How A Dog Carrier Sling Can Keep Your Dog Safe & How To Use One Safely

How A Dog Carrier Sling Can Keep Your Dog Safe; How To Use One Safely


When you want to take your pint-sized pup with you everywhere you go, a dog carrier sling is your perfect solution. Slings are a convenient way to keep your pup close, and they even help keep pets safe from harm. There are several situations where using a sling is beneficial to both dogs and their people. Pretty soon, your sling will be your favorite pet accessory. If you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of the experience, you need to know how to use it properly.

Best Ways to Use a Dog Carrier Sling

For Dogs That are Ill or Injured

When your dog is feeling under the weather or recovering from an injury, a sling keeps them close to you and comforts them. Whether they’re working on gaining back their strength or need to be kept from moving too much, they don’t have to be confined to a crate or single room. And best of all, you can keep a constant eye on them while still being able to move around. You can watch over them while you go about your business, and your dog will appreciate not being confined to a single area, away from you.

For Senior Dogs

As your dog ages, they start to slow down. Some seniors suffer from joint pain and other medical conditions that make walking painful and sometimes impossible. But that doesn’t mean their love for going on walks and other adventures completely goes away. With a dog carrier sling, you and your dog can keep going on daily walks without worrying about your dog getting tired or sore. The sling allows you to easily take him with you, and you’ll still have use of your hands. This is especially beneficial if you have multiple dogs and need your hands to hold leashes or keep children safe on the sidewalk.

For Dogs with Disabilities

A disability should never diminish a dog’s quality of life. If you have a dog that is blind, deaf, paralyzed, or tires easily due to walking with only three legs, a sling is a way to help your pup explore the world. Taking a dog with a disability to new or public places can be difficult, and many owners feel the only option is to leave the dog at home. But with a sling, the door is open to give your dog life experiences he or she might otherwise miss out on.

To Protect Small Dogs from Wildlife

Small dogs enjoy exploring the outdoors as much as their large breed counterparts, but there are also significant risks in taking small dogs into the wilderness. And in some cases, even your backyard can be a dangerous place for a small dog to be. Because of their size and weight, little dogs are often victims of wild animal attacks. They’re easily carried away by large birds of prey like eagles and hawks, and coyotes are more likely to attack a small dog than a more intimidating large dog. A dog carrier sling allows you to keep your precious small dog safe from those unpredictable risks.

How to Safely Use Your Sling

Before you tuck your dog into your new sling, it’s important to make sure they’re as safe as possible. Using a dog carrier sling is easy once you know the do’s and don’ts. Here are a few tips to make sure your dog is always safe while you’re toting them around.

Always read the product instructions.

Every dog carrier sling should come with detailed instructions on how to properly wear the sling around your body and how to safely place your dog inside. It might seem self-explanatory, but not every sling is the same.

Make sure your dog can breathe.

Depending on how your dog is positioned in the sling, the fabric could potentially squeeze them in ways that restricts their airflow. Make sure the sling isn’t too tight around your dog’s chest or neck, and if they prefer to snuggle deep inside, always keep an opening for airflow.

Arrange them in the most comfortable way.

If your dog isn’t comfortable in the sling, you run the risk of them moving too much or trying to jump out. Before you start moving around, let your dog wiggle a little to find a position where they’re the most comfortable.

Don’t let them get too hot.

Being cocooned against your body in a swath of fabric can get hot if the temperature is high enough. If you’re walking outside in the summer, make sure there’s plenty of airflow in the sling and keep walks short if you think your dog might overheat.

Never forget about bathroom breaks.

This tip is for your benefit as much as your dog’s. Your dog won’t be able to tell you when they need to go, and they can’t get out on their own when nature calls. Keep your dog’s bathroom schedule in mind, and give them plenty of opportunities on the ground to do their business.

dog carrier sling

The most important step when it comes to carrying your dog in a sling is finding a quality product that both you and your dog love.


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21 Things You Didn't Know About The 7 Dog Breed Groups

21 Things You Didn’t Know About The 7 Dog Breed Groups


There are 190 canine breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, and each one is categorized into one of seven dog breed groups. How the groups are determined goes back to the days when dogs were bred for specific purposes. Humans bred dogs to herd animals, protect property, and hunt down dinner. Some breeds were designed specifically to be man’s best friend. There are big dogs and little dogs, hyper dogs and laid-back dogs, and each breed offers the world something different. No two breeds are the same, but there’s a common thread that connects all dogs within a group.

