and higher frequencies.

So they are alarmed by noises that we cannot even hear…

Not only is the dog’s ear very important for hearing, it is also very important for balance.

If you are looking at the type of ears that a dog has, this affects their hearing as well. Dogs with floppy ears do not hear as well as dogs with erect ears.

There are also dogs that can move their ears better than others. The dogs that are able to swivel their ears the most are better at hearing.

[mnleft]Of course, they hear many things that we do not hear at all. They can detect a much larger range of frequencies than we can.

If you have ever seen your dog run away from the vacuum cleaner or the hair dryer, it is because they do not like the sound more than anything.

These sounds that are very high pitched are very annoying to dogs and can even be painful to them.

That is why they are running away from most household appliances, not because they are afraid of them.

Have you ever used a dog whistle? It is a whistle that you blow that humans cannot hear at all, but dogs can. That is just one example of how much more sensitive their hearing is than ours.

7. Dogs Get The Hiccups

Just as with humans, dogs do get hiccups that can be quite uncomfortable for them.

Hiccups usually result from your dog eating or drinking too fast, followed by gulps of extra air.

Some emotions can also cause bouts of hiccups in a dog such as fear, anxiety, stress and excitement.

Never underestimate the amazing abilities of your dog.

The more you know about man’s best friend, the better your relationship will be for a long and lasting bond.

If you are looking to help your dog get rid of the hiccups, there are some things that you can do.

Usually, they don’t last more than a couple of minutes, but if they do, you can help him out to make them go away.

It is nothing to worry about, but just as hiccups annoy you when you get them, they annoy your dog as well.

[mnleft]It is firstly very important not to try and give them any human medication or remedies for hiccups, because that won’t work.

If your dog constantly suffers from hiccups, make sure that he drinks a lot of water.

That is the best and most immediate solution for hiccups in a dog.

Any time he has hiccups, lead him to his bowl to get a drink of water. If the hiccups are chronic, then it is a good idea to change the dog’s diet and keep the grains low.

High-grain food can cause hiccups in dogs. Exercise is another good solution.

Take him out for a walk to make the hiccups go away.


8. Running In Circles

You have often seen your dog circle the bed before he goes to sleep, and you might have wondered why does he do that?

The reason for this can be found in his evolution. This is something that all dogs did to make the high grass into a comfortable bed.

With the advancement of the human race and our technology this wasn’t necessary, but old habits die hard.

Also, have you wondered why dogs tend to circle around before they go to the bathroom?

That is another thing that you will very commonly see, but there really is no true explanation for it.

Some believe that they are doing the same thing that they are doing when going to sleep.

[mnleft]They are trying to make the grass lower and make themselves a spot to go to the bathroom in.

Many believe that this is a thing of hygiene – that they will be able to go to the bathroom better without having to worry about getting dirty if they do it on grass that is not as high.

Others believe that dogs do this because they are looking around to see any potential threats.

They feel vulnerable to attacks from other dogs or creatures when they are going to the bathroom, so they need to circle around first in order to scan the scene to see if there are any potential threats in the vicinity before they go about their business.

9. Their Stomach Size Is Proportional To Their Size

This is something that doesn’t sound so surprising, but when you think about it, it becomes stranger and stranger.

Small breeds of dogs have stomach sizes that are roughly about the same size as their eyes. Doesn’t this seem just a little bit strange?

The dog has a very elastic stomach, however. When it is empty, you can hardly see it.

However, when it is filled it gets really big. In fact, when your dog has a full belly, it makes up almost 10 percent of its body weight!

So, obviously, the stomach is much more elastic than a human’s stomach is. Image you were weighed 120 pounds and your average meal weighed ten pounds.

That would be pretty weird. But because of this elasticity, it is very normal for dogs.

[mnleft]The dog’s stomach also contains a very large number of glands that are constantly producing enzymes to aid with digestion.

As soon as food reaches the stomach, these glands start to work.

Of course, the glands only work when coming into direct contact with the food, so that is why the stomach needs to be elastic, so that the food does not just stay in the center of the stomach and never touch the walls.

Dog’s have a very, very efficient digestive system and that is why it always seems like they can eat more, even though they have just eaten.

If you want to feed your dog best, it is better to give him two large meals every day to fill his whole stomach at once, then to give him more, smaller meals throughout the day.

It will help him digest his food more efficiently.


