The 'How-to' Dog Blog

5 Fun Facts About Dogs

Have you ever wondered why dogs do the things they do? Or what makes their behavior so unique? We scoured the web to dig up five fun facts about our furry friends. Call it a doggie FAQ or things you never knew you wanted to know. Go ahead, impress your friends with your canine know-how.

Doggie Fun Facts

Why do dogs spin around before going poo?

One day when I took Brick out to go potty, a neighbor came over and told me a fun fact: That dogs spin in a circle because they can sense the Earth’s gravitational pull and do that to center themselves with it. This sounded too far-fetched, so I had to investigate further. A quick Google though, seemed to concur that my neighbor was correct! According to Discovery News, “Dogs prefer to do their duty with their bodies aligned along the north-south axis, particularly under calm magnetic field conditions.” Who knew?!

Why do dogs spin around before lying down?

You know how Fido will circle around in his bed or fluff up a blanket before settling for a snooze? I had always assumed it was just to get comfortable, but this behavior may actually go back to dogs’ early days.

According to the Canidae blog, it stems back to the wild, where dogs had to make their bed wherever they could, often in grassy areas, and circling would flatten the area to make it more comfortable, while pawing at the area would be to remove rocks or twigs away. It also could have been a way to mark their territory.

Another source said it could be a digging behavior, as dogs in the wild would dig into the ground to cool themselves off with the soil when it was hot outside. Likewise, when it was cold out, the soil would help retain their body heat. Smart pups!

Why do dogs eat grass?

The basic answer: Because they’re scavengers and eat anything and everything. The better answer: Grass to them is an alternate food source, and it’s easy to get. Wild canines are also known to eat fruits and other veggies too! Dogs may look for that green stuff to supplement their diet, especially if they’re on a commercial diet, as grass actually contains nutrients. As petMD also says, “A dog will seek out a natural remedy for a gassy or upset stomach. When ingested, the grass blade tickles the throat and stomach lining; this sensation, in turn, may cause the dog to vomit, especially if the grass is gulped down rather than chewed.” The good news is that you shouldn’t worry too much about grass eating, as long as it doesn’t become obsessive, which may indicate a problem.

Why are their noses wet?

Well, aside from the fact that pooches lick their noses, a dog’s nose actually can be an indicator of their health! According to Campus Veterinary Clinic, there is a layer of mucus on their noses that aids their sense of smell and assists with temperature regulation. When your dog is sniffing and awake, the nose is wetter; when resting, it may appear dryer. Their noses are also able to absorb what’s in their environment, and when they lick their nose, that is transferred to the olfactory sense organs in the mouth. Fascinating, huh?!

How do dogs drink water?

I never gave this much thought, but isn’t it a little weird how dogs are able to lap up water, whereas if we humans had to drink from a bowl, we would probably slurp it up with our lips? Turns out, a dog’s tongue is the perfect apparatus to transport water to their mouth. Well, that and the fact that they don’t have lips like we do.

A dog’s tongue actually forms a scoop as they drink, and while cats’ tongues make a scoop that goes forward, a dogs’ tongue folds backward.

And why are they so messy when they drink, especially as opposed to cats? It’s simply because their tongues typically plunge farther into the water than cats.

 

What other doggie fun facts do you know or are dying to find out?

About Amanda Huggett Hofland

Amanda Huggett Hofland works as a writer in Fargo, N.D., and volunteers at a local dog rescue. She and her husband own two cats named Captain and Little Girl and a goofy Boxer-mix dog named Brick. ... Add Amanda to your Google+ circles at . You can also find her on Twitter @AmandaHofland.