Here’s what you didn’t know about each of the seven dog breed groups.

Herding Group

You’ve Heard of: Border Collie, German Shepherd, English Sheepdog

You Haven’t Heard of: Beauceron, Berger Picard, Puli

1. Herding livestock is one of the original jobs dogs were bred for. Collies, Border Collies, Shelties, and English Sheepdogs have been doing it for centuries, but the Herding Group wasn’t made official until 1983. It’s the newest AKC classification. Prior to its induction, herding dogs were considered part of the Working Group.

2. It’s estimated that every Border Collie in the UK can be traced back to one dog. Born in 1963, a Border Collie named Wiston Cap was renowned for being the epitome of his breed’s standards. He went on to sire more puppies than any other dog.

3. When American pioneers were moving westward across the country, many couldn’t have done it without their herding dogs. The dogs traveled thousands of miles on foot while making sure entire herds of livestock made the difficult journey.

Working Group

You’ve Heard Of: Boxer, Great Dane, Siberian Husky

You Haven’t Heard Of: Kuvasz, Chinook, Komondor

4. Working dogs are bred for a specific job, and as a result, many of the largest breeds are in this group. The Great Dane, Bull Mastiff, Newfoundland, and Alaskan Malamute are examples. Some of these big dogs can weigh 200 pounds. Due to their size and instinctual desire to always be working, these dogs are generally not recommended to inexperienced dog owners.

5. When farmers couldn’t afford horses, mules, or oxen, they trained their dogs to do the jobs typically reserved for large farm animals. Working dogs have a long history of plowing fields and pulling carts full of everything from dirt and rocks to the farmer’s children. They were an invaluable part of keeping a farm running.

6. Working dogs are often intimidating, but they’re typically some of the friendliest dog breeds. Working alongside humans was part of their job description, and they often developed strong bonds with their families. If you want a dog that will always be by your side, the Working Group is a good place to start your search.

Sporting Group

You’ve Heard Of: Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, German Shorthaired Pointer

You Haven’t Heard Of: Irish Water Spaniel, Spinone Italiano, Lagotto Romagnolo

7. There are four basic types of sporting dogs: retrievers, pointers, setters, and spaniels. As the name suggests, retrievers are the ones that retrieve the quarry after the human hunter brings it down. Pointers use their muzzles to point hunters in the right direction, and setters indicate they’ve found game by crouching low to the ground (called setting). Lastly, spaniels are the dogs that flush out birds and other game from dense underbrush. All four types are hunters, but none of them are actually bred to kill animals.

8. Sporting dogs are often confused with hound dogs because they’re both used for hunting. There’s a distinct difference, however, in how the opposing breeds go about tracking down game. Hounds follow scent trails on the ground, but sporting dogs are lead by scents carried through the air.

9. Many of the country’s most popular dog breeds belong to the Sporting Group. The Labrador Retriever is considered a skilled gun dog, and it’s also an ideal family dog. Labs have been ranked the number one most popular dog breed in the country for the past 27 years in a row. They show no sign of giving up their top spot.

Non-Sporting Group

You’ve Heard Of: Bulldog, Dalmatian, Poodle

You Haven’t Heard Of: Lowchen, Schipperke, Xoloitzcuintli

10. The Non-Sporting Group is one of the two original breed categories defined over 100 years ago. Back then, dogs were either sporting dogs or non-sporting dogs, and it was fairly easy to determine which breeds belonged where. Today, it’s a bit more complicated.

11. Out of all the dog breed groups, the non-sporting dogs are the most diverse. It’s usually considered a catch-all group to classify breeds that don’t fit into any of the other six categories. Non-sporting dogs can be small and sturdy like the Bichon Frise or large and exotic-looking like the Chow Chow.

12. The Non-Sporting Group is also the classification for several breeds that most people have never heard of. Do you know what a Lowchen, Schipperke, or Xoloitzcuintli is?

