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Dog Health | PetsWeekly

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Dog owners often love to brag that they know everything there is to know about their beloved pets, starting from their favorite food, going all the way to their sleeping rituals.

Nevertheless, there are certain interesting facts about these creatures that many people are not aware of. 

Here are some of the most surprising facts you probably did not know about your pooch...

 

He can understand at least 165 words

Sure, this might not seem all that plausible after you’ve told your dog 100 times not to eat your shoes and it’s still doing it, but this has more to do with training than with basic comprehension.

According to Dr. Stanley Coren, who is an expert in canine intelligence, the average dog has the capacity to understand around 165 words and possibly even more, if it is trained to do so.

As long as you are consistent with what you are saying and use the same word every time you want to refer to a particular object or activity, then your dog will be able to memorize it and correlate it with that particular topic whenever it hears it again.

The worldwide record in this category is held by a Border Collie named Chaser, who has managed to build an extraordinary vocabulary of up to 1,022 words.

She can eat more than just her typical dog food

 

If your dog is the same as mine and likes to poke around the kitchen counters, trying to look for any odd thing to eat, then you’ve probably got an internal alert set in, which goes off anytime you see it exploring and chewing away at something it’s not supposed to.

Vets often warn us that certain foods are particularly dangerous for them, such as avocados, chocolate, grapes, onions and even macadamia nuts. Some of these are extremely toxic and may kill your dog within minutes.

Nevertheless, there are some types of foods out there that are considered healthy options for your dog, but you won’t find them at your local pet store. Liz Palika, who is the author of “The Ultimate Pet Food Guide”, and Susan Lauten, an animal nutritionist, aimed to debunk some of the myths surrounding this, by explaining what kind of fresh, canned and frozen foods can be safely consumed by dogs. 

For example, if your dog is threatening to cause a fit unless you give him some watermelon or cantaloupe, you can safely do so, as it will not have any negative impact on your pet.

These are not the only types of foods that your dog is allowed to savor, though. You may also give him/her berries and even an apple slice, as long as you make sure to leave out the seeds, which are toxic for the animal.

You can even offer it a banana as a treat, which may end up being a healthy snacking alternative for your dog, as it is packed with protein.

The length of his nose is directly related to his cooling system

 

Regardless of whether they are wild or domesticated, all dogs rely on their noses to cool themselves down. It basically functions as a thermostat, enabling the dog to regulate its internal cooling system.

Experts agree that the longer your pet’s nose is, the more effective it is in conducting this process. When your dog breathes rapidly, it allows the moisture on the tongue to evaporate, thus cooling the tongue, which further enables the cooling of the entire respiratory system.

Pretty neat, huh?

She can be trained to detect epileptic seizures

It is already a common occurrence for dogs to act as “nurses” for blind or sick people who are in the process of recovering from an illness.  Lately, however, scientists have started using dogs as seizure alert buddies. 

While there is still a great deal of skepticism on this topic, past reports have demonstrated that dogs are capable of warning when a person is about to have an epileptic seizure. In one experiment, the patient was even alerted by the dog 7 minutes before he began experiencing a psychogenic seizure.

He can lower your blood pressure

According to a study published by Julia K. Vormbrock and John M. Grossberg in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, petting a dog or even talking to it can help lower a person’s blood pressure significantly, the sense of touch being the most responsive kind of interaction in this case.

Researchers assume that since dogs are commonly associated with quiet rest time and comfort, petting them helps people lower their heart rate and frequency of arrhythmia, thus putting them in a more relaxed state of mind. 

So go ahead and spend a few minutes with your pet when you get home, as this will not only make it happy to have the attention, but it will also decrease your chances of getting a heart attack or a stroke.

All in all, these beloved creatures continue to fascinate us with each passing day, making us realize that they are in many respects far superior than us, through their intelligence, intuition and overall abilities – so in some ways, we should consider ourselves lucky to be their companions and not the other way around.

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