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Why Does My Dog … 8 Interesting Questions People Ask Google About Dogs

closeup of a chihuahua paying attention

Y’ever look at what Google suggests when you ask a question about a dog? We do! Here are eight of the most “interesting” suggestions, along with our best answers to dog questions.

Related: Why Is My Dog Barking at Me? 7 Reasons Dogs Bark

Do Dogs Have Belly Buttons?

While in utero, all mammals, including humans and dogs, are attached to their mothers’ placentas by an umbilical cord. After birth, the umbilical is no longer necessary, so we use scissors to cut the umbilical cord from a human baby. When a puppy is born, its mother bites off the umbilical cord. Once healed, a scar called a belly button is left behind. So, yes, dogs DO have belly buttons. Finding it is another story. While our belly buttons are pretty prominent in the middle of our stomachs, a dog’s belly button isn’t as obvious. The belly button on a dog is a small flat, thin scar between the base of the ribs, above the abdomen, and is flanked by a nipple on each side (male and female dogs).  Depending on your dog’s coat, you may never find his belly button; this is especially true if he’s long-haired. You may notice a swirl of fur around the scar on a short-haired dog.

An easy-to-spot protruding belly button on a dog could indicate it is herniated (something inside is bulging out). As gross and horrible as this sounds, some hernias resolve themselves. We suggest a vet visit to determine whether your puppy’s hernia is a cause for concern. For hernias that require medical attention, veterinarians typically repair them when they spay or neuter your pet.

Dogs can see color but not the way that humans do.

Do Dogs See Color?

Is the world all black and white for dogs, or can they see color? For decades experts believed that dogs could only see black and white. However, research suggests the opposite is true; dogs can see colors beyond shades of gray, at least to some degree. As nocturnal hunters, dogs developed senses, including seeing in the dark and catching movement. The canine eye structure consists of a large lens, corneal surface, and a reflexive membrane called the tapetum, all of which enhance a dog’s night vision. 

Other key differences between human and canine perception lie in the retinal light-sensing cells called rods and cones. Rods work in low light and are highly sensitive to movement, whereas cones work in bright light and regulate color perception. Dogs have more rods than we do; while we have more cones, three types to be exact, dogs have two types. Each cone type records a different light wavelength; dogs don’t have the one for red and green, and neither do some color-blind people. Scientists now believe that dogs can make out blue and yellow and combinations of the two, but red and green most likely are muted shades of gray and brown.

Do Dogs Smile?

You know a dog’s smile when you see it — a relaxed open mouth with the corners turned up. Is this expression really a smile? According to experts, we don’t know. Even though it appears dogs smile in positive settings, determining whether these smiles express genuine happiness or pleasure lacks objective research. Until we get better tools to help uncover the truth behind these grins, we say, yes, your dog is smiling at you; after all, you’re his best friend.

Related: 6 Signs of Happiness in Dogs

How Do Dogs Show Affection?

Dogs show their affection toward their humans in many ways. Your dog may nudge you with his nose or may offer up a soulful gaze into your eyes. Other typical signs of affection include rolling over, looking for a belly rub, jumping up on you (although you may not want to encourage this type of behavior), leaning into you with their full body weight, last but not least, licking you.

cane corso dog breed
The mastiff has the strongest bite at 500+ pounds.

Which Dog Has the Strongest Bite?

Want to know which dog’s bite is worse than its bark? A quick search of the internet will bring you a world of various answers. According to research in the February 2009 issue of Journal of Anatomy, Dr. Jennifer Lynn Ellis and her team found two strong predictors of a high bite force: the animal’s size and shape of its jaw. Breeds with the largest head and widest mouth, the higher the force. The study by Dr. Ellis showed the mastiff at number one with a bite strength of 552 pounds which is slightly less force than that of a lion’s bite. 

Which Dogs Live the Longest?

The answer to this question isn’t so cut and dry. Although the average lifespan is about 10 to 13 years, a canine’s longevity depends on many factors, including parentage, environment, diet, and exercise. Research shows larger dogs have a shorter lifespan versus smaller breeds. Science further supports that cross-bred dogs tend to live longer than purebreds. One reason: Inbreeding is common among purebred dogs. While purebreds offer specific traits, like coat type or temperament, the practice of selective breeding increases the chance that closely related dogs are bred, which leads to a greater risk for lower fertility, smaller litters, higher puppy mortality, and shorter lifespans. On the other hand, cross-breeding (offspring from two different breeds) tend to have fewer health issues overall.

Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?

We all know that dogs excel out sniffing even the faintest of scents (undetectable by humans). In addition to the 100 million-plus sensory receptor sites in their nasal cavities (humans only have six million), having a wet nose proves advantageous to a canine. Why? Scent particles adhere better to damp surfaces.

play nose work games with your dog
Dogs have more than 100 million sensory receptors in their noses (we have only 6 million).

A wet nose also performs as a cooling mechanism when your pet is hot. How does a dog’s nose get wet? A few ways. Their noses naturally secret mucus that clings to the nostrils, dogs lick their noses, and they may pick up moisture from their surrounding environment like from a water bowl, puddles, damp leaves, or grass.

Related: How Does Scent Training for Dogs work? (And Why Would You Need It?)

Why Do Dogs Lick You?

Experts tend to agree that dogs probably lick people for a few reasons. Whether it be humans or other dogs, canines like to use their tongues as a way of saying, “I like you.” Over time their kisses can be more about seeking attention than affection. It also could be that you taste good. Whether it’s the sweat on your brow or BBQ leftovers on your fingers, your dog will most likely leave no drop behind.