It’s a frequently asked question “why does my dog have whiskers?” mostly from the dog lovers. Today I will answer all of your questions regarding why your dog has whiskers and all the related stuff.
Like humans and most other mammals, dogs are covered with hair. But there are some certain differences. Where humans have most of the hair on their heads, dogs have an almost even distribution of hair all over their bodies. You can check the benefits of having a dog.
If you have a pet dog you should have seen some long hair on its face compared to other hairs. These are called whiskers. Whiskers are longer, coarser, and thicker compared to normal hairs. Their roots are three times deeper. There is no particular place for whiskers to grow. Dogs usually have whiskers above their eyes, on or under the chin, and above the upper lip.
You can find whiskers on every dog on the planet. Whiskers are one of the first hair to grow on newborn pups and they have them present at birth. The whiskers grow long before the dogs cross adolescence. The whiskers are connected to the follicles which are packed with blood vessels and nerves.
As a result, whiskers are much more sensitive than regular hairs. As like the fingertips of humans, dogs are very much sensitive so that dogs get the sense of touch from whiskers. So, as humans touch any objects with their fingers, dogs touch anything with their faces.
Types of Whiskers
Are the different types of whiskers available? Yes, dog whiskers have different types with different names. Dogs do not have whiskers in a particular place. According to the location of the whiskers, they got different names. These names might sound a bit technical to you but I guarantee they are interesting to know. Let us discover them!
Let’s start with the “mystacial whisker“, the most popular one. This long and horizontal whisker is located above the dog’s upper lip. The reason behind this interesting name is it somehow resembles a mustache. You might have seen some dogs have whiskers above their eyes like the eyebrows of humans.
Do you know their name? These are known as the “supraorbital whiskers“. Chin whiskers are two types. Dogs have whiskers on their chin or under their chin. Almost towards the end of the dog’s cheek, the whiskers are known as the “genal whiskers”. Under the dog’s chin, you may be able to see a mole-like spot that is covered with the “interramal tufts.”
# Why does dog have whiskers?
There are 05 initial reasons why dogs have whiskers. Dog whiskers are known as vibrissae which comes from an ancient Latin word “vibrio” which means to vibrate. Whiskers are more than facial style. Dogs get various kinds of benefits from whiskers.
01. Whiskers help dogs to roam around and navigate:
Where humans touch things with their fingers, a dog has the sense of the world with its whiskers. Whiskers are like antennas of insects that are used as sensory equipment. After detecting any things, they transmit the information to sensory cells. They can identify variations in air currents to sense the size, shape, or speed if it is moving nearby things. This way whiskers assist dogs in navigation.
02. Whiskers help dogs in their blind spot
Have you ever noticed why your dog cannot see its food bowl right under his nose? One reason can be dogs cannot see colors as we do. Another one is whether it is located right within the dog’s blind spot. Like cars and trucks, dogs have blind spots too. The whiskers above the dogs’ upper lip give the dog information about the position of the object, especially in dim light conditions or dark. Again, interramal tuft or chin whiskers provide them the information about what is right under dogs’ heads.
03. Whiskers give dogs protection
Whiskers are very much sensitive. They respond immediately when they touch something. We all know the eyes are not only one of the most important organs of the body but also very vulnerable. So if any small particles go into dogs’ eyes, it can harm their eyes easily. So when any dust or particles fall on the supraorbital whiskers or whiskers above the eyes, dogs shake the dust off immediately. As a result, they can protect their eyes.
04. Whisker are radar sensor
The dog has incredible hearing and smelling power. But unlike this dog has a very weak canine vision. Whiskers help dogs to see the object which is very close to them. Like radar detectors, they can detect very faint vibrations caused by the change in air currents. Hence, dogs can sense any threats towards them and protect themselves.
05. Whiskers help them to communicate emotions
Just like dogs, whiskers also stay active. But when dogs feel very happy or curious, they elevate their whiskers above their eyes. It gives dogs a cute and adorable appearance. In addition, when a dog feels any kind of threat, they flare the whiskers on his muzzle and indicate them toward their opponent or what they are afraid of.
Why do dogs need whiskers?
Dogs usually get whiskers in different parts of the face such as above the eyes, on the chin, and above the upper lip. Whiskers make the eyebrows like humans or beautify the smiles of dogs. In a nutshell, it seems dogs’ faces are accentuated by their whiskers, but they do not just serve as facial enhancements, they have some essential functions.
