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Curious Creatures – 6 Surprising Facts about Common Pets

Domesticated animals are as unique and complex as humans. Have you ever wondered about some of the things they do? Like your dog, for example. How does he always seem to outrun you? And your cat – he’s smart, but how long can he actually remember something? What about your pet bird? Why does it seem like he’s always eating?

For answers to these questions and more, keep reading below for six surprising facts about common pets.

  1. Horses Wear Boots, too

A horse’s hoof is, in fact, a single toe. Imagine how delicate a proposition it is to balance all that weight on a single digit! If not protected and maintained, hooves are susceptible to damage and disease. Some horse owners put horseshoes on their horses’ hooves, and others use hoof boots for horses. Hoof boots are an alternative to horseshoes. They are designed to dramatically improve hoof health as they protect from damage and diseases such as laminitis and more.

  1. Fido for the Win

Domesticating the canine has done little to deter the animal’s natural inclination for speed. Many pet dogs (depending on the breed and size, of course) can reach speeds up to 19 miles per hour or more. The average human runs between 8 and 15 miles per hour, depending on age, gender, and physical condition. Fido wins pretty much every time.

  1. Fluffy Remembers Everything

Cats have a reputation for being smart, cunning, and stubborn. As it turns out, they also tend to remember things longer than other animals including the dog, monkey, and orangutan. A dog only remembers small details for about five minutes. A cat, on the other hand, can retain short-term memory for up to 16 hours. This is probably why cats are so smart and independent.

  1. Feed Me More!

Birds are fascinating creatures with huge appetites. If your little parakeet seems to spend most of its day eating, or you go through mountains of seed feeding the birds outside, don’t worry, it’s natural. Birds have quick metabolisms that require they eat as much as half their body weight in seed every single day. Can you imagine if we had to eat like that? We might be happy, but we’d never get anything else done!

  1. Look but Don’t Touch

Despite the widely-held notion that pet snakes are cool and love nothing more than hanging around one’s neck, snakes are not really the touchy-feely type. They prefer to be left alone, and placing one around your neck is just asking for trouble. Having said that, snake experts agree that handling a snake for a few minutes each day helps it get used to you so feeding time and cage cleaning is less stressful for the animal. Having a snake is kind of like that pretty girl or guy you fawned over in high school but couldn’t bring yourself to ask out: look but don’t touch.

  1. Say My Name!

Many people think hamsters can’t be taught. While their ability to remember is quite limited, they do have the ability to get used to their names. Talk to your hamster and say his name as often as possible, and he’ll learn to respond when he hears it.

Our domesticated pets are a deceptively sophisticated  bunch, with varied personalities and unique traits. From hoof boots for horses to snakes that don’t like to be held, they keep us entertained and happy. Do you have any unusual facts about common pets you’d like to add?

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