Your Best Drinking Buddy – How Dogs Drink

December 8, 2019

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Have you ever wondered how exactly your pooch manages to defy gravity and drink water from his bowl?

Scientists at Virginia Tech and Purdue University were also curious about this phenomenon and have recently conducted a study on the drinking techniques and habits of a number of different dog breeds and sizes.

Incomplete Cheeks

An assistant professor at Virginia Tech, Sunny Jung, reveals cats and dogs have incomplete cheeks, helping them open their mouths wide enough in order to deliver killing blows for hunting.

These incomplete cheeks, however, are also making suction based drinking impossible.

About three years ago, Jung did the study on the drinking techniques of cats and dog, and realized that they actually drink water differently, which shed some new light on the matter.

Splashing Tongues

Us humans are able to suck water into our mouths because we have complete cheeks. Cats, on the other hand, drink using a process of water entry and exit. A cat gently places her tongue on the surface and then quickly withdraws it. This creates a so-called column of water underneath her retracting tongue.

“When we started this project, we thought that dogs drink similarly to cats. But it turns out that it’s different, because dogs smash their tongues on the water surface and make lots of splashing, but a cat never does that,” says Jung.

Now, when he used special cameras to closely watch how canines drink, Jung realized that it is this rapid motion of lapping up water (which is five times that of gravity), that creates water columns.

These water columns allow the water to enter the dog’s mouth and they vary in size with different dog breeds. The bigger the dog, the bigger the splashing.

So, the next time you see your ball of fur drinking water and making a mess, don’t blame it on the little fellow. It’s a mix of biology and physics. Blame them.

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