Whiskers are known as “tactile hairs”. They are very sensitive because of the packed blood vessels and nerves. So dogs used them as sensory equipment by which dogs can do their daily activities. These are just like radars or antennas which help them in vision and aid a dog navigate his surroundings and environment by some extra sensory inputs.
Whiskers continuously send information to the canine brain to assist dogs to see things that are actually lying right under their noses. They are able to detect very faint vibrations just like radar detectors by recognizing the changes in air currents.
Why do dogs have whiskers under their chin?
Many famous dog breeds such as Airedale Terrier, Brussels Griffons, Scottish Terrier, Bearded Collie, Yorkshire Terrier, and many more have whiskers under their chin. To be frank, most dog owners do not pay attention to their pet’s whiskers. If they even do, they think they are unnecessary so that cuts them off. But those whiskers have surprising benefits.
Whiskers work like antennas similar to insects. Dogs use them to get a sense of the environment. Dogs can feel the vibrations in air currents using their whiskers. So that they can detect things nearby and navigate easily. The whiskers are very sensitive as a result they are too responsive. So if something falls into it they respond immediately. They also aid dogs to transmit good vibes. Most of the dogs with whiskers under their chin look very adorable. For example, the Airedale Terrier breed has long whiskers under their chin which makes them prettier than before.
Why do dogs have whiskers on their eyebrows?
You might get a wonder to see long, coarse hair on the top of the eyes of your dogs. Some might think this is similar to the eyebrows of humans. Actually, these are called whiskers. Humans usually have an inconsistent amount of hair in their bodies.
We have most of our hair on our heads and less in other parts of the body. But dogs are furry animals. They have almost equal amounts of hair in their body. But whiskers are different from normal hair. Whiskers are not a meaningless style for dogs. They have whiskers for some particular reason. The whiskers which grow above their eyes are called “supraorbital whiskers.” The word “supraorbital” means “over the eyes.” They play an important role in protecting dogs’ eyes.
The whiskers are very sensitive and help dogs to respond very quickly. So when only a small speck of dust falls on the supraorbital whisker or above their eyes, dogs will immediately respond by blinking or shaking their head to fling it off. As a result, they can save their eyes from any harm. Using the whiskers, dogs can detect which way the wind is blowing. They use this when they sense the smell to catch prey.
Why do dogs and cats have whiskers?
As like, we humans use our sense of vision to look around and hand to feel our surroundings, dogs, and cats use whiskers to feel around. Whiskers look like hair but they are not actually like the normal hair that dogs and cats have all over their bodies.
They function as touch receptors just like our fingers. By touching something, they get sensory information and pass it as they are connected to the muscles and the nervous system of the animal’s body. As a result, both dogs and cats use them like radars or antennas. If you are too poor in understanding your pet’s emotions then you must have an eye on their whiskers.
When dogs and cats feel very happy or eager, they lift up their whiskers above. But cats have some extra functions of whiskers compared to dogs. Cats get proprioceptors, a unique sensation at the end of their whiskers which pass information to the brain of the exact position of the body. Hence, the cat becomes aware of what every part of his body is doing and is able to always land on its feet. In addition, cats pull the whiskers on his muzzle taut, flare them and indicate them towards the threat when they sense any danger.
Why does my dog have whiskers?
Are you worried about why your dog has a whisker? Well, you do not need to be. Every dog has a whisker on its face. It is not just normal long, coarse hair that covers the whole body. As humans touch with their fingers to sense something, our best friend dogs’ touch is a sense which is associated with their faces.
They touch the world in an uncommon way, with their whiskers. Like normal hair, their base is the follicles at but unlike hairs, they are packed with nerves. So they can easily send sensory messages which they get from touching something to their brains. Though dogs have the finest smell power, their visions are not as strong.
So they can use their whiskers as receptors and sense changes in the air current. This is how they can get a clear vision of the surroundings and decide if they can go through narrow spaces and navigate easily. In addition, they use these vibrations in the air to help themselves for protection by getting the sense of approaching dangers. Dogs use whiskers to respond more quickly.
Why do dogs whiskers fall out?
Whiskers are one kind of sensory organ that helps your dog to navigate and roam around. But sometimes you might discover that a stray whisker has fallen on the floor. So why do dog whiskers fall out? Is it a reason to worry?
Well, dogs lose their whiskers on a semi-regular basis. It is very normal and you do not need to be worried. Daily wear, injury, or diseases can cause the loss of whiskers. Being said, they will grow back. Whiskers usually splinter, break or fall out if your dog calls a fight with another dog. Another reason is alopecia, a disorder that can harm your dog’s skin, endocrine, and immune systems.
