Can Dogs Get Braces? 10 Popular Dog Questions Answered
As dog parents, we always seem to have questions about furry friends on our minds—and many of them go unanswered! Luckily, we have compiled a list of head-scratching dog questions with detailed answers so you can spend less time wondering...and more time understanding your pup!
#1: Can Dogs Get Braces?Braces for dogs do exist! Veterinary dentists may apply braces if the teeth are causing severe pain to the point where the dog cannot fully close their mouth or chew food. Unlike humans, dogs cannot get braces for purely cosmetic reasons. Additionally, dog braces do not have to be worn as long as human braces because dogs' mouths mature faster than ours.
Read our dog dental care guide to learn more about maintaining your furry friend's oral health.
#2: Can Dogs See Color?
Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not have black-and-white colorblindness. They actually have dichromatic color vision, with two color-sensitive cone cells in their retinas (yellow and blue) compared to a human's three (red, green, and blue). According to Psychology Today, dogs see varying shades of yellow, blue, and gray—similar to what someone with red-green colorblindness would see. If you are looking to really catch your furry friend's attention, our Power Play dog toys feature enticing, high-visibility colors such as yellow and blue.
Interested in learning more about how a dog's sight affects their everyday life? Read our comprehensive article on dog vision to expand your knowledge!
#3: Can Dogs See in the Dark?While dogs do not have night vision, they do have a layer of tissue behind their retinas that reflects light and helps them see better than humans in low-light situations. This layer, which is called the tapetum lucidum, also acts as a mirror when taking photos with flash. Ever notice how your dog's eyes appear to glow in photos? The tapetum lucidum causes this fascinating glowing effect!
In addition, while dogs see in the dark better than humans, they cannot see as well as their feline counterparts. Neither dogs nor cats can see in total darkness.
#4: Can Dogs Catch Human Colds?You'll be happy to know that human colds are largely species-specific and very rarely affect dogs. However, pooches can catch colds—and diseases that cause cold-like symptoms—from other dogs. Just like humans, dogs with colds typically experience the following symptoms: coughing, sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, lethargy, and a runny nose. If your dog has a cold, we recommend calling your veterinarian.
#5: Why Are Dogs' Noses Wet?
The inner lining of a dog's nose secretes a thin layer of mucus. While it may sound yucky, this mucus layer helps our favorite companions absorb scents, which in turn enhances their sense of smell. In fact, dogs have approximately 40x the amount of scent receptors compared to humans, according to the Phoenix Veterinary Center! Because dogs do not have sweat glands, a wet nose additionally regulates the air that goes into their bodies, helping to maintain normal body temperature.
Dogs may also have wet noses due to moisture from their surroundings. Furry friends use their hard-working noses to investigate, meaning they could easily pick up wetness from the ground or objects. Whether their noses are covered in food, dirt, or other particles, dogs often lick them for taste or to clean themselves. Don't you wish you could touch your tongue to your nose that easily?
#6: Why Do Dogs Scratch Their Bed?Scratching, pawing, and circling around the bed are mainly the result of instinct. Your dog's wild ancestors used to create their own sleeping areas by doing the same to piles of leaves, dirt, and other materials found in nature. Through scratching, the glands in your dog's paws also leave behind their scent. This helps your pooch mark their territory and feel content in their bed space.
#7: Do Dogs Dream?
Yes, it's possible for dogs to dream! If your dog is sound asleep and suddenly starts twitching their paws as if running a mid-nap race, there's a good chance they are dreaming. According to the American Kennel Club, humans and dogs share similar brain wave patterns and have several sleep cycles in common, including rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. By tracking brain activity, scientists suggest that animals dream just like we do in the REM stage of sleep.
So, what do dogs dream about? To answer one of the most popular dog questions, Stanley Coren, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of British Columbia, conducted a study and found that dogs dream about "doggy things" they've recently experienced. In addition to dreaming about chasing squirrels and playing with chew toys, your furry friend is likely to think about you in their dreams!
#8: Why Do Dogs Like Belly Rubs?
While no one knows the exact reason why dogs like belly rubs, we all know that dogs can't scratch their tummies themselves! A nice, relaxing belly rub is a bonding action between you and your furry friend that simply makes them feel good. In many ways, an affectionate belly rub is also a symbol of trust. It indicates your dog is comfortable enough to expose their belly, relying on your loving assistance for a tummy rub!
#9: Can Dogs See Themselves in the Mirror?While your dog can see their reflection, they cannot recognize it as their own—no matter how many times you hold them up to the mirror. When first encountering a mirror, some puppies interact with their reflection as if it is another animal, though most dogs lose interest relatively quickly.
#10: Why Do Dogs Lick People?Licking people is one of many funny dog behaviors. Mother dogs often lick their puppies to clean and comfort them, so dogs instinctually associate licking with love and caregiving. This means a lick from your dog is most likely a sign of affection! Licking can also help your dog taste and grab one's attention. Though, if your dog is excessively licking, there may be more at play.
Fascinating Furry FriendsOur curiosity in dogs only seems to grow the more we interact with them. No matter the breed, dogs are extraordinarily interesting creatures who keep us on our toes. We hope that learning the answers to some of the most eyebrow-raising dog questions helps you better understand your favorite companion…and maybe even win a game of dog trivia!