10. Dogs Can Get Cancer

A nightmare of a disease that strikes down not only humans, but dogs as well.

This vicious disease will hit fifty percent of dogs over ten years old, so the chances of your dog getting cancer are pretty high.

Regular veterinarian checkups and constant care should be enough.

It is said to say, but cancer seems to be unavoidable in today’s society and any type of animal or person is subjected to potentially contracting it.

It was previously mentioned that your dog is pretty much subjected to the same environment that you are subjected to, so just about anything that can potentially give a human cancer can do the same to dogs.

Of course, second hand smoke was mentioned and it can never be reiterated enough.

[mnleft]If you are smoking, then you should not be putting anyone at risk – not even your pets.

Second hand smoke has been proven to lead to lung cancer and cancer of the nasal sinuses for dogs that have owners that are heavy smokers.

If you really have to smoke, then you should be going outside and staying away from your pets so that you are not subjecting them to the second hand smoke.

Just like in people, sometimes you cannot define where the cancer came from. It can happen no matter if you are taking every possible precaution.

That is why it is extremely important to have regular checkups and to take your dog to the vet at least once a year.

11. Dogs Fur Fan Grow To Become Huge

We are all accustomed to well groomed dogs who even have regular haircuts, perhaps even more than their owners, but dogs fur has the ability to grow immensely.

In some species it is very fast, making that doghouse you have something that needs to be upgraded to a shed…

Dogs also lose their hair a lot. Of course, you know about shedding, but sometimes it is due to health issues as well.

But of course, the hair grows back very quickly. There are many factors that go into determining how fast your dog’s hair will grow.

One is the dog’s hair length, and that is the most obvious ones. Obviously, dog’s with long coats will have more hair and hair that grows faster.

It’s also a seasonal thing. Usually, hair grows a lot faster in the spring and the summer because of the sun and the fact that the sun helps to stimulate growth.

[mnright]If you want to make sure that dog always has a great looking coat, the best thing that you can do is to make sure that he is healthy.

That means that he needs to eat well, and get a balanced diet that includes all of the essential vitamins that are good for his hair.

If you are looking for other professional secrets from groomers for getting your dog a brilliant coat of hair, many say that oatmeal shampoo is the best way to go.

It will encourage hair growth and make the hair shinier and fluffier than ever.


12. Dogs React To Second Hand Smoking

If you are a smoker you might have noticed this, but dogs do not like smoke and it can be a source of a lot of irritation for them.

Both physically and mentally. They are more likely do develop allergies and even lung cancer if exposed to second hand smoking.

It was mentioned previously that second hand smoke is very dangerous for dogs. Not only does it bother and irritate them, but it can also lead to cancer.

You will probably notice if you smoke that your dog tends to stay away when he sees a cigarette.

Not only does he not like the smell or taste of the smoke, he can also potentially get cancer from it.

Dog with long noses especially can develop nasal cancer if they are living with a smoker for a long time.

[mnright]And dogs with smaller noses are more prone to get to getting lung cancer.

If you really need to smoke in front of them, switching to electronic cigarettes might be a pretty good option.

Certainly, the vapor from the e-cigs might not be the best thing for dogs, but it is probably less unhealthy than real cigarettes and the smoke that they emit.

Your best bet would be to smoke far away from your dog. When you need a cigarette, go outside and smoke one so that you are not smoking directly near the dog.

Or if you do smoke near the dog, just don’t blow the smoke into his face.

13. Chocolate Is Almost Deadly To Them

While it may seem only logical that you give your dog some chocolate, you should be aware that it contains poisonous toxin theobromine  that can even lead to death of your furry best friend.

So, be careful next time you’re eating chocolate, especially with the stuff you throw in the trash can.

Dogs sometimes go through your trash and eat whatever they find interesting.

There is a general rule of thumb to follow to make sure that your dog is not eating anything that is poisonous.

If it is just a chocolate chip cookie here or there, it’s not that bad for the dog.

You should know that the darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous it will be for them Dark chocolate is definitely the biggest problem.

[mnright]There is much more chemical toxicity in the dark chocolate than in light chocolate, which is what is dangerous for the dog.

Eating it might not result in death, but it will most likely result in vomiting, perhaps diarrhea, hyperactivity and maybe other problems.

Some dog owners reports that their dogs had seizures, heart troubles and even inflammation of organs like the pancreas after eating chocolate.

So that is the most important thing to look out for. Dark chocolate is dangerous and the darker it is, the more theobromine it probably contains.

