As a pet owner, you can vouge for the special bond that you share with your pet. These domestic creatures are amazing companions that provide unconditional love, a sense of purpose and overall support, but at the same time they are also very complex.
Have you ever wondered if your dog could sense your emotions? What about your cat’s ability to provide therapy? Will your pet parrot outlive you? These are all some mind-numbing questions we are going to explore.
1. Dogs can indeed sense human emotions
Leading the mind-numbing facts about pets, we find emotions.
Dogs are incredible creatures that have unimaginable capabilities when it comes to sight, hearing, smelling and more. What you might not know is they can also sense your emotions through processing body language, tone of voice, hand gestures, facial expressions and more.
Therefore, you might notice when you’re visibly upset or in pain, your dog will often come to your defense to provide you with comfort or you might notice how dogs usually avoid people who appear to be angry.
Dogs use all their senses to pick up on how humans are feeling, and they ‘speak’ to us through their own sounds, expressions and overall body languages. Scientists have found that dogs use a combination of sensory info including our facial expressions and voices when it comes to how they respond to our emotions.
2. Felinotherapy is cat therapy and yes it’s a real thing
Second in this mind-numbing list of facts about pets, we find their healing powers.
It’s no secret that pets provide their owners with outstanding emotional support and this is a huge reason why lots of people get a pet of their own in the first place.
If we turn our focus to cats in particular, they have amazing abilities when it comes to relieving their owners stress, depression and anxiety. This receives the name of felinotherapy – which means cat therapy and its scientifically proven!
According to some studies, felinotherapy can benefit different psychological and physical conditions.
Cats are faithful and loving creatures that can provide security and comfort if needed and with their soft furry coats, they can provide therapy through simple petting. When you pet a cat, your oxytocin levels increase which helps relieve feelings of pain, stress and anxiety. In addition to this, having a pet cat can help combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.
3. Dogs can dream just like we do
Third in the mind-numbing facts about pets, we find sleeping patterns.
According to scientific research, dogs can dream similarly to humans which means they’re capable of replaying memories or moments from their day while they’re asleep.
If you notice your dog twitch, bark or move their eyelids while they’re sleeping, this means they’re in REM sleep. Another interesting finding is that smaller dogs tend to dream more than larger dogs while puppies and seniors dream more than middle-aged dogs.
And just like humans, it’s believed that dogs can also have nightmares.
If you notice your pooch experiencing what looks like a nightmare, its best to just leave them until they wake up on their own – nobody likes being woken from a scary dream and dogs react aggressively if startled.
So we know our dogs can dream, but there is no way for us to find out what exactly they’re dreaming about – this leaves us some room to guess. If you observe your dog sleeping, REM sleep will usually kick in after 20 minutes.
Is your dog displaying similar actions to what their daily activities look like? Maybe your dog looks like he’s running in his sleep and he just spent all day at the dog park. Or maybe he’s moving like he does when he goes to fetch his ball or play with his friends – these are some things that could be replaying in your dog’s head while they’re fast asleep.
4. Pet parrots can outlive their owners
Fourth in the list of mind-numbing facts about pets, we find parrot’s longevity.
When it comes to pet birds, the general rule of thumb is the bigger the bird, the longer the lifespan. There are more than 200 different species of parrots that exist in all different sizes – some you can hold in the palm of your hand while others are the same size as cats.
While birds are amazing creatures that can also be great pets, it’s important to understand just how long they can live.
Pet parrots live longer than parrots in the wild.
This is because they don’t have to face the predators and diseases as wild parrots do – making it very common for them to outlive their owners.
For example; African Gray Parrots can live more than 60 years, Amazon Parrots can live for 75 years, Eclectus Parrots can live more than 50 years, Senegal Parrots can live up to 50 years and Pionus Parrots typically live for 25 years.
These are average statistics and are based on the principals of the birds being in captivity and not in the wild.
5. Your pet rabbit’s teeth are constantly growing
Fifth item in our list of mind-numbing facts about pets are the rabbit’s teeth.
Rabbits have lots of teeth that are constantly growing – 28 to be exact. The front teeth (incisors) mash up the tough vegetation that rabbits eat while the rest of the teeth help them break down their food into smaller and more swallowable pieces.
Wild rabbits eat tough vegetation on a regular basis and by doing this, it maintains the length of their non-stop growing teeth. Their teeth consist of open roots which is why they constantly are growing and each year their teeth can grow up to five inches.
This can be problematic for pet rabbits because instead of eating twigs, grasses, leaves and weeds, they are usually given pellets. If you have a pet rabbit, you must always provide it with timothy hay and chew toys to help maintain their teeth.
6. Dogs have a way more superior sense of smell than humans
Sixth mind-numbing fact about pets is dog’s sense of smell. No wonder why.
It is believed that a dog’s sense of smell can be between 10,000 and 100,000 times better than humans. For each scent receptor that us humans have, dogs have approximately 50 but this isn’t the same for all breeds.
Bloodhound dogs take the lead when it comes to best sniffers as they have about 300 million receptors while dogs with shorter noses like bulldogs have lesser capabilities when it comes to smelling.
7. The concept of pets have been around for thousands of years
Last but not least, we have always lived with our beloved pets.
The idea of owning an animal as a pet is not something new. In fact, young wolfs were domesticated 14,000 years ago with evidence of companionship dating back to 12,000 years ago.
This shows us that dogs really are a man’s best friend. Keeping an animal as a pet became quite common by the late 18th century – a time when humans started to understand their domination over the wild.
As society continued to evolve, pet ownership continued to climb. Today in Canada, there are more than 8 million pet cats and more than 7 million pet dogs. This is the reason why organizations like ours, Animal Food Bank, makes them their main reason to exist.