Our pets are part of our family yet there is so much to still learn about them!
There are a million interesting things that you can learn about your pets to improve both their life and yours.
It is important to understand your dog so that you can be helpful to their home life, to their behavior, and even to their personality.
Below are five things EVERY dog owner should know about:
Dogs need to be walked, even if they have a big backyard.
Historically, dogs have always been energetic animals, whether they were roaming in the wild, herding sheep, or running around. While breeds have been used for different purposes – like hunting or to follow trails – many dog breeds have a long history of being active, which gives them a storage of natural energy. And, when they're just laying around the house, this energy is going unused.
Smelly dog breath isn't normal.
While we joke about stinky dog breath, it actually shouldn't be the norm for your pup. Similar to humans, bad breath comes around with a buildup of bacteria in the mouth; the same thing goes for dogs. If your pup has chronically bad breath, it may mean that they need to have their teeth checked by the vet, or something else could be going on in their gut or lungs. Bad breath in dogs is commonly caused by gum disease. If the issue is in your dog's gut, you may want to consider switching up his or her food. Your vet may also want to do a professional cleaning on your pup's teeth. To nip the issue in the bud, provide your pup with hard, safe toys or treats that encourage better breath. You can even brush your dog's teeth daily – just be sure to use a pup-approved toothpaste.
Dogs don't just bark for attention.
Barking is one of the keys to understanding what's going on with your dog – or, what they want. Your pet is likely trying to tell you something when he or she speaks to you; don't pass off all barks as just wanting attention. It could be as simple as your pup missing you when you went to work or exploring a new place that makes him or her nervous. Pay attention when your dog is barking – you may just get to know your furry friend a little better.
Food allergies are not as common as you would think.
While pet food companies would love you to think that every pup has an intolerance to some ingredient, food allergies actually aren't as common in dogs as you may think. And, while we hear a lot about "grain-free" being better for dogs, more pets are actually allergic to animal proteins than grains. According to the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, the most commonly reported food allergies are chicken (yes, really!), beef, dairy, and eggs. And, you don't have to worry about splurging on gluten-free products for your pup, a gluten allergy is very rare for dogs!
Dog noses are more advanced than you can imagine.
While humans have about 6 million olfactory receptors in their noses, dog noses contain upwards of 300 million. Their nose is also remarkably practical – they breathe in through their nostrils and then exhale through the slits on the sides of their noses, meaning there is constant scent-processing happening. This is where your pup's wet nose comes into play, as well; the "wet" nature of the nose catches compounds from the breeze. Dogs can also smell separately with each nostril, which gives them the ability to pinpoint the direction that the smell is coming from. Dogs have an acute way of smelling hormones, which means that they can read feelings of anger or stress on someone, as well as knowing when someone is pregnant. Some dogs can even sniff out cancerous cells! One phenomenal fact about a dog's sense of smell is that they can also process things that have happened in the past. They can smell when a car has just pulled away, or a human has just walked by – in addition to being able to process every unique chemical signature of the insects, flowers, people, and animals around them.