Guest Post: 10 Most Googled Pet Questions!

Hi there! While I am currently on a blogging vacation, I decided to have some of my favorite bloggy friends join me here on SnapGinger with their own contributions. Today I have Roxana who is a pet-loving traveler, an environmentalist and an occasional writer from Australia. 
Just like me, she is a proud pet owner! She has two labs, Brando and Astor, and a purrfect cat Archibald. Roxana can be found on Facebook and Twitter! She is bringing you the 10 most Googled pet questions today! Enjoy!

As any cat or dog owner knows, there’s way much more to pets than meets the eye. Though not always viewed as such, dogs and cats have complex personalities of their own and some instances of their behavior may come across as weird, silly or downright spooky to their owners. For cat and dog lovers eager to find the answers to the reasons behind sometimes odd conduct of their beloved pets, Google has always been a go-to solution – according to recent surveys, more people seem to turn to the internet than vets when it comes to a host of everyday pet-related questions. Here, we bring you top ten most googled questions, so make sure you check them out – you never know, you may find your reliable pet-related answers here and be able to skip the vet part altogether after all.

1. Why are dogs’ noses wet?
Anyone who ever had a chance to see a dog up close and touch its face knows that canine noses are usually wet and cold. The reason for nose wetness in dogs lies in the glands that are found inside each nostril and are used to produce mucus that helps dogs collect scents. You probably had a chance to see your dog licking their nose now and again – in this way, dogs help their bodily temperature optimal (as you probably know, dogs have no sweat glands so they regulate their body heat through the nose and paw pads) and also move the scents from the nasal area to the olfactory glands found on the roof of their mouth.

2. Why do cats eat grass?
As for our feline pets, their weird habit of eating grass and vomiting shortly thereon need not be a major reason for concern or a trip to the vet. Grass helps cats get the essential enzymes necessary for them to regurgitate stodgy matter such as hair balls or counteract indigestion. Though you probably never taught it to eat grass to remedy problems with their digestive system, your cat intuitively turn to it when its stomach cannot process certain foods so it would be a good idea for you to plant a herbal garden at home to prevent your cat from intaking harmful pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals usually used to treat grass found in lawns and backyards.

3. Why do dogs bury bones?
A typical instance of odd dog behavior, burying bones (sometimes referred to as hoarding or caching) has its roots in dog genealogy. Back at the times when food was scarce and hard to catch, the ancestors of our lovable canine pets had to store food in secret stashes to keep other animals from stealing it until they need it next. The simplest way to protect uneaten prey was to bury it in the ground, and in case food shortage arises, they could always go back to their cache for a sure meal. Though times have changed, canine instinct to bury food persists so don’t be surprised if you find a bunch of secret Canidae kibble stashes around your backyard next time you go gardening.

4. Why do cats have whiskers?
Unlike human hair, whiskers found in cats actually function as touch receptors and they are closely wired to the feline’s sensitive muscular and nervous system. Though their tactile hairs found on either side of the nose, upper facial lip and above each eye, cats directly receive information about their surroundings which gets processed in their sensory nerves, allowing the animal to detect and respond to changes in the environment. A sort of a kitty radar, feline whiskers should not be trimmed, cut or in other way tampered with as they help the animal gauge, analyze and respond to their surroundings and fiddling with cat’s tactile hair may make it disoriented, frightened or confused. 

5. Why do dogs chase their tails?
As you’ve probably seen already, dogs have a funny habit of chasing their tails now and again. The reasons for this odd behavior range from hereditary conduct patterns, certain anal infections, fleas, canine compulsive disorder to sheer boredom and lack of adequate exercise. Nevertheless, if your pet keeps chasing their tail all the time, it would probably be a good idea to contact your vet and have your dog examined for certain medical issues that may lead to such behavior.

6. Why do cats hate water?
Once thing is dead sure: 99% of cats don’t like water at all and will probably react frantically if submerged, drenched or splashed with liquid. The reasons for this major feline dislike of water are various and range from mere exposure to a new experience (in case you never bathed your cat before), added weight that limits their movement as the fur becomes waterlogged when soaked with water, to sensitivity to the smell of chemicals found in regular tap water. Nevertheless, instances of cats that love water have also been reported and it’s a well-known fact that large felines like lions and tigers often take baths in rivers and lakes out in the wild.

7. Why do dogs howl?
Most dogs are known to howl at times, and the reasons for this behavior range depending on the specific breed and dog’s character. Some dogs howl when they are expressing their territorial instincts, other howl when they are distressed, afraid or alarmed by a situation, object or sound they perceive as threatening. Howling in dogs is an instance of behavior inherited from their long lost relatives, wolves, and some experts on canine species believe howling represents a mode of communication or signaling their feelings to other canines in the area – and for all we know, some dogs may see howling as just a fun thing to do when bored.

8. Why do cats like boxes?
As documented in numerous funny cat videos and commercials, our feline pets love boxes in all shapes, colors and sizes. A possible reason for feline love of boxes – and other enclosed spaces, on that note – may be the fact that cats are ambush predators by nature and boxes provide a perfect hiding place to stalk prey from. Another reason why kitties love enclosed places like boxes may be the fact that enclosure gives them a sense of comfort, warmth and security, as cats tend to run away from potential sources of hostility, anxiety, conflict and unwanted attention instead of countering them in combat unless truly inevitable.

9. Do dogs dream?
Similarly to humans, dogs have two distinct sleep cycles, the slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM). Dreaming occurs in the second sleep cycle and your dog may growl, twitch, whine, breathe heavily or jerk its feet as if it is running. So, if you wondered whether your dog is dreaming of a rabbit hunt in their sleep when its leg muscles are twitching and its eyes seem to move behind the closed lids, he just may be so don’t disturb it!

10. Why do cats purr?
The most common sound produced by cats, purring is a typical feline reaction to pleasure and comfort, but it can also signify other emotions and/or needs your pet may be experiencing at the moment. For instance, some cats purr when it’s time for them to have their meals and their gentle throat rumble in such situations is often accompanied by a mew or cry. Likewise, most kittens purr to bond with their mothers and let them know they are alright. In return, mother cats purr to soothe their offspring or comfort them when afraid. Also, certain research has shown that purring can have a healing or soothing effect when the animal is hurt so don’t be surprised if you hear your cat purring next time it comes back home from a street fight with its fellow felines.

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