Terrier Group

You’ve Heard Of: American Staffordshire Terrier, Russel Terrier, Scottish Terrier

You Haven’t Heard Of: Sealyham Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier

13. Terriers are hunters in their own right, but they have a useful specialty different from sporting dogs. Most terriers were originally bred to hunt vermin like mice, rats, and moles. Some of the larger breeds were also used to fight off ferocious badgers. Unlike sporting dogs, terriers were usually encouraged to both track and kill their prey. For this reason, most of today’s terriers do not do well around small animals.

14. The word “terrier” comes from the Latin word for “earth.” It makes sense that terriers are literally called “earth dogs,” because digging to find underground burrows is one of their favorite things to do. If you have a terrier at home, there’s a good chance your backyard is full of recently-dug holes.

15. Many terrier breeds have wiry coats that require a special kind of grooming called stripping. While most dogs get normal haircuts, certain types of terriers need to have their hair pulled out by the roots The outer layer of fur is stripped away to leave room for new growth and to reveal the shinier undercoat. Don’t worry, as long as it’s done correctly, it doesn’t hurt.

Hound Group

You’ve Heard Of: Beagle, Bloodhound, Greyhound

You Haven’t Heard Of: Harrier, Ibizan Hound, Basenji

16. The most distinct characteristic about hound dogs is the sound they make. Instead of a traditional bark like herding dogs and sporting dogs, these prey-driven dogs do something called baying. Baying is often described as a mix between a howl and a bark. The sound originated as a way for dogs on the hunt to communicate with hunters, but even pets that have never experienced the thrill of the hunt know how to do it. If you have a hound dog, it’s something you’ll have to get used to.

17. There are two main types of hounds: sighthounds and scenthounds. It’s pretty easy to figure out the difference—they either use their noses or their eyes as their primary sense. Either way, hound dogs have great speed and stamina.

18. Sighthounds, like the Greyhound and Afghan Hound, are credited for being the oldest type of dog. The earliest description of a sighthound dates back to the second century AD. There are also remains from a presumed sighthound thought to be from 7,000 BC.

Toy Group

You’ve Heard Of: Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Pug

You Haven’t Heard Of: Japanese Chin, Affenpinscher, Chinese Crested

19. Like the other breed groups, the dogs in the Toy Group were all bred for one specific purpose. People wanted small dogs that would be easy to tote around, so they started breeding toy breeds to be the perfect lap dogs. Like herding sheep and pulling carts, doling out cuddles is an important job.

20. Most toy breed dogs only weigh 5-10 pounds fully grown. Even some of the bigger breeds, like the English Toy Spaniel and Shih Tzu, rarely get over 15 pounds. Despite their small size, these spunky pups have big personalities that often get them into trouble.

21. Many breeds in this group are the results of generations of “downsizing” larger breeds. Breeders chose the smallest dogs to breed together to continually produce smaller puppies. They did it for so long, many of these toy breeds are actually miniature versions of larger breeds. The Pomeranian, for example, originates from a larger spitz-type sled dog. Many toy breeds come from herding dogs, hound dogs, and working dogs, but it’s hard to pull a sled or herd sheep when you weigh only 10 pounds.

Whether you have herding dogs or lap dogs, the group they belong to isn’t as important as their unique personalities. Knowing where your pup fits in, however, can tell you a lot about them. It might explain some of their more curious behaviors and natural instincts. Plus, now you can impress your friends with your new-found knowledge about dog breeds.

Sources: AKC , International Sheepdog Society, Animal Planet, Dogster, The Dog Guide, The National Dog Show

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Pit Bull Loses Chance To Protect And Serve Because of Breed Discrimination

Pit Bull Loses Chance To Protect And Serve Because of Breed Discrimination


It’s sad news when a dog loses the opportunity to live up to their potential. Nova is a young pit bull mix who recently said goodbye to her future as a police K9 because of her breed.

iHeartDogs was contacted by Kayla Murray with Austin Pets Alive! Who shared Nova’s story with us, and our hearts broke for her when we heard that she had lost her chance to protect and serve.

“Nova is a 2-year-old pittie mix who just completed her narcotics detection training at the Universal K9 (UK9) training facility in San Antonio. She was ready to be paired with a law enforcement officer but unfortunately, UK9 was raided by the FBI this week on suspicion of fraud. Along with 25 other dogs, Nova was taken to San Antonio Animal Services, where they used her microchip to connect her to Austin Pets Alive (APA). APA called her volunteer champion, David Loignon, and he picked her up in San Antonio and took her back to APA.

