Dog anatomy quizzes for dog owners could sound like a fun game or a good test of your knowledge, however you may be surprised when you discover how much you don’t know about your dog’s body and the way your dog metabolizes her food, so you might want to brush up on your dog’s physiology before you put your dog at risk in case you think your dog is built just like you.
This news brief gives you 9 main contrasts that separate you from your dog so you can take better care of your dog.
Dog Anatomy 101: 9 Ways Your Dog Differs from You
- Body, Skin and Fur – This characteristic may be obvious, however your dog’s size and shape makes her quite different than you. Your dog’s weight can go from a tiny toy poodle at 5 pounds to a Great Dane that stands as high as 4 feet and hits the scale at 200 pounds. Even if you and your dog match in weight, your dog’s other body characteristics are strictly canine. Your dog’s skin is layered and much thinner than yours. Shedding is another big difference in dog anatomy and is common to most dogs. Fur helps insulate your dog in cold weather. If your dog has hair, she’s better suited for warmer climates because her hair acts as a sunshade.
- Mobility – Your dog is more like a horse because she can change her pace from a walk to a full gallop on all four legs. If your dog loves to swim like a Golden Retriever, you can see the difference in the dog paddle technique she uses to move through the water.
- Life Span – Your dog’s metabolism runs much faster than yours which shortens her life span. This means that your dog breathes faster at 20 – 30 breaths per minute, her blood pumps faster at 65 – 120 beats per minute, and her body temperature is higher at an average of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Your dog sweats by panting and through her paw pads, but not through her skin. It’s important for you to understand the dangers of dehydration and heat stroke based on dog anatomy and the high rate of your dog’s metabolism.
- Sight – Your dog has better night vision, and sees motion much better than you because of a reflective layer in your dog’s eyes. You can see this layer, called the Tapetum Lucidum, at night when car headlights shine into your dog’s eyes and show a greenish glimmer. Your dog has fewer cones in her retina which cuts down on her ability to see detail and colors as well as you. For protection in dog anatomy, your dog also has a third eyelid called the nicitating membrane.
- Hearing – Your dog’s sense of hearing is 4 times better than yours because of her extra long ear canal. Some of the health challenges are ear infections, wax buildup and lack of ventilation to your dog’s ear canal if your dog has long floppy ears.
- Taste and Smell – Believe it or not, your dog’s taste buds are much weaker than yours, so you don’t really have to worry about variety in her food. Your dog’s sense of smell is about a million times better than yours and that’s why your dog’s nose is so sensitive. Take care to remember dog anatomy characteristics for your dog when you cook, clean your home and use fragrances of any kind.
- Teeth – Your dog has 42 teeth compared to your 32 teeth. The front teeth are incisors and canines used to grasp and tear food. The back molars and premolars are used to grind your dog’s food.
- Urinary Tract and Digestion – Because your dog is less discriminating about what she eats, it can affect her digestion and elimination process and be hard for you to detect. Watch for straining, vomiting, diarrhea and discolored urine. Bring your dog to your veterinarian if you see blood in your dog’s urine or feces.
- Anal Gland – Your dog has 2 anal glands that often fill up and put pressure on your dog’s body and may become infected. You may notice your dog scoot along the ground from time to time. Be sure to have your veterinarian look at these glands on your dog to see if they need to be emptied.
This news brief on dog anatomy highlights the differences between you and your dog so you can better understand your dog’s behavior and physiology.
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