There’s a lot you may not know about our furry best friends. Test your knowledge and pick up some fun new trivia facts with these 6 surprising facts about dogs:
1. A dog’s nose is their fingerprint.
Did you know that no two doggie noses are exactly the same? Just like human fingerprints, dog noses have unique patterns and can actually be used to identify a lost dog in place of a tag or microchip. In fact, the Canadian Kennel Club has been accepting dog nose prints as proof of identity since 1938. (It’s not a widely accepted form of identification in the U.S., though, so keep those tags on and microchips in).
2. Dogs DO sweat.
When a dog is overheated, he will sometimes leave a trail of wet footprints wherever he walks. The wet part? Sweat. Though dogs primarily cool off by panting, they also have sweat glands–located primarily around the pads of their paws–that may come into play if they are particularly hot. (Make sure you know how to keep your pet safe from heatstroke).
3. The area of a dog’s brain that deals with smells is roughly 40 times larger than the corresponding area in the human brain.
Dogs navigate the world with their noses the way we navigate with our eyes. Having such a significantly larger area of their brain designated for analyzing odors means that dogs can identify smells anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans. Also at play here? Scent receptors. Humans have 5 million…Bloodhounds have 300 million.
4. Dogs can smell disease.
Because dogs are so adept at smelling (see above fact), they are capable of picking up the distinct scents of diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, and diabetes.
5. Your dog is a righty or a lefty.
Individual dogs do favor using their front right or front left paw to touch or move objects–just like us!
6. Dogs have three eyelids.
In addition to the typical upper and lower eyelids, dogs also have a third eyelid called the nictitating membrane. This opaque eyelid moves horizontally across the dog’s eye, and rests in the corner of the eye in front of a tear duct. When a dog blinks, the nictitating membrane transports lubricating tears around the eye.