10 Amazing Dogs Facts You Probably Didn't Know

Any dog owner can tell you that their companion is something special. But there are amazing facts about your pup that you may not have heard, and some of them might surprise you. We can all probably agree that dogs seem magical at times, and science seems to back us up on that. Whether they're an enormous Great Dane or a tiny Chihuahua, each and every dog is pretty extraordinary. Here are ten unusual dog facts to demonstrate just how wonderful they are.

1. Dogs are right- or left-pawed.

They often seem almost human, such as when dogs dream and whimper like a child. And that's not the only way they're similar to us. Much like humans, dogs are more comfortable using either their left or right side. They are more likely to reach out for something with their dominant paw, and to put that one forward first when they walk. However, unlike people, dogs are much more balanced about which is their dominant side. While a lopsided 90% of humans are right-handed, the American Kennel Club reports that about the same number of dogs are left-pawed as are right-pawed.

2. Dogs' noses are wet for a good reason.

You may have heard that a dry nose is a sign of illness in a dog. That's not necessarily true, because some dog breeds typically have drier noses than others. All dogs' noses dry out a little at times, such as when they sleep. But their wet noses serve a purpose. The moisture boosts their sense of smell because it helps receptors trap scent chemical molecules more effectively.

Dogs' noses are special in other ways too. For example, each dog's nose is unique, much like human fingerprints. And they can do some amazing things with those noses, but we'll get back to that in a little bit.

3. They yawn for different reasons, including because they love you.

Your pooch might yawn because they're tired, but it could also signal anxiety. But yawning could also show how connected they feel to you. You've probably noticed that you suddenly need to yawn when a friend does. Pet dogs also yawn when they hear a person yawn. According to PetMD, this seems to be evidence of a dog's sense of how people feel and that they care about them.

4. Dogs are able to show unselfish kindness.

A 2016 study showed that dogs are capable of demonstrating kindness to others, such as sharing their food with someone, even if they don't expect anything in return. They seem to do this mostly for people they know, indicating that they're doing it because they care, not because of a social expectation. Basically, they really are man's best friend.

5. They poop in line with the Earth's magnetic field.

A dog's brain seems to be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field, and they use this information to position themselves when they poop. Scientists observed 70 dogs over two years, recording nearly 2,000 instances of them defecating. They included many different breeds of dog, including Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Beagle, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Border Collie, and mixed breeds. According to PBS, dogs appear to prefer to line up their bodies on a north/south axis. Scientists aren't sure why they do this.

6. Petting them benefits both your health and theirs.

You may have heard that petting a dog lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress hormones. Apparently, the health benefits go both ways, and you petting your dog also soothes them. Pet dogs give us so much; it's good to know that we help them feel better too.

7. They have a sense of time.

If it seems like your dog knows when it's time for a walk, you're not imagining it. A dog's brain is aware of the passage of time, and they seem to be able to tell the difference between one hour and five hours. If they experience something important, like a walk, at the same time every day, they're able to figure out when it's going to happen. This sense of time is impressive, but not always enjoyable if you're hoping to sleep in a little later on the weekend.

8. Three dogs survived the Titanic.

Two Pomeranians and one Pekingese were rescued from the tragic sinking of the famous ship. They were probably saved because they were small dogs. They didn't take up enough space to force a human to stay behind. One of the Pomeranians was a puppy, and her owner wrapped her up in a blanket as she made her way to the lifeboat. Other passengers assumed that the pup was her baby.

9. They can get jealous.

Dogs may be unselfish and kind, but that doesn't mean they're immune to jealousy. Research shows that they don't like it when another dog gets better treats than they do. They may also be unhappy if they see you petting another dog too much. It's not your imagination; your dog cares about how much attention you give to another pooch.

10. They can sniff out diseases.

Dogs can be trained to use their amazing sense of smell to detect illness in humans. They can smell Covid, cancer, malaria, Parkinson's disease, and migraines. They can even detect dangerous blood sugar changes in diabetics. Even more amazing, they are able to tell when someone is about to have a seizure or narcoleptic episode. Having advance warning about an oncoming problem improves patients' accessibility to normal activities.

You already know that your pooch is special; hopefully, these fun facts show you a few more ways we're lucky to have man's best friend. At Animal Matters, we understand how much dogs mean to you, and we do what we can to provide the very best products for them. For more fun facts about your amazing dog, take a look at our blog, or contact us for more information about what we have to offer.

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