Common Questions and Answers About Dogs
Updated: February 25, 2021
You probably consider your dog as part of the family, but sometimes they do the strangest things. Here are some answers to questions you have about your pet.
Man's best friend may be dogs, but it doesn't mean we understand each other. Often, our pups have us scratching our heads and wondering, "Why do they do that?”
Today, we'll answer your dog questions, so you stop worrying and start getting to know him better.
Why do Dog’s Stick Their Heads Out of the Car Window?
As you drive down the highway, you may have noticed that some cars have dogs sticking their heads out of the car window. For some dogs, the whole point of car rides is to stick their noses out of the window. But why do dogs do this?
The answer will surprise you! Well, I guess it depends on the dog. Like a lot of dog behaviors, sticking their heads out of the car window is a case of learned behavior.
It turns out that dogs get a rush of wind to the face when their heads are outside the car that feels similar to the way we humans feel when we breathe in fresh air.
If dogs could drive cars, they would leave the windows rolled down all the time.
They LOVE to smell the air. They smell with their nose first, then their mouth. Whatever they smell goes into their mouth, to determine what it is.
It is easier for the dog to smell with their head sticking out the window. The air can make odors stronger, making it fun for the dog. That’s why they do it.
While your dog’s sticking their heads out of the window makes you think they are getting a great deal of enjoyment from the wind in their faces, the motives are actually a bit more complicated. They are curious and dogs can recognize locations by the smell, which is probably why they’re drawn towards windows.
Because dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans, they get an intense smelling experience when they stick their heads out the window.
Why Dog’s Sniff Other Dog’s Butts?
It might not seem exactly polite to sniff another dog’s rear end. But it’s a critical part of canine communication, whether you’re a puppy or a senior pooch.
And you can tell a lot about another dog by smelling another dog's behind, whether it’s a cursory sniff or a deep inhale. (Just as you can tell a lot about a person by smelling their breath!)
Dog owners know how funny it is when Fido smells another dog’s behind. Dogs greet each other by “air smelling” and the scent left by other dogs on the ground or on objects like trees or lamp posts is a way of collecting information about the other dog.
Dogs will often use their noses to touch and lick other dogs in the face. This is a way of signaling that they are not a threat.
Why Do Dog’s Follow Me Into the Bathroom?
If you have dogs, you have probably noticed that they like to follow you wherever you go - even into the bathroom. This is a very common behavior in dogs, and there are several reasons they might follow you into the bathroom.
Dogs follow their owners into the bathroom for a variety of reasons, including to find the food bowl, to see what their owner is doing, or to just to protect them.
There are even some dogs follow their owners into the bathroom because they are curious about the toilet and what goes into it. And yes, some dogs just like being in the bathroom with their owners for no reason at all.
A dog’s sense of smell is up to 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s.
That’s why it’s much easier for dogs to notice when someone has a bowel movement in their home or another dog in their yard. They can smell the difference between the waste and the grass.
But the main reason dogs follow you into the bathroom is that you are part of their pack and they are protecting you while you do your business. Canines like this are called Velcro dogs, because they stick to you wherever they go.
Why Do Dog’s Kick Up the Lawn after they go Pee?
We all know that dogs will sniff each other’s butts, but did you know they do this with the lawn too? The answer is actually pretty simple: it’s a territorial thing.
It is because dogs need to know if another dog has already been there. Dogs mark their territory with a musky scent, and the stronger the scent, it will deter other animals from entering the area.
Male dogs will lift their legs when peeing, to mark their territory, and some will even kick the ground. This is not just a male thing, though.
Females will also pick up their legs when urinating, but they do this to make the message on the lawn clearer.
Either male or female dogs when they “mark” their territory by peeing, the dogs are actually just trying to leave a powerful scent that will keep others away.
That’s why dogs are a lot more likely to pee on a lawn than on a sidewalk: the contrast between concrete and grass makes the scent of the urine stand out all the more.
Plus a good sniff of a urine spot can tell a dog a lot of information about the other animal that left it: its sex, diet, and even the mood it was in.
Why Do Dog’s Eat Grass?
Dogs have been eating grass for centuries, and people have been asking themselves why they do it for just as long.
The most common answer is that dogs eat grass to make themselves throw up if they’ve eaten something poisonous, or to help themselves feel better if they’re feeling sick.
Others believe dogs eat grass to “reset” their digestive system after a heavy meal. While these reasons are plausible, they’re also unlikely. Dogs eat grass because they like the taste, plain and simple.
Eating grass will do little to relieve a dog’s nausea or stomachache and eating grass won’t affect the digestion of a dog’s meal.
Why Do Dog’s Spin Around Before They Poop?
Have you ever wondered why your dog spins in circles before pooping? It’s a common behavior that many dog owners observe with their pets, but it may seem strange—and even disgusting—because it involves defecating.
