A Dozen Fun Facts about Pet Ownership in America


of households include either a dog or a cat


of pet owners say they consider their pet a member of the family


have taken Fluffy or Fido to a professional photographer


of pet owners have a picture of their dog or cat displayed in their home


bought a car or home with their pet in mind


of dog and cat owners give their pets Christmas presents


buy birthday presents for their pets


of cat owners swear Fluffy watches TV


of pet owners talk to their dog or cat


think their pets can sense their moods


of cat owners let their pets lounge on the furniture


of pet owners bury their furry friends on their property when they die

Dr. Becker's Comments:

Here are two dozen more uncommon facts about:



Your dog has about 100 different facial expressions, most involving the ears Cats have five toes on their front paws, but only four toes on back paws
Dogs can make about 10 different sounds Cats hear better than dogs
Dogs don’t have an appendix Cats do not have sweat glands
Dalmatians are born all white and only develop spots as they get older The ridges on a cat’s nose pad are as individual as a human’s finger prints
Most domestic dogs can run at about 19 mph, but Greyhounds, the fastest dogs on earth, can run at speeds up to 45 mph Papillae, tiny elevated backwards hooks that help hold prey, are what make a cat’s tongue scratchy-feeling
A dog’s memory is only five minutes long – a cat’s is up to 16 hours Humans should not pick up a kitten or cat by the scruff of the neck – only mother cats can do this safely, and only with kittens
A newborn puppy can’t see or hear, has no teeth, and won’t be able to control his bladder until he’s about four months old Cats can squeeze through any opening that is not smaller than their heads – their bone structure is narrow at the shoulders and they can easily rotate their bodies through tight spaces
The roots of your dog’s teeth are longer than the teeth themselves Cats have over 100 vocal sounds, as compared to a dog’s 10
Per the Guinness World Book of Records, the longest living dog was an Australian Cattle Dog that lived to be 29 Fossil records have shown that cats have been around for thousands of years, without much change in their shape or behaviors
Touch is the first sense your dog develops – her entire body, including the paws, contains nerve endings sensitive to touch A cat’s jaws are designed to move up and down, but not sideways – they cannot grind their food, they can only bite down on it
Dogs have the intelligence of toddlers – they can understand up to 200 words and hand signals with the same meaning as words The pelvis and shoulders are only loosely attached to a cat’s spine, which is part of what makes kitties so flexible and able to squeeze into tight spaces
Your dog’s sense of smell is over 100,000 times more acute than yours The domesticated kitty is the only feline species that walks with its tail held vertically – wild cats position their tails horizontally or tuck them between their legs while walking

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