It can have both mild and severe effects on your dog. But it affects not only whiskers but also all hairs. The Mite infestation mange, bacterial infections, ringworm, and immune diseases can also cause whisker to fall out. Dogs generally do not lose their whiskers all at once. But if they do or if you recognize any illness you should consult with a veterinary care professional.
Why do some dogs have whiskers?
If you have any pets, you are probably known to be whiskers. Whiskers are just like long, coarse hair located on some parts of the face such as on the chin, above eyes or lips, etc. Though most people think these are just like long mustaches, they actually play a crucial role in dogs.
Dogs neither have a great vision power like humans nor they have hands. So they use their whiskers to touch something and feel the sense. The whiskers have hair follicles at their base connected with nerves so that they are very sensitive. Just like we touch a thing with our hand, dogs do this with their whiskers and then nerves send them to the dog’s brain.
This way they are able to detect what’s close by such as any physical objects. They use whiskers as antennas to sense the shifting of currents. As a result, dogs can feel the surroundings and be aware of any threat. They can also express their feelings by lifting the whiskers up.
Why dogs have whiskers?
We, humans, use our hands, a very sensitive part of our body to touch and sense anything. Though humans and dogs both are mammals, dogs use their faces to touch anything, unlike the humans. Dogs have whiskers, the most sensitive part of the body quite similar to a human’s fingertips which they use to feel the sense of touch in the world with his face.
Whiskers do not cover the whole body like normal hairs but some particular part of the face like above the eyes, on the chin, and above the upper lip. But dogs do not have them just for show-off. Whiskers aid dogs to navigate the world by detecting the changes in air currents. Then dog whiskers transmit the information to sensory cells.
Dogs use to elevate their whiskers above when they are very happy or eager. So it helps humans to understand their emotions. These are very sensitive hairs and can respond immediately after touching even the smallest particle. For example, if only a small speck of dust can harm their eyes. If it falls on the whisker above their eyes, dogs will immediately respond by blinking or shaking their head to fling it off.
Why do dogs have whiskers on their face?
It is very common to find whiskers on a dog’s face. In general, dogs have hair all over their body. But on their face, you can see some long and coarse hairs like a beard or mustache. They are called whiskers and dogs have them in different parts of their face like on or under the chin, above the lips, above the eyes, etc.
They look pretty cute with whiskers, especially when they are smiling. But these are not just meaningless styles for them. You may have heard that dogs touch things with their face unlike humans as they do not have any hands. It is actually the whisker that they use to have sense.
Because of their weak vision, they use them for navigation even at night or in dark places. It also helps them to detect any threat coming towards them. Another important feature of these whiskers is that dogs can respond quickly and protect themselves. If you see your dog lifting its whiskers up, you should realize that it is in a good mood or curious about something.
Why do dogs need their whiskers?
People think whiskers are just like simple hair and so they cut them off. But they are not like simple hairs and have some essential purpose.
- Navigation: Whiskers are like antennae of insects which are used as sensory equipment. After detecting any things, they transmit the information to sensory cells. They can identify variation in air currents to sense the size, shape or speed if it is moving nearby things. This way whiskers assist dogs in navigation.
- Use as radar sensor: Dog has weak canine vision unlike its incredible hearing and smell ability. Whiskers help dogs to see the object which is very close to them. Like radar detectors, they can detect very faint vibrations caused by the variation in air currents. As a result dogs can sense any threats towards them.
- For protection: Whiskers help dogs to respond very quickly if they touch any small particles. As a result, they can protect themselves.
Why do dogs have chin whiskers?
It is very common to see chin whiskers on dogs that are longer, stiffer, and three times thicker compared to normal dog hairs. These beauty marks’ follicles are packed with nerves and blood. Chin whiskers give dogs a sense of the environment. Because of their weak canine vision, they face many problems, especially in the dark or night.
They use their sensitive whiskers to detect the changes in air currents which help them to find the location of walls, food or water bowls, and other objects. Another important use of the chin whiskers is dogs use this as a potential defense mechanism. We have already known that the chin whiskers can sense vibrations. So when dogs reconsider that they are in any kind of threat, they can use this information against the predator in defense. When they pick up fights with other animals they track the position and movements of the opponent with chin whiskers.
What happens if you cut a dog’s whiskers?
Some groomers and pet owners have the tendency to trim or cut the whisker off the dogs. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the importance of whiskers. The dog owners often remove their dogs’ whiskers only because they want to have a cleaner look of the head.
