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For humans, touch is a sense most often associated with the fingers. But man’s best friend, the dog, touches the world a different way — with his face.

Highly sensitive to subtle changes in air currents, canine whiskers serve as receptors for important information about the size, shape and speed of nearby objects. And while few studies have been conducted to determine whether dogs also use their whiskers to locate food, it is likely that at one time in canine history , this was the case, as rats, seals, walruses and many other nocturnal or aquatic mammals still use vibrissae for this purpose.

Is it okay to cut a dog's whiskers?

Can I cut my dog’s whiskers? We would never advise a dog owner to cut off their pet’s whiskers, unless advised by a vet. Some dog groomers snip off vibrissae for aesthetic purposes, but this is not a good idea. … If your groomer has cut them off though, don’t worry too much as they do grow back.

What happens if you cut a dog's whiskers off?

If your dog’s whiskers get cut off, it can interfere with his ability to navigate his surroundings. Your dog may run into more items and thus possibly be more susceptible to getting injured. The removal of a dog’s whiskers can be uncomfortable and stressful for your dog.

Why do only some dogs have whiskers?

Do Whiskers Differ Between Breeds? The short answer is no. Like humans, canines are unique, and this extends to how we think about facial whiskers. While some dogs may develop multitudes of long, thick vibrissae, others may have few or even none.

Whiskers. They make sure your dog’s kisses are always wet after he takes a big drink, and they act as super fun stringy things for your cat to bat when your dog’s face gets too close. They grow thickly on the muzzle, haphazardly on the cheeks, and sometimes appear as big eyebrows. Whiskers almost seem like nonsensical features of a dog’s face, much like human freckles or that random black hair that keeps appearing on your chin (you can always see it best in your car’s rear view mirror).

Dogs’ eyes have evolved to detect the fast movements of things, like prey species, and their whisker hairs help them to interpret the size, shape, vibrations, and speed of moving objects. This causes the vibrissae (whiskers) to bend just a little bit, creating a neural response that tells your dog to move out of the way before he runs into something—like that coffee table—making him a scary-looking predator to your unsuspecting kitty. For instance, hound breeds like the very large and fast Irish wolfhound have immense whiskers that appear proportional to their body, making them long, dense, and coarse. During a fast hunt through a dense forest or overgrown fields, the whiskers would aid the wolfhound in navigation, helping the dog move effortlessly and avoid trees. Today, Irish wolfhounds are unlikely to go on hunting excursions, but their whiskers still play a vital role, helping the huge dog to make his way safely (well, as long as his tail isn’t moving) through his living room and keeping him graceful during outdoor hikes.

Dogs have a set of stiff hairs protruding from the sides of their muzzles that are popularly called “whiskers.” These are not at all like the nonfunctional whiskers that men sometimes grow on their faces.

Much more important, however, is the fact that at the base of each vibrissa is a high concentration of touch-sensitive neurons so that the slightest pressure on that stiff hair will produce a neural response.

Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers? They’re Not Just For Looks!

Whiskers are both cute and extremely helpful to our canine best friends.Whiskers. They make sure your dog’s kisses are always wet after he takes a big drink, and they act as super fun stringy things for your cat to bat when your dog’s face gets too close. They grow thickly on the muzzle, haphazardly on the cheeks, and sometimes appear as big eyebrows. Whiskers almost seem like nonsensical features of a dog’s face, much like human freckles or that random black hair that keeps appearing on your chin (you can always see it best in your car’s rear view mirror).But whiskers aren’t just another word for your grandpa’s excellent beard. They are a distinguishing canine feature and an essential part of doggie anatomy, ensuring dogs can successfully navigate the world around them.

What Are Dog Whiskers For?

Long and often white, gray, or black in color, whiskers—also known as vibrissae—are hairs that shoot out from a dog’s muzzle and above her eyes. The follicles (where the hair is anchored to the skin) of whiskers are packed with nerves that send sensory messages to a dog’s brain. These follicles are incredibly sensitive, even responding to changes in air currents.

3 Reasons Why Dogs Need Whiskers

Dogs just wouldn’t be dogs without those cute and hairy faces. But whiskers are functional too, helping keep our canines safe and active. We look at three reasons why dogs really need their whiskers:

2. Whiskers Help Dogs Show Their Emotions

It seems like our dogs notice everything, including that fallen piece of chicken or the cup of wine your husband left (clearly without thinking) on the easy-to-reach side table. But dogs don’t actuallyEver throw a treat that lands right in front of your dog’s face but they somehow can’t seem to find it? It looks silly as he noses around for the treasure that is so obviously (toHas your normally lazy dog shocked you as they leapt over your coffee table like an Olympic hurdler, all just to chase your cat? Dogs’ eyes have evolved to detect the fast