Dogs have been ‘man’s best friend’ for hundreds of years, but did you know there’s far more to them than meets the eye? We spoke with the team at St Kitts to find out some of their favourite facts about dogs – some of which may surprise you!
1. Some dogs can sniff out medical problems
The area of cells in the brain that detect different smells is about 40 times larger in dogs than it is in humans, which means they can pick up on so many more scents than we ever could. Because their sense of smell is so good, some pooches can be trained to detect medical conditions or alert their owners if they need more medication.
2. Your dog could be left or right-pawed
Studies have shown that like us, most dogs have a preferred hand (well, paw). You can figure out if your dog is left or right-pawed by giving them their favourite toy and seeing which paw they use to help them first.
3. Greyhounds can reach speeds of 45mph
Greyhounds are the fastest breed of dog in the world, thanks to their long legs, flexible spine, large heart and fast-twitch muscles. Like a cheetah, they run in a “double suspension gallop”, which means each hind leg follows the foreleg and all four feet leave the ground.
4. They’re as smart as a two-year-old
With the ability to learn over 100 words and gestures, a dog’s level of intelligence puts them on par with a two-year-old – though they’re much easier to train!
5. Looking into their eyes can help you bond
Research has shown that a dog gazing into our eyes, and us looking into theirs, contributes to the release of oxytocin (otherwise known as the “love” hormone) on both sides.
6. Labradors remain a firm favourite
The Labrador Retriever consistently appears near the top of the list of the most popular breeds every year. In 2021, a huge 61,559 were registered in the UK alone!
7. They can hear part of a Beatles song that we can’t
Paul McCartney confirmed that the band added a frequency to their “A Day in the Life” track that only dogs can hear. His advice is: “If you ever play ‘Sgt Pepper’ [the album] watch your dog.”
8. 15-30% of Dalmatians are deaf in one ear
According to UFAW, between 15-30% of Dalmatians are deaf in one ear, while 5% are deaf in both. It’s caused by something called the “extreme piebald gene”, which is responsible for their white coat and their blue eyes (in some of them).
9. Their nose prints are unique
We share a lot more with our furry friends than you may think! Much like human fingerprints, each pooch’s nose has a one-of-a-kind pattern of creases and ridges.
10. They can see in colour
Despite the staying power of the belief that dogs live in a black and white world, scientists have demonstrated that this isn’t true. They can see shades of blue, yellow and grey, but reds, greens and oranges are missing from their spectrum. If you find that your dog often prefers blue and yellow toys, this is probably why!
For more advice on your dog, or for any other concerns you may have, please get in touch with your local St Kitts practice.
St Kitts Veterinary Centre: 01252 844044
Basingstoke Veterinary Centre: 01256 844944
Crookham Park Veterinary Centre: 01252 913990
Firgrove Veterinary Centre: 01252 877799