Make sure to keep your dog away from the chocolate that you usually use for baking, gourmet dark chocolates and cocoa powder as well should never be consumed by a dog.


14. Dogs Are Nature’s Medicine

Studies have shown that dog petting can lower your blood pressure and alleviate at least a part of your worries.

We, dog owners, already knew this from expirience but it is nice to have that on paper.

Having a dog in your life can change your life for the better in many ways.

Not only can they teach you about loyalty and love, but they can also help you get through tough times.

They are very keen to your emotions and try to help you when you are not feeling so go. Many people underestimate who profound the feelings of a dog are.

Anyone that sees how a dog acts after it loses a friend, whether it is a fellow dog or a human, does not question that they have deep feelings.

[mnleft]According to the study related to petting dogs and then feeling better, this action helps our bodies to release a hormone that affects our affections.

It is called oxytocin. That is why you will see dogs at places such as nursing homes and hospitals very regularly. They come in to make people feel better.

It is also suggested that dogs can tell when someone has diabetes. Dogs are also used when working with children with autism.

The power of dogs is truly remarkable, but if you are a dog owner already, you don’t need anyone to tell you that.

You experience the power of dog healing every single day you spend with him.

15. Dogs Are Not Color Blind

Most people are of the misconception that dogs are color blind but in reality your canine can see rich, vivid colors.

This is a very common misconception that a lot of people believe, but it really is not true.

A lot of people believe that dogs do not see color at all and that they only see gray, but that is not true in the slightest.

Of course, they do not see as many colors as we do, and the colors they do see are not as rich, but that does not mean that they do not see colors at all.

They see lots of different shades of colors.

Just like humans, dogs have light catching cells that are called cones, in their eyes.

These cones respond to color, even though they don’t respond to as many as ours do.

[mnleft]Humans have three cones, which gives them a wider spectrum of colors to see. The dogs see a smaller spectrum of colors.

For example, instead of seeing a range of colors from violet to yellow, the dog would only see basic colors, not the shades in between.

So even though it does not see every shade possible, the dog does see basic colors like yellow, blue and gray.

People who have two cones only are considered color blind, and dogs are in the same situation.

The misconception is that color blindness means that you do not see any colors at all.

In fact, you are seeing a smaller number of variations in colors.


16. Dogs Are Hotter Than Humans

Yup, dogs are literally hotter than people.  If you have ever wondered why dogs have higher temperatures than us, there is a simple medical explanation.

Namely, the normal body temperature for a dog falls within the range of 100°F to 102.5°F (about 38°C to 39.2°C).

While that’s higher than the normal temperature for humans, even our temperature can vary during the day.

However, if your dog’s body temperature is higher than it should be, you should contact your veterinarian.  Most veterinarians consider a rectal temperature of over 102.5 to be abnormal.

Feeling your dog’s nose is not a good way to determine whether your pet has a fever.

A glass rectal thermometer is the best way to take your dog’s temperature.  Ear thermometers are also somewhat accurate, but veterinarians recommend rectal ones.

Thermometers that measure under the arm are not precise and reliable.

Measure your pet’s body temperature when they are relaxed and at home.  When dogs are excited, their temperature might be a little higher than usual.

Also, if your dog is engaged in hard work and other strenuous activities, it’s normal that their body temperature is elevated.  This is normal even in cold weather.

In addition, if your pet has lower body temperature than normal, take him to a veterinarian.  Abnormally low body temperatures can be indicators of serious diseases in pets.

Finally, since dogs have higher temperatures than humans, fleas are attracted to them.


17. Thunderstorm Phobia

Have you ever noticed how your pet becomes anxious when a thunderstorm begins?  Well, thunderstorm phobia is quite common and represents a serious problem for many dogs.

There’s no way to know for sure what causes a dog to become so afraid during storms.  The most obvious reason could be the loud noise of the thunder.

Many dogs suffer from noise phobia, and since thunder produces loud noises, no wonder your furry friend becomes overwhelmed with fear when confronted with such horrible noises.

However, the fear of noise might not be the only cause of this phobia.

Changes in barometric pressure and humidity can affect your dog’s senses and thunderstorm sound frequencies can actually hurt your dog’s ears.

Basically, the dog might be experiencing real pain which could cause frantic behavior.

Another possible explanation is that something traumatic happened to the dog during a thunderstorm and every time they hear thunder, their memory is triggered.

