Anyone who has ever owned a dog will tell you that their tongue is one of the unique things about them. It’s long and flat, covered in tiny bumps and ridges, and it’s always wet.
But while most people know these basic facts about dogs, there are also some things that most people don’t know. So, read more to find out ten things you didn’t know about a dog’s tongue.
What’s Fascinating About a Dog’s Tongue?
Dogs have a very different tongue from a human! It is shaped and sized differently, and that’s something that most pet owners are unaware of.
The tongue is an essential body part, and it operates as a sophisticated communication system for dogs. It is used for eating, but it also plays an important role in navigation and bonding with other animals.
You should know many strange facts about dogs’ tongues, and as a result, you should probably not laugh at them. The following is a set of ten interesting things that you may not know about a dog’s tongue but will make you get to know it better.
1. Dogs can taste the same range of flavors like humans do
It’s a common misconception that dogs taste everything that we put in their mouths, but that isn’t the case. A dog’s tongue is composed of millions of tiny receptors sensitive to the taste of water, salt, sugar, and umami, all commonly found in various human foods. A dog’s tongue is so sensitive that it can taste its urine and detect its feces’ smell.
Dogs don’t know the difference between sweet and savory foods because their tongues are sensitive enough to taste both.
A chemical called phenylthiocarbamide, also found in some human foods, gives dogs a distinct flavor—the chemical results from tartaric acid and the amino acid phenylalanine, and it is very bitter.
We don’t know whether dogs use the chemical to taste something sweet or savory, but we know that it is very useful to detect potential food sources.
2. They regulate their temperature through their tongue
For the most part, you already know a lot about your dogs. One thing you might not know is that dogs have heat-seeking tongues that help regulate their body temperature. In the summer, a dog’s tongue and mouth are pink and moist. And, in the winter, their tongue and mouth are white and dry.
Dogs regulate their body temperature with their tongue. But did you know that they use more than just their tongue?
Their tongue is one of the more efficient ways to keep cool. Most people think that dogs regulate their body temperature with their tongue, but it’s their paws. When dogs feel cold, they put their paws in the air, and their tongue will curl up and start moving back and forth in their mouth to warm them up.
3. They have fewer taste buds than us.
Did you know that dogs have fewer taste buds than humans? Most people think that dogs have a highly developed sense of smell, but we now know that they do not.
Dogs have around 10,000 taste buds, and humans have about 100,000 altogether. Dogs also have up to 60 times the number of taste buds on their tongue than humans do. This is one of the things you didn’t know about a dog’s tongue.
4. It’s not always pink.
Tongue color is a very important and eye-catching feature in many dog breeds. Tongues are usually colored in black and white, with some having a change of color like brown, gray, or even pink.
This is because dogs have specialized cells in their tongues that help them taste and smell, which causes the tongue to color. You may know that your dog has a tongue, but did you know that it’s not always pink?
A dog’s tongue mixes different colors, from pink to brown, from two-toned to all-white. The color of your dog’s tongue refers to its specific breed. If your dog has various colors, it can be explained by the way different breeds have evolved.
5. Dogs use their tongues to show love just like we use our hands.
Their tongues are covered with tiny, soft, moist, and rough hairs, called papillae, and they are used to helping them collect scents from their surroundings.
By rubbing their tongues against each other and the rough papillae on the surface of a dog’s tongue, dogs can transfer their scent to their partner and, just like we, can tell how well someone likes them by how they smell.
6. A Dog’s Tongue Plays A Role In How They Bark.
Did you know that the shape of a dog’s tongue plays a role in how they bark? Dogs are known for their ability to communicate, whether that means growling or barking, but it may surprise you to know that the size and shape of a dog’s tongue can affect how their bark sounds.
When a dog is excited, its tongue is positioned far back in the mouth, making it sound as if they’re growling or barking. But when the dog’s tongue is placed forward, the bark sounds more like a whistle or yelp.
The dog’s tongue is one of the many things you have never known about a dog’s tongue. It is a muscle controlled by the brain, and the tongue is also the organ of smell for the dog.
It is used to sense the food which the owner or the other animals give. The dog’s tongue has some other powerful functions, like, sniffing, licking, chewing, and biting, as well.
7. Dogs have a unique way to drink water — all thanks to their amazing tongue.
The tongue is one of the most important parts of the dog’s body. It is the guide that assists a dog in walking, lapping water, and drinking.
Let’s look at the lapping motion a dog uses to drink water: When a dog is lapping water, it uses its tongue to pick up water from the water’s surface.
8. Dog’s tongue plays an important part in their natural grooming process.
Your dog’s tongue is an important part of a dog’s natural grooming process. In the wild, a dog’s tongue moves around as it licks and cleans its body of bacteria. This action also stimulates the dog’s taste buds, helping it find and identify the type of food a given area has to offer.
9. It has a lot of bacteria.
For your dog to properly taste your food, his tongue has to be able to reach the back of the throat (the esophagus). But the tongue is not the only problem. That very same tongue has the ability to carry a lot of bacteria, even if you clean it regularly.
A dog’s tongue is a natural part of the digestive system, but it is also one of the most commonly overlooked parts of a dog’s body. It is estimated that a dog gets over two million bacteria on its tongue every day and that a dog’s tongue has over 200,000 different species of bacteria.
10. Their tongue can also tell you about the dog’s health.
Did you know that the color of your dog’s tongue gives you an insight into his health?
Dogs with deep-set, dark-pupilled eyes and a bright, cherry-pink tongue are often the healthiest, purest-bred specimens—and they’re not just because of their brilliant coloring, but because their genetic makeup is most likely to be in its most perfect state.
It’s an interesting fact, but what you may not know is that, as a human, tongue color can be a sign of your health. High tongue weight can be a sign of a serious health condition.
Taking Care of your Dog’s Tongue.
Tongues are one of the most important parts of a dog’s body. This provides them with several advantages: among them, it makes it easier for them to remove bacteria and debris from their teeth and gums while they’re eating or drinking.
It also keeps their mouths clean. They also use their tongues to detect smells, tastes, and textures. They can also use their tongues to taste food, lick wounds, and even drink water. Unfortunately, since the tongue is a soft tissue, it can get worn down and damaged.
Don’t let your dog’s tongue get dirty, though, because it could be the reason he has trouble eating, drinking, and having fun. That’s because your pet’s tongue is a very sensitive organ, and it can be damaged by dirt, bacteria, and other things.
A dog’s tongue is an amazing evolutionary wonder. In addition to the biological functions of lapping up water, digging, licking objects, and sniffing, the dog’s tongue is a multi-tool—capable of tasting, grooming, grasping, and doing other things. However, the tongue is not simply a passive organ. It is an active muscle like the tongue’s muscles are.
Dog’s tongues aren’t just for licking. They’re one of the main ways a dog keeps itself clean by licking the floor and other surfaces. The tongue is also a great tool for picking up items such as bugs, toys, and bones, and it’s used to communicate with other dogs.