Not only are dogs man’s best friend but they’re also super interesting. Here are 21 fascinating tidbits about these funny little furballs.
#1. They Have Ancient Ancestors
Dogs are believed to have originated from the Miacis, a carnivorous animal from the Paleocene period some 40 million years ago.
#2. Dogs Sweat Out of Their Paws
You’ll notice that dogs stick out their tongues when they’re hot but they also sweat out of their paws. Their paws have sweat glands that allow them to cool off. They also have sweat glands on their noses.
#3. Dogs Are Sacred in Egypt
Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics depict Anubis, the god of death, as having a dog’s head. Some dogs in ancient Egyptian civilization were buried in the sacred Anubeieon catacombs in Saqqara, Egypt. Ancient dog owners were also said to mourn deeply for their deceased canine friends.
#4. Dogs Have Three Eyelids
Dogs might not be able to see as many colors as us but they have stellar peripheral vision. They also have three — yes, three — eyelids. The third eyelid is called the haw and is a thin membrane that you usually can’t see while your dog is awake. If you look closely, you will see a bit of the haw at the lower inner corner of your dog’s eye.
#5. Some Dogs Were Japanese Royalty
The Pekingese and Japanese Chin breeds were considered nearly royalty, thanks to their admiration from the Chinese Imperial Court. In some cases, these dogs were carried around and given to royals and nobles as pristine gifts. Some even had their own servants at the Imperial Palace.
#6. Their Face Shape Determines Their Life Span
At least, to an extent. Experts believe that the shape of a dog’s face can provide insight into how long it will live. Breeds that have sharper, more angular faces are said to live longer than their flat-faced companions.
#7. The First Mammal to Orbit Earth Was a Dog
Her name was Laika and she was a stray dog from Russia. She was aboard the Soviet Union’s Sputnik aircraft in 1957, making her the first mammal to orbit the Earth. Her daughter, Pushnika, went on to have puppies with President John F. Kennedy’s dog!
#8. Puppies Are Helpless at Birth
Puppies need a whole lot of care but they’re super helpless when they’re born. Dogs start to develop their hearing, sight, and puppy teeth at around two weeks old.
#9. The Bark-less Dog Exists
The Basenji is the only dog breed that doesn’t bark.
#10. Tail Docking Originated in Ancient Rome
Tail docking, or the procedure that snips off a dog’s tail, may be traced back to around 50 CE. Back then, Roman author Lucius Columella declared that docking a dog’s tail prevented them from getting the rabies virus.
#11. They Have Superior Hearing
Dogs can hear about four times better than their human companions. They can locate a sound within 1/600 of a second too!
#12. They’re Touchy-Feely
The sense of touch is the first sense that dogs develop. In fact, their entire bodies are covered with nerve endings that are very touch-sensitive.
#13. Americans Are Dog Lovers
In 2017, there were nearly 90 million dogs in the United States, making the U.S. the country with the highest dog population.
#14. Doggy Prints Are Unique
Just as each human has a unique fingerprint, each dog has a unique nose print.
#15. They’re Speedy
Okay, so a dog isn’t quite as fast as a cheetah but their average running speed of 19 miles per hour is quite impressive. Greyhounds can max out at 45 miles per hour.
#16. Labs Rule
The Labrador retriever is the most popular dog breed in the U.S.
#17. Dogs Are Heart-Healthy
Petting a dog is scientifically proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure.
#18. They Are Super Smellers
Dogs have over 220 million smell cells, making their sense of smell thousands of times better than ours.
#19. They Can Smell Trouble
Some dogs can detect termites and gas leaks buried 40 feet deep. They can even detect cancer by smelling a patient’s breath.
#20. Dalmatians Are Prone to Deafness
About 30% are deaf in one or both ears.
#21. Doggies Have Smarts
Dogs have the same intelligence level as a two- or three-year-old child.