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Fascinating Dog Facts From A Burnsville, MN Veterinarian

March 1, 2024

Did you know that the average dog can learn over 100 words and phrases? Some pups can learn 250 words and gestures. It’s probably safe to say that Fido’s favorite words are Snack, Treat, Cookie, Bacon, Walk, and Car Ride, and his least favorite is probably Bathtime. Read on as a local Burnsville, MN vet lists some fun facts about Fido.

Fido’s Furry Feet


Fido’s paws are pretty impressive. Those furry feet act as shock absorbers, provide traction on slippery surfaces, and give your pet information about the surface he’s walking on. 

  • Dogs’ toe beans are covered in thick skin, which protects them from heat and cold. However, Fido’s paw pads aren’t completely weatherproof: you will need to be careful to keep your pet off very hot or cold surfaces. They’re also quite delicate when wet, just as our skin is. 
  • Fido can only sweat through his paw pads. 
  • Some pooches lick their paws as a way to soothe themselves and relieve stress. This is sort of  a doggy version of nail biting or foot bouncing. (Note: licking the paws can also be indicative of pain or discomfort, so ask your Burnsville, MN veterinarian about this.)
  • Just like people, most of our canine pals have a dominant paw. One study showed that roughly 75% of  pups use one paw more frequently than the other. Of those, about 58 percent were righties, with the remaining 41 percent being left-pawed. 

Your dog’s paws are crucial to his health and well-being, so be sure to ask your Burnsville, MN for paw care tips! 

Love Heals

Cuddling with or petting your canine buddy can lower both your blood pressure and Fido’s. Also, when you snuggle with  your dog, a certain hormone, oxytocin, is released in you both, reinforcing feelings of being loved and cozy.

Breed

The AKC now has 201 breeds on its roster. The most recent addition is the Lancashire Heeler. The oldest? That particular honor goes to the Saluki. The lean, elegant Sight hound has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs from 2100 B.C. However, the Saluki wasn’t one of the first breeds to make the AKC rank. Early admissions were mostly hunting dogs. That list includes the Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Setter, English Setter, and Gordon Setter.

There are also another 72 breeds currently in the AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS), which is similar to an applicant pool or waiting list for AKC recognition. Acceptance isn’t guaranteed: we’ll have to wait and see how many are approved.

Numbers Game

It’s always interesting to look at the results of various surveys about our furry friends and our relationships with them. A few recent studies have only solidified what we already knew: we have a very special bond with our canine buddies.  

  • 70% of dog owners sign Fido’s name along with theirs on cards.
  • 90% of our canine buddies like to hang out with their humans as we are watching TV.
  • 47% of American households include at least one dog.
  • 45% of U.S. dog owners let their pups sleep in their beds.

Top Spot

It’s not hard to see why the adorable, happy-go-lucky Labrador Retriever is extremely popular. They’re not only ridiculously cute and playful, they’re just great dogs. Fido actually held the top spot of most popular breed in the world for over 31 years. In 2022, the plucky French Bulldog knocked him off that pedestal.

The Nose Knows

Does your pooch like leaving doggy nose art on your windows? If so, you have some one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Dogs all have unique nose prints. Like the human fingerprint, no two are alike. (Tip: if you don’t want to keep your pet’s ‘paintings,’ use white vinegar and newspaper to clean the glass.)

Yes, Dogs Do Dream

Have you ever noticed your furry friend moving and making noises during his naps? In case you were wondering, yes, Fido is actually dreaming. Although all dogs dream, puppies and seniors seem to dream the most. As to what our pets dream about, we suspect that squirrels, toys, treats, and us all show up in that mix.

Fido Is Able To Tell Time

Does your four-legged pal seem to instinctively know when it’s time for a walk, or when he’s due for a meal? That’s no coincidence. Studies suggest that dogs have a pretty keen sense of time.

An Incredibly Loyal Friend

Our canine buddies are known for their unwavering and unconditional love and loyalty. Fido will drive himself to exhaustion for his owners. Dogs have even risked—and sometimes sacrificed—their lives to help us. Man’s Best Friend is truly remarkable. Studies have shown that dogs are one of just a few animals who will show kindness towards other living beings.

The Sound Of Music

Does your pooch like music? Put the Beatles’ ‘A Day In The Life’ on for him. Paul McCartney included a supersonic note that only dogs can hear at the end of the song. This was a not-so- secret nod to his own cherished pup, a Shetland Sheepdog. 

Dog Gone It!

There are currently different 201 breeds on the AKC roster. The newest would be the Lancashire Heeler. The oldest? That honor goes to the Saluki. They have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs that were dated back to 2100 B.C.

There are also currently 72 breeds in the AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS), which is sort of like an applicant pool or waiting list for AKC recognition. We’ll have to wait and see how many are approved.

The oldest breeds were mostly hunting dogs: The Pointer, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Clumber Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Setter, English Setter, and Gordon Setter were the first to be recognized.

Survey Says: We Love Our Dogs

It’s always interesting to look at the results of various surveys, and see what others are thinking or doing. Here are a few interesting facts:

  • 45% of American dog owners let their pups sleep in their beds.
  • 70% of people with pups sign Fido’s name along with theirs on cards.
  • 47% of U.S. households include at least one dog.
  • 90% of pet dogs like to hang out with their humans as we are watching TV.

A Nose For Adventure

We can’t really write about fun dog facts without touching on Fido’s adorable snoot! Dogs’ have truly extraordinary senses of smell.

Here are a few examples:

  • Dogs are able to breathe out through both their mouth and nose at once.
  • Fido’s  sense of smell can be impacted if he’s panting or really hot. In fact, being hot or tired can reduce his sense of smell by as much as 40%!
  • Man’s Best Friend can smell things as much as 100,000 times better than we can. 
  • Fido’ s nose has up to 300 million scent receptors. (In comparison, we have a measly 5 million.)
  • Dogs’ sense of smell is roughly 40 times better than ours.
  • Our canine friends can smell the equivalent of a half-teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized pool. 
  • Dogs’ cute noses secrete a special type of mucus, which absorbs chemicals from scent molecules. Your dog will get that information when he licks his nose.
  • The portion of Fido’s brain that processes scents is about 40 times larger than ours. 
  • Your furry pal can  smell separately from each side of his nose. Think of this as an olfactory 3D. He’ll use information from each nostril to pinpoint the location of a scent’s source. 
  • Some of our four-legged pals are able to sniff out illnesses, such as cancer. Others have been trained to detect drugs, bombs, or even bedbugs.

New Scentsation

Does your four-legged buddy sometimes kick dirt or leaves to cover up his waste? Many people assume that dogs do this because they are trying to cover their scent. That’s why cats bury their waste. However, your pup is using the scent glands in his paws to claim his territory.

The Name Game

In many cases, the origins of a dog breed is reflected in the breed name. There are some interesting exceptions here, though. For instance, the French Poodle is actually from Germany. And the Australian Shepherd is from the U.S., not Australia. Also, the Labrador Retriever is descended from Newfoundland dogs. 

Schedule An Appointment With Your Burnsville, MN Veterinary Clinic

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Please feel free to reach out to us anytime. As your local Burnsville, MN pet hospital, we are here to help! 

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