There are various theories about why dogs do this, and many of them have to do with scent marking, or communicating with other dogs.
The act of spinning has nothing to do with the act of pooping itself, but it’s still a cute—and funny—behavior to witness. It’s natural to wonder why dogs do it, though.
Theories on Why Dog's Spin
In fact, there are several theories regarding the purpose of the spinning behavior.
One theory is that dogs do it to show their dominance over a particular spot, since the act involves pooping and marking territory.
Some believe that dogs spin around because it helps them get as comfortable a position as possible.
Another theory, one that has to do with the psychology of dogs, is that dogs spin around before they poop because it’s fun. While many dog owners find this theory hard to believe, it all comes down to how dogs view the world around them.
When a dog is about to poop, it’s often in a place where it has previously laid down a scent. The dog is essentially saying, “I’m going to poop here, and then I’ll be ready to play.”
Should Dog’s Wear a Seatbelt?
Should a dog wear a seatbelt in the car? Why or why not?
This is a question that every dog owner should ask themselves. Imagine this: you’re driving in the car with your precious pooch, and BAM! Just like that, you’re in an accident.
But instead of him being thrown around the car, your dog was wearing a seatbelt...Just like kids, your dog stands a better chance of surviving an accident.
The quick answer is, “Yes, they do need to wear a seatbelt.”
How do I Stop my Dog from Digging Hole in the Yard?
There are many reasons dogs dig holes.
If you’ve ever owned a dog, you probably know that they love to dig holes, which can be a major annoyance if your dog loves to dig in your yard. Dogs like to dig holes for many reasons, including:
Dogs get a kick out of tunneling underground and see a hole as a starting point for a fun game.
Dogs may dig a hole to bury a favorite toy or bone, or to create a cool place to lie in.
A hole provides a place for a dog to feel safe when laying or sleeping.
A hole can serve as an escape route for a bored or overstimulated dog.
A dog who’s feeling neglected or anxious may take their insecurity out by digging.
Another major reason a dog digs in the backyard is pure boredom or the searching for a cool place to rest.
These are all problems that can be addressed by providing mental stimulation, ensuring your dog gets enough exercise, and redecorating her digs to make them more relaxing.
If your dog is digging because she’s trying to escape from your yard, the problem may be more serious and require professional help.
Why Do Dog's Lick People?
Dogs are constantly licking things. They lick us; they lick each other, and they lick themselves. It’s not just humans they want to lick, either.
Some lick to show affection, some lick to get attention, and others lick out of boredom or anxiety. Dogs lick when they are physically close to a person, and they lick their owners because they lick other dogs.
Dogs have a great sense of smell and initially learn about people by their scent. As a result, a dog may lick a person to get a better idea of who they are.
Dogs also like to sniff one another in greeting, and it’s not uncommon to see a dog sniffing the ground, walls, or a dog toy.
It’s hard to say why dogs lick other things, but some researchers have found that dogs may simply seek information about their surroundings.
Why Does My Dog Stare at Me?
When I look at my dog, I see a set of beautiful big brown eyes staring at me. I see a dog who is always happy to see me, a dog who is always eager to do anything I ask, and a dog who loves to spend his days with me.
Dogs stare at their owners for a variety of reasons, including when they’re bored, lonely, or just trying to tell you something.
But there could be more to it than that: behavior experts have found that dogs can recognize human facial expressions, and they may try to figure out what those expressions mean. Even if Fido doesn’t know exactly what you’re thinking, he may try to figure it out.
Sometimes the staring is attributed to food, or a treat, a walk, or playtime. Or you could train, and you’ve said something your pup doesn’t understand, so he’s working hard to figure out the meaning in your expression.
What Does a Dog Howling Mean?
Dogs have a wide range of sounds they make from barks to howls and growls.
While some of these sounds may seem simple, they can actually convey a wide range of meanings. For example, when a dog howls, many people believe he is lonely or depressed, while others believe he is excited to see his owner.
Dogs are famous for their ability to howl. However, the sound a dog makes is not a sign of how he feels, but an instinctive response to certain situations.
The howl packs a lot of information into its message. Dogs howl to communicate with each other, and to let you know what they are thinking.
Dog’s bark or howl for many reasons, but the most common is that they are excited to see you!
When dogs are excited to see you, they often make a noise that sounds like a howl, and they may do it repeatedly when they are really excited, or when they are playing.
The sound of a dog howling differs from the sound of a wolf howling. A dog’s howl is a happy noise.
Dogs also howl when they feel lonely or are feeling anxious, but they usually only do it when they are alone, and will stop if they get a response from their owner.
Dogs also howl when they are trying to get your attention.
Do Dog's Get Jealous?
The quick answer is yes, dogs can get jealous. But what exactly is jealousy?
