How dogs drink water? We are well aware about the lapping behavior of cats and dogs when consuming liquids with their tongues. But a new study has explained in greater detail about why dogs are inherently sloppier drinkers. The study also highlights the fact that why large dogs create more backsplash mess than their smaller counterparts.
Talking about the study, research Sunny Jung, said, “Three years ago, we studied how cats drink. I was curious about how dogs drink, because cats and dogs are everywhere.”
Jung is an assistant professor at Virginia Tech.
Like humans, cats and dogs cannot suck liquids in with their cheeks, as they facilitate the lifestyle of a four-legged predator.
The scientists say the cats place their tongues on the surface of water and then quickly withdraw it. This leads to the creation of a column of water underneath the retracting tongue of the cats.
But dogs do it in another way, scientists observed.
“When we started this project, we thought that dogs drink similarly to cats. But it turns out that it’s different, because dogs smash their tongues on the water surface—they make lots of splashing — but a cat never does that,” Jung said
The researchers found that the dogs create a remarkable amount of acceleration (about five times that of gravity) while withdrawing tongue from water. This also forms the water columns that feed up into the dogs’ mouths.
For the study, the researchers placed cameras underneath the water trough in order to map the total surface area of the tongues of the dogs that splashed down while drinking water.
It was found that a larger wetted tongue area was used by the heavier dogs than the smaller ones.
This suggests existence of a proportional relationship between the dog’s tongue area of water contact and the animal’s body weight.
The researchers also proved that the dogs were best friends of prehistoric women.
For their model, they used glass tubes for simulation of a dog’s tongue. This helped in making the mimic of the acceleration and column formation at the process of exit. The volume of water withdrawn was then measured. It was found that the water column pinches off as well as detaches from the bowl of water, mainly due to gravity.
The findings of the study “How dogs drink water” were detailed during the presentation at the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting in San Francisco.