So, how do you know whether your pet suffers from thunderstorm phobia?

Well, the signs are obvious and you probably already know.  For example, anxiety, hyperactivity and destruction are common symptoms of this type of phobia.

There are some things you could do in order to prevent your dog from frantically reacting to a thunderstorm.

First of all, never leave your dog outside during storms!

Also, remember that your dog reacts to your behavior: examine how you and your family behave during a storm.  If you are nervous and anxious, chances are your dog will experience the same.

Do not pay special attention to your dog during a storm, try to maintain your usual routine.


18. Sweaty Paws

Although many people think that dogs don’t sweat – it’s just not true.  A dog’s sweat glands are located between their paws and that’s the reason your furry friend sometimes leaves wet footprint trails.

Namely, dogs produce sweat on areas that are not covered in fur.

They do have sweat glands associated with every hair follicle on their body, but their function is not known.  Those glands may produce pheromones or chemical signals for communication with other dogs.

Dogs also have sweat glands on their noses – that’s why their noses are often wet.

Natural dog odor may be unpleasant to people who are not used to sharing a home with pets.  Most people get used to the dog’s natural smell after some time.

However, there are various other reasons why dogs develop unnatural odors.  For example, if your dog smells bad, that might be an indicator that something is wrong with the furry creature.

Skin disease might cause unpleasant odor and those conditions should be treated immediately.

The hair coat can be a source of unpleasant odor if the dog isn’t properly groomed.  It is of the highest importance that you keep your dog clean and properly groomed.

Some dogs require more grooming than others, depending on the thickness of the coat.  Additionally, dogs that are heavy shedders require more attention than dogs that don’t shed a lot.

When adopting a dog, make sure to check all the info about how to take care of them and follow those instructions if you want to have a healthy and happy pet.


19. Dogs Are Pack Animals

Dogs are pack animals that require firm human leadership.  The dog must be trained from an early age and one of the most important things the furry creature has to learn is the fact that the human is in charge.

If their owner is weak, the dog will exhibit disobedient behavior.  The dog requires a firm and gentle pack leader that will clearly set the rules of behavior and define boundaries.

Cesar Millan wrote on his website, ‘’A dog’s mother begins training puppies from birth. She makes them wait for food; she controls when they play and how far they travel. Adult dogs need these same rules, boundaries, and limitations from you, their pack leader when dog training.

A pack leader doesn’t project emotional or nervous energy, so neither should you. In the wild, the pack leader uses calm-assertive energy to influence how the dog interacts with his surroundings. She enforces these laws in a quiet way, as is the case when a mother picks up a puppy by the scruff of the neck if he strays outside the den.’’

There are some basic rules you need to follow so the dog will know that you are the pack leader.

The dog has to heel beside you when you are taking them for a walk.  This is crucial because the pack leader has to lead the way.

You must eat before the dog and your pet should have a scheduled feeding time.  Also, do not feed them table scraps.

There are numerous other rules every owner needs to follow if they want their dogs to listen to them and be happy and healthy pets.


20. Wealthy Dogs

We shall finish our list with some bizarre trivia.  In the United States alone, approximately one million dogs are primary beneficiaries of their owner’s will.

Between 12 and 27 percent of pet owners provide provisions for their pets in their wills, according to the Washington University School of Law.   Most of those include a smaller amount of money, but some owners leave their pets millions.

Yup, that’s right, there are many dog millionaires out there.

For instance, the notorious hotel heiress Leona Helmsley left her Maltese $12 million.  The sum was later reduced to $2 million, but in any case, Helmsley’s Maltese was one very rich little dog.

The dog’s name was Trouble and after Leona died, the Maltese received numerous death threats.  In addition, the dog’s caretaker spent annually $100,000 for full-time security, $8,000 for grooming and $1,200 for food.

Drew Barrymore’s Labrador mix Flossie will inherit a $1.3 million house and Heiress Gail Posner left $3 million to her three Chihuahuas, as well as diamond dog accessories and an $8 million mansion in Miami.

German countess Carlotta Liebenstein passed away in 1991 and left her entire fortune to her dog Gunther III.  Sadly, the dog died a month later, but his wealth was passed on to his son, Gunther IV, who now has $372 million, making him the richest pet in the world.

New York heiress Ella Wendel died in 1931 and let $30 million to her French poodle and Oprah plans to leave the same amount to her dogs.

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