If until today you considered your dog’s drinking habits as being untidy, disorganized and hurried find out that a dog’s drinking is precise and well timed. A study published on December 14 showed that dogs’ apparent sloppiness hides a model of efficiency.
During an experiment involving 19 dogs realized by the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, researchers filmed each dog in order to find out why dogs drink water the way they do.
After the dogs shove their tongue in the water they curl the tongue in the direction of the lower jaw. When they draw back their tongues, water comes into their mouths in the form of a column. Simultaneously, they use their tongues to bring a bit of water upward. So basically dogs have to bite down in order to fill their mouths with water. Some water is either tossed on a side of their mouth or is let to fall down. Just a second later, they reopen their mouths and dip their tongues into the water, thus creating the apparent sloppiness.
But dogs’ drinking habits are not the only ones put under the microscope. The same researchers have studied cats’ drinking method. Cats drink differently from the dogs. They only touch the top of the water with their tongue. Unlike dogs they never dip their tongues in the water. After their tongue comes back in the mouth the water sticks to the upper side of the mouth and forms a column.
The author of the study, Sunghwan Jung, said that the main difference between their drinking process is that cats use steady inertia while the dogs use unsteady inertia in order to form a water column. That is the reason why cats seem so clean and elegant when they drink and dogs so untidy and chaotic.
The results of the experiment were unexpected due to the fact that both cats and dogs have cheeks that are incomplete and are biting animals. Another thing that they have in common is that both move their tongues while they drink really quickly and the precise method of drinking is almost impossible to perceive with the naked eye.
The next time you want to scream at your dog to take some drinking lessons from your neighbor’s cat keep in mind that dogs’ apparent sloppiness hides a model of efficiency.