“Nova entered the Austin shelter system last year, and quickly began to decline. She is a very smart dog and though she is dog-friendly she got picked on a lot in play-groups. Once it was discovered that Nova was was extremely ball driven, and knowing this was a trait of dogs who can do well in law enforcement, David contacted UK9. They asked him to record a series of tests which she passed. Nova was quickly accepted into their program and David took her there a few months ago.”

“Nova completed her training last month and was waiting for the next class of handlers so she could be matched with a law-enforcement officer. Sadly, that will no longer happen through UK9. Sadder still is that she could potentially lose all the training due to her being a pittie. While David was picking up Nova, a team from the U.S. Air Force was evaluating several of the UK9 dogs for their law enforcement teams. David asked if they had evaluated Nova, and was told that the Air Force does not accept pit bulls. Nova is a sweet girl, with a huge heart, who loves everyone she meets. What a waste of drive, talent and skill, all due to her blocky head and stocky body.

“Nova is safe at APA and stands a chance of being adopted. However, she could also decline quickly and begin the kennel behavior that made adopters originally pass her by. The thought of her lingering in the shelter and erasing all the effort that’s gone into giving her the life she was meant for, and deserves, is heartbreaking.”

Are you interested in fostering or adopting Nova? Or perhaps your local law enforcement agency is looking for a new K9? Contact Austin Pets Alive! for more information about Nova.


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Contagious Strain Of Dog Influenza Reported In Connecticut

Contagious Strain Of Dog flu Reported In Connecticut


Connecticut vets are warning residents to be on the lookout during what seems to be an aggressive dog flu season. Over the summer there were 9 confirmed cases of dog flu, but it wasn’t the number of dogs getting ill that had veterinarians concerned, but the H3N2 strain that is causing the illness.

Concerned owners should watch out for coughing and sneezing in their dogs, which can later become high fever and pneumonia.

Though humans can’t catch dog flu, the virus is extremely contagious between dogs. The H3N2 strain caused outbreaks in the Chicago area in 2015, which then spread rapidly across the country. One dog tested positive for the virus in a Chicago shelter in early April 2015 during the outbreak, and by the end of the month nearly 50 dogs had become infected. By the end of the year dogs in 25 states had been infected.

Experts recommend having your dog vaccinated. reminds owners that it only takes one interaction for your dog to be exposed to the virus, and that nearly every dog exposed will become infected. You can take precautions by keeping your dog out of boarding facilities, day cares, and dog parks or pools. Vaccinating is the best way you can keep your dog from becoming ill.

Veterinarians in Virginia and North Carolina both recently reported an unidentified respiratory disease spreading in dogs in their states, but there’s no word on whether these concerns are related.

You can learn more about how dog flu spreads and how to protect your dog at


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"Fun Size" Rescue Dog Beats The Odds Thanks To Her Devoted Foster Mom

“Fun Size” Rescue Dog Beats The Odds Thanks To Her Devoted Foster Mom


On June 22,  Onslow County Animal Services (OCAS) in Jackson, North Carolina picked up an emaciated, nearly-hairless stray dog with a severe case of Demodectic mange.

Adoption First Animal Rescue specializes in saving death row dogs from euthanasia. They pulled the pitiful pup out of the shelter and placed her with one of their seasoned foster moms, Heather Corradino-Llantada.

Photo c/o Heather Corradino-Llantada


The moment she took the dog in her arms, Heather knew something more serious than skin mites was wrong. The poor pup was burning up with fever. Heather rushed her to the vet where her temperature registered at over 105 degrees.

Workers at OCAS had guessed her age at 12 weeks due to her size, but the vet determined she was actually six-months-old. Life as a sickly stray had stunted her growth. She was soon diagnosed with anemia and a potentially deadly case of Canine Distemper.

Photo c/o Heather Corradino-Llantada


Heather named the puppy Amaani – which means hope, aspiration, and desire – to help give her strength in the tough days ahead.

“There were several instances that medically, she should have passed away, but she displayed a fighting spirit and will for something better,” Heather told iHeartDogs. “Amaani spoke with her eyes that she was going to fight–I was more than willing to match that will, regardless of the personal sacrifice.”

