By Dr. Norette L. Underwood
Could you please turn the TV down?
(and other requests your dog is too polite to ask)
Did you know that dogs hear four times better than humans! Dogs do not like loud noise. They put up with so much we do to accommodate themselves to our lives. There are so many ways we do not have a clue of how they perceive the world in which they live. Here, with our senses in mind are some ways to make living with us a better world.
- Turn down the volume. Sound is heard at different levels depending on where you are in a room. So if pup is on the floor and you in a chair it could be much louder to them. Loud rock music can set them on edge. Dogs do not like arguing. The next time you have an argument watch what your dog does. They may run for cover or even try to break up the argument. Not only is it the volume but the tone of a voice or other noise that can hurt their ears. Dogs generally like peace and quiet except if it is play time or barking at things.
- Choose blue and yellow toys. Dogs do not see colors they way we see them. Their spectrum is smaller and they don’t see them as vividly as us. This is because over the decades, they were selected to be able to pick out a brown rodent in the grey dusk, not interior decorators. A red Frisbee on green grass just won’t stand out. Blues and yellows pop for them. Dogs do see better at night because they have a special reflecting layer in the back of their eye. This is relevant so you will be patient if your dog starts barking or remains rooted in one spot on a nighttime walk. They simply may see something that we don’t. My dogs can see our neighborhood raccoon when I cannot.
- Allow your dog time to sniff. Dogs see their world through their nose. They have 20 times more primary smell receptors in their nose than people. They can detect odors at least 100 times less than a human. A dog can detect a human scent on a glass slide that has been lightly fingerprinted and left outside for two weeks. So when they go for a walk they need extra time to read the odors of their world.
If you have questions about this article contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile at