The next time you’re cleaning up puddles by your dog’s water bowl, try to appreciate the science behind the mess. At the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting, researchers described the different mechanisms animals like humans, cats, and dogs use to drink. Humans, with our full cheeks, can create suction to draw in liquid.
Other animals, including dogs and cats, don’t have complete cheeks, so they’ve found other ways to lap from the bowl. A cat’s delicate flick of the tongue may seem more precise, but how dogs drink water earns them top spot for efficiency. According to the researchers, dogs use more of their tongue to slap the water, drawing up a column at the speed of about five to eight times that of gravity when switching direction from down to up.
The latest discovery in media research: people love dogs (isn’t that why you’re here?), and apparently, the media does, too. A recent paper published by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Miami showed stories published in the New York Times are more likely to be picked up by other publications if they involve a dog. The Internet may have been invented for cat videos, but pups still have a solid hold on print.
In 2010, a pet owner mistakenly correlated feeding ice water to her dog and the onset of Bloat. She shared this experience through the InterWebs where pet owners took the warning seriously and propagated the story.
In the time that followed her (very upsetting) experience, more pet care professionals have weighed in on the story. In short, there has been no link shown between bloat and ice water/ice cube ingestion by our canine friends. Some vets even use ice cubes as ways for post-op pets to rehydrate when drinking from a bowl is not an option.
The warnings to truly consider are the risks of the ice cube becoming lodged in the throat of the animal or dental stress leading to a cracked tooth.
Yummy cooling solutions for your pets could involve freezing their favorite broth or a non-fat unsweetened yogurt. Fill an ice cube tray for them to enjoy during the hottest parts of the day.