woman with dark hair receives a sweet kiss by a Jack Russell Terrier

There are some fun facts about dogs to explore, uncovering the truth behind their quirky behaviors. Why does my dog do this? Can my dog really see color? What’s the deal with those Frito paws? Here we go on our search for the answers and to learn a few fun facts about dogs…

Why do dogs lick people? 

Dogs are known to lick people when they are puppies as a sign of affection or to ask for food. For a pup, this behavior is also used to create a maternal bond from the very beginning.  As pets age, licking becomes a sign of submission to an authoritative figure or as a request for food.

The behavior of licking releases endorphins that calm and relieve stress.

Why is my dog’s nose always wet?

Another fun fact about dogs is that pups have a natural mixture of saliva and mucus that cause their noses to be wet. This provides a way for them to self-regulate their body temperature relying on the sweat glands in their noses to release heat. A wet nose also improves their sense of smell by trapping the air so that they may break down and interpret each odor.

The part of the brain that interprets smell is four times larger in dogs than humans.

Why do dogs feet smell like corn chips? 

The main culprit behind a dog’s feet to smell like Fritos is a bacteria called Pseudomonas. Moisture caught in the nooks and crannies of their toes cause this bacteria to grow, as a result from walking on the ground and the microbes acquired through licking their feet. While there is no worry, trimming the paws fur or a paw bath can help with decreasing the odor.

Is my dog’s mouth really that clean?

Dogs have more than 600 different types of bacteria in their mouths, similar to the 615 and counting types of bacteria Harvard researchers have found in human mouths. Therefore, dogs’ mouths are full of bacteria and microbes, resulting in an actually not so clean mouth. So when a pooch is going in for a kiss, the pet owner should be a bit cautious and opt for a cheeky kiss rather than one on the mouth.

Why do dogs walk in a circle before lying down?

This behavior dates back to prehistoric times when their ancestors had never even heard of a dog bed. They would often turn in a circle before lying down to pat down the high grass and scare off bugs and snakes as a survival instinct before taking a slumber. This is an interesting dog fact!

Can dogs tell time? 

They may not be looking at a clock, however, their circadian rhythm can alert them to when it’s time for dinner or go for a walk. This rhythm is present in humans, dogs, other animals, and even plants according to Purina. Dogs have a way of knowing when it is dinner time, often staring at their owners, barking or pawing. Their behaviors also indicate they can tell if their owner has been gone for a full workday due to a high level of excitement, or only half a day with the pup still sleeping on the couch when their owner returns.

“Circadian rhythms are the physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle, responding to light and dark in the animal’s environment,” Purina.com reports.

Are dogs color blind?

No. While they only have 20% of the cone photoreceptors that humans have- the part of the eye that controls color perception- they also are able to see yellow, blue and gray. Research shows that dogs also only have 20-40% visual acuity compared to humans. So, when Fido runs right past that toy thrown for him, it is likely that rather than being stubborn, chances are he doesn’t even see it.

How well can dogs really smell?

According to Fact Retriever, dogs can smell about 1,000-10,000 times better than humans. The human olfactory system has 5 million smell-detecting cells while dogs have more than 220 million. Research indicates a dog’s sense of smell can pick up fear, anxiety and even sadness. The fight-or-flight hormone, adrenaline, is undetectable by the human nose, however, dogs can smell it.

There are may more fun facts about dogs to be explored including breed-specific data. For now, we will remain up to date on the fun facts about dogs listed above knowing that yes, dogs see color, they can smell significantly better than humans, a wet nose is a good sign and also discovered that yes, they can tell time.

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