But it is strongly recommended that dog owners SHOULD NOT cut their dog’s whiskers off. Whiskers are not only for looks but it is essential for dogs to navigate around. They use whiskers to sense the change in air currents to detect where the objects are. So If you cut your dog’s whiskers off, your dog will not be able to get a sense of the surroundings. As a result, our dog may run into household, furniture, or other things more often. Hence, it will increase the chance of getting hurt. Moreover, your dog will feel very uncomfortable and stressed if you cut its whisker off.
Do dog whiskers grow back?
If you have cut off your dog’s whiskers by accident or without knowing the importance of them, you are not the only one on this planet to do so. Many dog owners report accidentally cutting whiskers off. So what should you do if you cut down your dog’s whiskers? Well, you do not need to panic. Actually, dogs can lose their whiskers naturally and it grows back.
So if you have removed your dog’s whisker, they will grow back. But it depends completely on your dog’s age, health, and type of dog breed to grow their whiskers back. Dog whiskers can also fall down occasionally. But they do not lose it all at once. So if you notice that, you should consult a professional vet for suggestions. Even though they grow back you should be very careful when you are trimming your hair. You should not cut them off!
Do dogs have whiskers like cats?
Cats and dogs both are mammals and both of their bodies are covered with hair like others. If you have a pet cat you might have noticed some long and coarse hairs on part of their face such as above the eyes, on the chin, on the forelegs, near the ears, or above the upper lip. These are called whiskers. But do dogs have whiskers like cats? Yes, they do.
Every dog has whiskers on their face, particularly on or/ and their chin, above their eyes, above their lips. Both dogs and cats have whiskers not only as facial style but to use them for different purposes. Dogs have less vision power compared to their excellent hearing and smelling capabilities. So that they use their whiskers to sense the change in air currents to detect where the objects are. This way they can roam around without bumping and hurting themselves. Dogs also use them for protection as if something falls on the whisker above the eyes they quickly respond by shaking off that particle and saving their eyes.
Is it okay to cut a dog’s whiskers?
The long, coarse hair on dogs’ faces is called whiskers. Is it okay to cut a dog’s whiskers? No, it is not. Sometimes dog owners think they are just like simple hair so that they cut them off in the process of cleaning the face. But actually, they do this without knowing what they have done. Whiskers are not only just hair for dogs. Let’s see what human foods can puppies eat.
It is like a sensory organ that helps dogs to roam around by sensing where the objects are. But if you cut whiskers down, it might create a negative impact on dogs. Dogs will not be able to navigate properly. As a result, they might hit upon things nearby and badly harm themselves. Dogs usually try to find their bowl using whiskers in the dark or at night. Your dog might feel very uncomfortable and stressed after cutting whiskers off. So it is recommended to not cut your dog’s whiskers. But whiskers grow back if you cut them.
My dog has no whiskers
Sometimes dog owners report that their dog has no whiskers. Apparently, all dogs have whiskers, but when their faces get shaved, there go the whiskers as well. With curly-haired breeds like Poodles and Bichons, often the whiskers curl back in, so are not as noticeable as a sleek-haired one. So you should never shave off the whiskers as they are essential for your dogs.
Some dogs lose whiskers on a semi-regular basis and you might see whiskers fallen on the floor. It is very common and you do not need to be worried. Daily wear, injury, or diseases can cause the loss of whiskers and they will grow back. But you have to keep in mind that dogs do not lose all their whiskers at once. So if you find that you should consult a professional vet. It might be harmful to them.
Can you cut dog chin whisker?
It is very common to see a dog with a chin whisker. Many famous dog breeds like Yorkshire Terrier, Bearded Collie, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Brussels Griffons have whiskers on their chin. They look pretty with it. But some dog owners do not like them and cut them off for a cleaner face look of their dog.
So, can you cut a dog’s chin whisker? Before answering let us find out the benefits of whiskers. Whiskers are not only for looks. The chin whiskers are similar to the antennae of insects which help dogs to get a sense of their surroundings mainly at night or dark. Whiskers are very reflexive so that dog shakes any off if it falls on the whisker.
Chin whiskers assist dogs in navigation by sensing the vibrations in air currents to detect surroundings. Dogs can transmit good vibes to the brain by using chin whiskers. So, we have found out that whiskers are essential for dogs. That is why experts strongly recommend not to cut them off. Dogs are very much dependent on whiskers for navigation. So without a whisker’s presence, they will face many problems.