Dogs are great – they provide us with love, companionship, and are always there when we need them. But did you know that a dog is so much more than it seems?
We all know dogs have been “man’s best friends” for thousands of years, but there’s a lot more to our four-legged friends that makes them truly amazing.
1. Their sense of smell is at least 40 times better than ours
The range of cells in the dog’s brain that detects different odors is about 40 times greater than in humans. This means your dog can smell more than we can. Because of this, dogs are often used to sniff out people, drugs, and even money!
In fact, some of our own hero dogs have received PDSA medals for their noses! Weapons and Explosives Detection Dog Buster (pictured above) was awarded his PDSA Dickin Medal in 2003 for his outstanding service in Iraq – finding a large number of weapons and explosives linked to an extremist group and saving the lives of many civilians and military personnel.
2. Some people have good noses and can sniff out medical problems
Yes, medical tracking dogs are one thing. Because their sense of smell is so good, some dogs can be trained to sniff out diseases. They are used to diagnose specific conditions or to alert owners when more medication is needed.
One of these incredible dogs is the medical detection dog Parr (pictured above), which has been awarded the PDSA Medal of Merit. Pal played an important role in Claire’s life with diabetes by alerting her to changes in blood sugar. If she wasn’t recognized in time, the changes could kill her.
3. Dogs can sniff while breathing
Dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell to find food, potential danger, and friends, so it goes without saying that they sniff a lot. Their noses are designed to keep smells in their noses while letting air flow in and out of their lungs, which means they can breathe freely and still figure out what that smell is!
4. Some dogs are good swimmers
So not all dogs love water, but those that do are very good swimmers.
The Newfoundland is very good in the water and has been used as a water rescue dog for many years. In 2016, a brave Newfoundland dog named Whiz was awarded the PDSA Order of Merit for saving nine people from the sea during his career as a water rescue dog.
5. Some are so fast they can even beat a cheetah!
Most dogs can easily outrun humans – they are born to run and hunt! However, by far the fastest dog breed is the Greyhound. These fast greyhounds can reach a top speed of 70 km/h within seconds of takeoff
“But how can it beat a cheetah?” we hear you ask. Well, while the cheetah can reach speeds of 110 km/h, it only lasts about 30 seconds. Greyhounds, on the other hand, can easily run 7 miles at over 35 mph. So, even though the Cheetahs are ahead, they will soon pass!