Photo c/o Heather Corradino-Llantada

As difficult and heart-wrenching as it was to watch Amaani struggle, Heather was more than prepared to help her fight. During her military career, she received medical and surgical training that has proved invaluable to her work as a foster pawrent. She chooses to take in the most difficult cases; the most desperate underdogs in need of physical and emotional healing from their various ailments.

“These are the ones that are first to hit the Euthaniasia List in any shelter, therefore making them the ones that I prefer to take,” she says. “‘Cute and fluffies’ stand a much greater chance for adoption or rescue. I don’t want the easy stuff. I want the challenges that most won’t take!”

Photo c/o Heather Corradino-Llantada

Heather’s home is filled with former “challenges”, including four Pit Bulls that once suffered from Demodex like Amaani. In all, she has 11 permanent rescue pets – nine dogs and two cats – in addition to a near-constant stream of special-needs fosters.

Photo c/o Heather Corradino-Llantada

Amaani proved to be a particularly difficult case, but with round-the-clock care, she began to show signs of improvement. Her brindle and white coat began to fill in and she tripled her weight, although she will always be a “micro-Pittie.”

Photo c/o Heather Corradino-Llantada


She was extremely fearful, depressed, and shut down when she first arrived, but after weeks of gentle care and reassurance, she learned how to trust. Now, her favorite spot is snuggled up on the sofa or “spooning” in bed!

“She loves to be catered to and can be quite the diva,” Heather says. “On the other hand and despite her ‘fun-size’ she can definitely hold her own–make no mistake! There’s never a dull moment

when she’s around!”

Photo c/o Heather Corradino-Llantada

Just six weeks since her rescue, Amaani is completely unrecognizable from the pitiful pup she once was. Without the devoted foster care Heather provided, she would not have survived, let alone thrived.

Now that she is well, Amaani is ready to move on to her forever home and make room for Heather’s next special foster pooch. She would do best in a home with at least one other dog to play with. She also does well with children over eight, and despite her healthy interest in Heather’s cats, has never shown signs of aggression.

If you would like to learn more about Amaani, send inquiries to or visit Even if you cannot adopt, please share her story so we can make sure this sweet, strong micro-Pittie finds the wonderful home she deserves!

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New TSA Adoption Program Gives K9 Dropouts A Chance To Find Good Homes

New TSA Adoption Program Gives K9 Dropouts A Chance To Find Good Homes


TSA dogs are now a common sight in major airports, but those hard-working pups weren’t born on the job. They’re carefully selected and trained before they’re deemed ready to don official vests. Professional government work, however, isn’t for every pooch. Not every dog has the personality and drive to be good at the job, and some dogs don’t make it through training. So what happens to these K9 drop-outs? They deserve good homes, and the TSA Adoption Program makes sure they get them.

Mogrart is a TSA explosives canine who works at ORD Airport. He’s a serious IronMaiden fan as you can tell from his serious expression.Photo info credit: TSA Media

Posted by AeroChapter on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

When dogs fail the government training course, it’s for a number of reasons. In most cases, it’s because the dog’s personality doesn’t match the rigorous demands of the job. These are the dogs that would rather take a nap than run a mile. They prefer sniffing out snacks than searching for contraband. Instead of chasing down bad guys, they wag their tails at everyone they meet. Overall, they’re the dogs that flunk out of school because they’re too nice.

From a government dog trainer’s point of view, being too nice is a problem. To be successful, dogs need to be self-driven and enthusiastic about training. Failing out of training is often the best thing to happen to some dogs. It gives them the opportunity to find love with new families.

To ensure these flunkies are not forgotten, the TSA Canine Training Center releases them to be adopted. And despite investing significant amounts of money into initial training, the dogs are adopted out for free. Finding good homes for these lovable dogs is their top priority, and they screen potential adopters to find each dog a perfect new family.

