Our pets make amazing companions for us, but there are probably a lot of things you don't know about them! We've put together a list of some of our favourite dog and cat facts so you can also learn a little bit more about your beloved pet.
A dogs sense of smell is at least 40x better than oursThe area of cells in the brain that detect different smells is around 40 times larger in dogs than humans. This means that your dog can pick up on way more smells than we ever could. This is why dogs are often used to sniff out people, drugs and even money! In fact, some dogs can even sniff out medical problems in humans. They are used to diagnose a particular condition or to alert their owners if they need more medication. Some are even being trained to sniff out Covid-19! One of these incredible dogs is Medical Detection Dog Pal (pictured above), who was awarded the PDSA Order of Merit. Pal played a vital role in diabetic owner Claire’s life by alerting her of changes in her blood sugar. If not caught in time, these changes could have killed her. Read more about their incredible bond on the PDSA website.
Cats can't taste sweet things
Some scientists have long suspected that cats, which are strict carnivores, are "sweet blind." Now there's scientific proof that cats lack the receptor for sweetness! Cats are alone among mammals in lacking the sweet gene, even close relatives among the meat-eaters like hyenas and mongooses have it. We also know that cats can taste things we cannot, such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the compound that supplies the energy in every living cell.
@cockapoomarley on Instagram
Your dog could be left or right pawed
There have been a few studies around this and it turns out that just like us, dogs have a preferred (or dominant) paw to lead with. You can find out whether your dog is left or right-pawed by giving them their favourite toy and seeing which paw they use to help them first.
@piper_page_cats on Instagram
Cats sleep for the majority of their life
The average cat sleeps 16–18 hours a day, meaning that by the time a cat is 9, they will only have been awake for three years of their life! Now that's what we call a cat nap!
Dogs have 18 muscles controlling their earsDogs ears often move around a lot. They actually have around 18 muscles responsible for moving their ears alone! These help them to change the direction of their ears slightly to hear noises around them better, and play a really big part in telling us how our dogs are feeling. A lot of a dog’s body language is expressed through what their ears are doing so a dog’s ears are vital in helping them communicate both with us and other dogs.
Cats aren't actually colourblindCats are not completely colourblind to the point that they only see grey like many people think. In fact, cats vision is similar to that of a human who is colourblind. They see shades of blue and green but reds and pinks may be confusing to them.
We hope you enjoyed learning all of these fun facts as much as we did! Which one surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments!
Header image by @PanamaPaws on Instagram