There is no question that dogs are sensational animals. Many of us can’t imagine a life without our furry friends by our side. They tickle our senses daily, their smells (some more appealing than others) fill our homes, their silly antics make us smile (and sometimes cringe), and their furry warmth curled up beside us fills our hearts with joy and has even been proven to lower our blood pressure. There are so many ways dogs fill our lives and improve our world, but do you ever stop to wonder how your dog perceives the world? How do his senses measure up against yours? Keep reading to find out!
- A dog’s sense of smell is estimated to be between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than that of humans. We all know dogs have strong sniffers, but their ability to smell out the world puts human noses to shame. Their vast superiority in the area of sniffing is due, in large part, to two main factors: not only do dogs have nearly seventeen times as many sensor receptor sites in their nasal cavities, but the area of the canine brain devoted to interpreting and analyzing odors is roughly 40 times larger than the comparable area of the human brain. Both humans and dogs use sight and smell to assess their surroundings and communicate. But, while people spend more time interpreting visual data, dogs are the opposite. A dog’s sense of smell is his primary asset in illuminating the world around him.
- A dog’s hearing is widely considered to be about 40 times more sensitive than a human’s. Just like their superiority in sniffing, a dog’s sense of hearing is nothing to sneeze at. Dogs can hear nearly twice as many frequencies as humans and can hear sounds up to 4 times farther away. So, what a human might hear from 20 feet away a dog could hear from a distance of 80 feet!
- A dog’s sense of taste is about one-sixth as powerful as ours. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), a dog’s sense of taste is much less discriminating than that of humans. While people have roughly 9,000 taste buds, dogs have only around 1,700. But, just because your pup is lacking in taste buds, don’t think he won’t enjoy a nice juicy steak. Unlike humans, who cannot eat and smell simultaneously, dogs experience that meal or snack with both senses. A dog’s sizable sense of smell augments his ability to taste and provides an entirely different dining experience than we can imagine.
- Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not color-blind. It is a common misconception that dogs see the world only in black and white. When it comes to distinguishing color, a dog’s vision is most like a person who has red-green color blindness. Just because a dog can’t appreciate the entire spectrum of color that humans do, that does not mean they are unable to perceive different colors. Dogs see color, just not in the same way we do. For example, a red ball might appear brownish-gray or even black to your dog; yellow, orange, and green are all likely to appear as yellowish tones; and even though your dog can easily perceive blue, purple is likely to look the same as blue to them. Never fear, once again your pup’s incredible sense of smell comes to the rescue. Even if your four-legged friend can’t distinguish his ball from all the others at the dog park color-wise, he can always sniff out what belongs to him and you better believe that includes you!!