It is a feeling of insecurity, whether real or imagined, that often results in anger or a desire to seek revenge. In dogs, jealousy often stems from a sense of territoriality or possessiveness over what they regard as theirs.
A dog that is jealous of his owner’s affection for another dog, for instance, will feel a sense of loss over the owner’s attention, and may act out aggressively when that attention is directed towards another dog rather than him.
Then gets tail wagging joyfully once the owner has returned its attention back to the dog that’s jealous.
Is my Dog’s Mouth really Clean?
We’ve all heard the old wives’ tale that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth. But is it true?
Well, it’s not as simple as yes or no, but there is some truth to it. A dog’s teeth and mouth differ from ours. Dogs don’t have places for cavities.
They also have fewer teeth, and their teeth are also designed for different things—their canines are long and pointed to help them grab and hold prey.
And their mouths are designed for eating meat, not for chewing their food into mush the way humans do, so there’s less chance of food particles getting stuck between their teeth.
If you were to look at the mouth of a dog, you would think it is clean and germ-free, since the canine mouth is constantly bathing itself with saliva. However, although dogs have a lot of saliva, they don’t have the means to clean their mouths.
This means the bacteria that live in their mouths differ from those in our mouths, since they are used to the dog’s saliva.
If your dog's mouth is stinky, you can make some homemade breath mints for dogs.
Is A Dog’s Sense of Smell Better Than Our Sense of Smell?
It is often said that a dog’s sense of smell is a thousand times better than humans.
This may or may not be true, but either way, a dog’s sense of smell is still much, much better than ours. How do we know?
Some dogs can sniff out cancer, something that even the most advanced medical equipment has trouble with.
We can also train them to sniff out everything from drugs and explosives to bed bugs.
So how powerful sense of smell does dog’s have? According to research, a dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than humans.
Do I Really Need to Pick up My Dog’s Poop?
Owning a dog is a rewarding experience. However, it's hectic to keep up with all the various responsibilities of dog ownership.
The number one question many dog owners ask is do I really need to pick up my dog’s poop?
When you own a dog, picking up his poop is just part of the job. That’s because leaving dog poop on the ground is unsanitary for both animals and humans.
While you might think it’s gross, leaving your dog’s poop on the ground has some serious health consequences.
The average dog poops between 4 and 5 times a day - and each stool is made up of feces and urine, which can cause health issues for you and your dog.
Why Do Dog’s Feet Smell like Corn Chips?
Dog’s feet always seem to smell like corn chips, but why is that? It’s not just because they like to eat them.
It’s a question that’s been asked by dog lovers and non-dog lovers alike: why do dog feet smell like corn chips? And the answer might just surprise you.
Dog’s feet smell like corn chips, and there’s actually a simple scientific reason.
The odor is caused by a compound called 2-ethoxy-2-methylpropanoic acid, which is one chemical that gives a foot its unique odor. That’s why dogs with sweaty feet have corn chip feet; the sweat is a byproduct of bacteria that live on the dog’s paws.
The non-scientific answer is that dog’s feet smell like corn chips because of a gland in their feet called the carpal gland.
The carpal gland secretes several substances, one of which causes dog’s feet to smell like corn chips.
While dog’s feet smell like corn chips, the carpal gland is also responsible for secreting an oily secretion that allows dogs to have water-resistant coats.
My Older Dog seems to have Dementia…Is this possible?
Dogs get diseases just like humans, unfortunately, and sometimes those diseases can be mild and not affect a dog’s quality of life at all.
But other times, they can be serious and debilitating, and one of the more common chronic illnesses that dogs can develop is canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD), better known as canine dementia.
There are many causes of canine dementia, including cancer, infection, and even old age.
Sometimes, though, it may just be a symptom of something more serious, such as a thyroid problem or liver disease.
If your dog seems to get lost more often, not recognizing her environment, or acting confused and disoriented, it’s important to get her to the vet.
When Should I give my Pet Medication for Heartworm, Fleas, or Ticks?
It’s that time of year again. For pet owners in regions where fleas, ticks, and heartworms are common, it’s time to think about how you’ll protect your pets from these parasites.
While heartworm and flea/tick preventives are safe even for pets that haven’t shown symptoms, some pet owners worry that giving their pets medication when they’re not sick is dangerous.
For these owners, the question is: “When should I give my pet medication for heartworm, fleas, or ticks?”
To find out, when to give your dog medications for fleas, ticks, and heartworm, you’ll need to read the instructions for your particular flea/tick medications.
While there are many good reasons to give your dog flea and tick medication, never give your dog heartworm medication without a veterinarian’s advice. You should also talk to your veterinarian about what medication is right for your dog.
Dogs have different reactions to different medications. Factors that affect your dog’s risk for flea and tick infestation or heart worm include age, exposure to the elements, and the time the dog spends outdoors.