Dogs just as sophisticated drinkers as cats

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DOGS use a gravity-defying technique to slurp water into their mouths. Canines were accused of messily ladling water compared to sophisticated drinking cats by American researchers who last year found that felines used a super-efficient method to suck water into their mouths.

 

However, dogs are just as sophisticated as their feline friends, researchers at Harvard University discovered after analyzing high speed video of dogs slurping water.

 

When dogs drink they extend their tongues towards a drinking bowl with its tip curled back in the shape of a capital J.

Some of the liquid sticks to the tongue as the tip brushes the water and gets sucked up in a column as the dog withdraws the tongue.

The top of the column is pinched off when the dog closes its mouth.

It takes three laps for a drop of water to be sucked up into the dog’s throat.

“Cats and dogs share the same basic mechanism for lifting liquid from a bowl into the oral cavity and transporting it through the oral cavity – liquid adheres to the dorsal surface of the backwardly curled tongue tip,” said lead researcher Dr Alfred Crompton.

“The fact that the tongue tip penetrates more deeply into the liquid than in cats, and consequently sprays more liquid around as the tongue rapidly withdraws, may give the impression that dogs drink by spooning liquids into their mouths,” he added.

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