The TSA announces that puppies who failed their training (as well as retired dogs) need to find forever homes. The…

Posted by Sabrina Squire NBC12 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

So what do you need to do to adopt one of these ex-government dogs? First, you have to fill out an extensive application. The purpose of the application is to guarantee the dogs go to people with good intentions and the right resources to care for these potentially demanding dogs. It says on the TSA website,

“These dogs are highly active and in most cases, untrained and not housebroken, but with proper training and care, they can be a great addition to families. “

All potential adopters must meet a few home requirements before being cleared to take home a dog. They must have a fully fenced yard and a permanent living situation. All current pets must be up to date on vaccinations and preventative care, and applicants must agree to provide dogs with all necessary medical care, training, exercise, and companionship.

We’re celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day with our hard-working TSA explosive detection K9s. These incredible canines…

Posted by Transportation Security Administration on Friday, June 22, 2018

When adoption coordinators approve an application, adopters have the opportunity to meet available dogs. They travel to where the dogs are located in San Antonio, TX, and some people have to make multiple visits. Once they make a match, all the adopter has to do is show up with leash, collar, and crate. They walk away with a loving new family member.

The entire process can take up to a year, but these lovable drop-outs are always worth the wait. The same traits considered weaknesses in training are the exact reasons why their new families love them. They’re sweet and silly and all-around adorable. Visit the TSA Adoption Program website for more information.

Featured photo via Facebook/Sabrina Squire NBC12


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10 Facts About Dogs You May Not Know

10 Facts About Dogs You May Not Know

  1. Your dog is as smart as a 2-year-old toddler.
  2. There’s a reason your tot and your pup get along so well: they speak the same language. Or at least, they likely understand roughly the same number of words and gestures — 250!
  3. Dogs and cats both slurp water the same way.
  4. This may be hard to believe since dogs are such messy drinkers, but just like cats, our canine friends bend the tip of their tongue and raise liquid in a column up to their mouths.
  5. Your dog does have a sense of time — and misses you when you’re gone.
  6. If you think your dog knows when it’s time for dinner or a walk, you’re right! Dogs pick up on our routines and habits, and they also sense how much time has passed. One study showed how dogs responded differently to their owners being gone for different lengths of time.
  7. Your dog’s whiskers help him “see” in the dark.
  8. Okay, it’s not quite night-vision or a superpower, but those whiskers pick up on even subtle changes in air currents, providing your pup with information about the size, shape, and speed of things nearby. This allows your dog to better sense approaching dangers or prey — even at night.

    Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash
  9. Dogs only have sweat glands in their paws.
  10. More specifically, they are found between their paw pads. That’s why it can help to wet the bottom of their feet on a hot day, and it’s also why dogs rely on panting as a means of cooling down.
  11. YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 6 Common Dog Health Problems In Today’s World
  12. On average, a dog’s mouth exerts 320 pounds of pressure.
  13. The tests were done on a German shepherd, American pit bull terrier, and Rottweiler. In comparison, human beings exert 120 pounds, white sharks exert 600 pounds, and crocodiles exert a whopping 2,500 pounds! Dogs also have ten more adult teeth than humans — 42 versus 32.
  14. Your one-year-old pup is as physically mature as a 15-year-old human.
  15. Of course, different breeds age a little differently. Large dogs age faster than small ones. You can get a more exact comparison for your dog using this nifty Dog Age Calculator.
  16. Your dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10 million times better than yours.
  17. Depending on the breed, your dog has between 125 million to 300 million scent glands — compared to only 5 million for humans. And the part of your dog’s brain that controls smell is 40 times larger than yours — that’s true, even though the canine brain is much smaller than the human, relative to size. A human’s brain is about 1/40th of their body weight while a dog’s brain is only 1/125th. Don’t feel too smug, though — an ant’s brain is 1/7th its body weight.
  18. Dogs can hear 4 times as far as humans.
  19. Puppies may be born deaf, but they quickly surpass our hearing abilities. Dogs can also hear higher pitched sounds, detecting a frequency range of 67 to 45,000 hertz (cycles per second). The human range is from 64 to 23,000 Hertz. In both dogs and humans, the upper end of hearing range decreases with age.
  20. Your dog can smell your feelings.
  21. Your pup can pick up on subtle changes in your scent, which can help him figure out how you are feeling — such as by smelling your perspiration when you become nervous or fearful. It’s also likely how dogs can detect certain diseases or know that a household member is pregnant.
  22. We hope this list of odd facts about dogs gave you a better appreciation of your best friend. They are truly incredible animals and companions.