As dog owners, we know that our dogs are our most loyal companions. We usually know a lot about the breed we own and we’re also curious about anything dog related. Here are 5 interesting dog facts that I recently found and some of them are actually quite hard to believe!
1) A dog’s nose is wet to help absorb scent chemicals.
We don’t really know why is our dog’s nose is wet but we worry when it’s dry. Do healthy dogs have a wet nose, not? We’ll chat about this another time but for now, we’ll focus on why a dog’s nose is wet.
A dog’s nose is wet because it enhances the absorption of scent chemicals. The moisture on their noses is not just water but is, in fact, a special mucus that helps to absorb the chemicals of a scent. Dogs then lick their nose to “read” the message which helps them understand what’s going on around them.
Wet noses are also one of the ways that dogs can regulate their body temperature and cool down because they don’t have normal sweat glands as we do. Dogs also sweat from their pads and use panting as a means to lower body temperature.
2) Three dogs survived the sinking of the Titanic.
I never knew about this one and found it fascinating. According to Vetstreet, there were dozens of dogs on board the sinking ship and three of them made it. These lucky three survivors raveled in first class. They were all small and kept in their owners’ cabins instead of in the onboard kennel. Lady, a Pomeranian puppy, was saved by her owner, Margaret Hays, who wrapped the dog in a blanket and sneaked her onto a lifeboat (apparently, people assumed she was carrying a baby.) The other dogs who made it to land were a Pekingnese named Sun Yat-sen, owned by Henry and Myra Harper, and another Pomeranian, owned by Elizabeth Rothschild.
Unfortunately, the rest of the stories don’t have such happy endings… for dogs as well as people.
3) A greyhound could beat a cheetah in a long distance race.
Most of us already know that the fastest land animal is the cheetah which can reach a speed of 70 mph (113 km per hour). Even though the cheetah is an amazingly fast runner she can only maintain that incredible speed for about 200 to 300 yards (274 meters).
The really fast dogs are greyhounds, whippets, salukis, and afghan hounds. They are called sighthounds since their job is to spot their quarry by sight and run it down. They have a characteristic shape: a huge chest to accommodate large lungs to gulp oxygen and their oversized heart as well as a narrow waist that allows them to bend their body so that every stride carries them more than a body length.
The greyhounds’ ability to reach top speed quickly is amazing! At maximum acceleration, a greyhound can reach a speed of 45 mph (72km/h) within its first six strides from a standing start. No other land animal (except the cheetah) has that degree of acceleration.
Did you know that a greyhound would actually beat a cheetah in a long-distance race! According to Psychology Today, greyhounds are excellent long-distance runners. They can keep their speed up to 35 mph for up to 7 miles. Although Cheetahs are incredibly fast, they can only keep the speed up for about 200-30 yards.
4) The saluki is the oldest dog breed.
Did you know this? I thought it would be one of the hounds like the Pharaoh hound (only maybe because of the name lol), or another hunting breed. I guess I wasn’t that far of.
According to The Guinness World Records, the world’s oldest known breed of a domesticated dog is the saluki. It is believed to have emerged in 329 BC. Saluki dogs were revered in ancient Egypt, being kept as royal pets and being mummified after death. There are carvings found in Sumer (present-day southern Iraq) which represent a dog, closely resembling a saluki, which dates back to 7000 BC.
5) A Bloodhound’s sense of smell can be used as evidence in court.
According to PBS, a Bloodhounds sense of smell is so accurate that it can be used as evidence in a courtroom. The Bloodhound has an outstanding ability to read terrain with its nose. It is primarily due to a large, ultrasensitive set of scent membranes.
Researchers have estimated that a bloodhound’s nose consists of approximately 230 million olfactory cells – scent receptors. 40 times the number in humans. Our olfactory centre is about the size of a postage stamp. And dogs can be as large as a handkerchief! How cool is that!!
Here’s another amazing fact about Bloodhounds…. they can follow tracks that are over 300 hours (12.5 days… so you don’t have to count) old and can stay on a trail for over 130 miles! Amazing!!