When petting and cuddling with your dog you have likely come across the whiskers that they have on their face. These stiff hairs are truly unique to animals, and they are not just for show either. In fact, whiskers are actually very useful to dogs.
Dogs have whiskers simply because they allow for them to feel things more easily. This is because when something touches a dog’s whiskers the pressure activates nerve endings that are at the root of the whisker under the skin. This allows dogs to feel when something is about to touch their face.
In this article we will be exploring the question: why do dogs have whiskers? In addition to this, we will be answering some other commonly asked questions about whiskers on dogs as well. Let’s get into it!
Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers?
Dogs have whiskers because they allow for dogs to feel around their environment better. Whiskers on dogs consist of a thick hair that is deeply rooted in the dog’s skin. Nerve endings lie very closely to the root of the whisker, and this allows the dog to feel when pressure is being put on their whisker. This occurs when the whisker is touched.
There are several reasons why having whiskers can be useful to a dog. The first benefit to whiskers is that it allows a dog to feel through their environment, even if they cannot see well. The second benefit to having whiskers is that it allows dogs to feel when something is about to touch their face before it actually does, which can allow a dog to react to things more quickly in some situations.
What Happens When You Touch A Dog’s Whiskers?
When you touch a dog’s whiskers it alerts the nerve ending near the whiskers roots that something is touching it. In some cases this may cause the dog to jerk away from you. However, some dogs may not react to you touching their whiskers at all.
Should You Cut A Dog’s Whiskers?
No, you should not cut a dog’s whiskers, especially not on purpose. This is because whiskers are very important to a dog when they are feeling around their environment and are interacting with both people and other dogs. If you accidentally cut some of your dog’s whiskers, don’t worry. This is not detrimental to their health, and they grow back over time.
What Happens When You Cut Off A Dog’s Whiskers?
If you cut off a dog’s whiskers by accident or trim them on purpose then you may notice some changes. For example, you may notice that your dog starts to bump into things a bit more after their whiskers have been cut. Similarly, a dog may become confused or anxious in certain situations without their whiskers when they haven’t been before the whiskers were cut. This is because whiskers are a very important tool to dogs when they are taking in information about their environment.
Do Dogs Whiskers Grow Back?
Yes, whiskers do grow back. However, it does take a bit of time for them to do so. It takes about three to four months for a dog’s whiskers to grow back completely.
Why Do Groomers Cut Dogs Whiskers?
Dog groomers will sometimes trim the whiskers on dogs that are used in conformation dog shows. This is usually done to either conform with a breed standard or give the dog the desired look for their breed. Again, this is normally only done for dog show contestants and dog breeders.
When it comes to the average pet owner a dog groomer should not trim their whiskers, and they shouldn’t especially do so without the dog owner’s consent. This is because whiskers are important for many dogs, and the process of cutting them off really holds no purpose. In fact, cutting off a dog’s whiskers is more hindering than helpful to them in most cases.
Why Are My Dogs Whiskers Falling Out?
It is completely normal for dogs to lose a whisker from time to time. However, they should not be losing many whiskers at once. This is because losing many whiskers at one time could be a sign that a dog has an illness or medical condition. As a result, it is a good idea to take your dog to the vet if they have lost many whiskers with no known cause, especially if they are also exhibiting some other worrying symptoms.
Are There Different Kinds of Whiskers?
Yes, dogs do have different kinds of whiskers. In fact, there are as many as four different whisker types on dogs that vary in function and placement. Here are all of the different kinds of whiskers that dogs have.
These whiskers are possibly the most noticeable whiskers in most dogs, and they are located on the sides of a dog’s muzzle. These whiskers help dogs to feel around their environment when they are sniffing.
These whiskers are located above a dog’s eyes. These whiskers help prevent a dog from getting debris in their eyes and bumping the top of their head on things. They can also help a dog navigate tight spaces like tight tunnels.
Geral whiskers are located farther back on a dog’s muzzle than Mystacial whiskers are, which places them more on a dog’s cheeks. These whiskers help a dog navigate their environments and prevent them from hitting their head on things. These whiskers also alert a dog when things are coming close to their face, which can be useful for interactions with people and other animals.
These whiskers are located under a dog’s chin, and they can vary greatly in size and noticeability. These whiskers alert dogs of objects that are under their chin, and they may help dogs with drinking water as well.
Where Do Dogs Have Whiskers?
Dogs will have whiskers all along their muzzle, on their cheeks, above their eyes, and under their chin. These whiskers will vary in size and color from dog to dog.