Health & Care > Pet care, safety and insurance > Eyesite, Hearing, and Smell in Our Pets and Our Dirty Underwear

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07/30/2010 12:21:12 PM by Dr.Greg   Send Message to Dr.Greg  1645  views, category: Pet care, safety and insurance view all blogs


Mammals changed from a nocturnal animal to a daytime creature over 65 million years ago when a huge void opened after the sudden demise of the dinosaurs. The animals that became our present day species did not need full color vision for nighttime hunting when colors fade. They did need a good sense of smell and hearing. Even if they couldn’t see it, they could smell it or hear it coming…friend or foe. Most mammals retain poor color vision, except for primates. Believe it or not, some reptiles and birds see color much better than us. Our 3 color HD TV would seem a bit lacking in their eyes.

Dogs derive much info and comfort from their 3-D sense of smell. Dogs can tell sex, location, and the last meal by a sniff of a recent acquaintance. Combine that with body language and they can tell attitude and intentions as well. They don’t need to engage in much small talk, just some butt smelling and body language.

When I come home from work, my dogs try to see how many cats and dogs I have worked on that day. Some days they are very interested in a particular case, as they press and sniff with deep inhalations. Many clients like to tell stories of their dogs’ “fetishes”. Just the other day an owner told me that their dog loves to go through the laundry or floor pile of clothes to find a shirt to take downstairs and lay on. Today a friend told me her 9 month old bulldog loves to chew on underwear, and actually chewed the crotch out of a new expensive swim suit. The big problem was that she didn’t notice the hole till she wore it out in front of her sister-in –law, who thought it was just a new fashion. Dogs love odors and the clothes that come in contact with our scent glands are prized possessions. We should be honored. They love us so much that they want us with them, and our body scent is comforting to them. Clothing and shoes that contact scent glands are often at risk for theft and destruction by well meaning dogs. They can’t help it, they are ruled by their nose.

About the author: I love animals and their bond with us. My new book Dog Dish Diet: Sensible Nutrition for Your Dog's Health is out and available on my website ( ). I have been an animal lover my whole life. As a teenager, I worked at a pet sh... more >>

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