WTF Fun Fact 13390 – Pet Appreciation Week

The first full week of June 2023 marks a special occasion for pet lovers around the world—it’s Pet Appreciation Week! This week-long celebration is dedicated to honoring the love, companionship, and joy that our furry friends bring into our lives. That means this week is a time to recognize the immeasurable value that pets bring to our well-being and to show our appreciation for their unwavering loyalty and affection.

Why do we celebrate Pet Appreciation Week?

During Pet Appreciation Week, people of all ages come together to express gratitude for their beloved pets. Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, fish, or any other furry, feathery, or scaly companion, this week is all about cherishing their presence and recognizing the positive impact they have on our lives.

Pets hold a special place in our hearts and homes. For example, they provide unconditional love, comfort, and support, offering a sense of companionship that can brighten even the dullest of days. And their playful antics, gentle purrs, wagging tails, and welcoming chirps can instantly lift our spirits and bring a smile to our faces.

This dedicated week encourages pet owners to reflect on the happiness and joy that their pets bring and to engage in activities that strengthen the bond between human and animal. It’s a time to shower our pets with extra love, attention, and care, as well as to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership.

How can you celebrate?

Throughout Pet Appreciation Week, there are various ways to celebrate and express gratitude towards our pets. Here are some ideas to make this week extra special:

  1. Quality Time: Set aside dedicated time to engage in activities that your pet enjoys. Take your dog for a long walk, play with your cat using their favorite toys, or spend time bonding with your bird or reptile in their habitat. The key is to focus on creating meaningful moments of connection.
  2. Healthy Treats: Surprise your pet with some delicious and nutritious treats. Consider making homemade pet-friendly snacks or explore the wide range of healthy treats available in pet stores. Remember to choose treats that are suitable for your pet’s dietary needs.
  3. Support Animal Shelters: Use this week as an opportunity to give back to animals in need. Volunteer at a local animal shelter, donate pet supplies, or consider adopting a rescue pet. By supporting shelters, you’re making a positive impact on the lives of animals and promoting responsible pet ownership.
  4. Pet Photography: Capture precious moments with your pet through photography. For example, snap some candid shots or arrange a professional photoshoot to create lasting memories. These photographs serve as beautiful reminders of the joy and love shared with your pet.
  5. Learn and Educate: Take the time to learn more about your pet’s specific needs, behavior, and health requirements. Expand your knowledge by reading books, attending workshops, or consulting with veterinarians or experienced pet owners. Share your newfound knowledge with others to promote responsible pet ownership in your community.

Love your pets!

Pet Appreciation Week is a reminder to cherish our furry friends, not only during this dedicated week but throughout the year. Pets bring immeasurable joy, comfort, and companionship, and they deserve our utmost appreciation. So, take this opportunity to celebrate the bond you share with your pet and make their week extra special with acts of love, care, and gratitude.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Pet Appreciation Week” — National Today

WTF Fun Fact 13091 – Scent Makes Dogs Feel Safe

You probably already know your dog is happy to be around you. They’re pretty good at showing it. Your behavior towards your dog is what matters most. But once they feel secure in your presence, your scent makes dogs feel safe.

The research on scent making dogs feel safe

Have you ever smelled a scent that reminded you of someone (perfume, for example) and had it stir your emotions?

Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University, performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on dogs (don’t worry, he taught them to sit still).

“We started the dog project about three years ago to get around this problem that we really don’t know what dogs are thinking or what they’re experiencing,” Berns said, according to National Geographic (cited below).

The goal was to see the activity of the brain’s nerve cells in order to get a hint of what they might be thinking. Of course, there’s a lot of interpretation to do to turn those images into ideas about doggy feelings. But they studied the part of the brain that is associated with reward.

According to NatGeo: “In the new study, Berns and his team performed fMRI on 12 dogs, including 5 service or therapy dogs and his own dog, Callie, to test their response to biological odors. The experiment dogs were presented with five scents on gauze pads: a familiar human, an unfamiliar human, a dog that lived in their household, an unfamiliar dog, and their own scent. The researchers found that the dogs’ caudate nucleus, an area of the brain associated with positive expectations, was most activated by the scent of the familiar person.”

The scent of a dog owner

The results suggested that dogs can pick out their owner’s familiar scent, AND it tends to produce a positive reaction that shows up in the reward center of the brain.

The dogs didn’t react to the other scents in any way that would indicate they had an emotional reaction to them.

While this is sweet and all, the research will be beneficial for service animals.

“What’s more, scanning potential service dogs for enhanced brain responses may pinpoint canines that are most up to the task. Training service dogs is very expensive, he said, and only 30 to 40 percent of those trained are placed with a person. Overall, Berns believes the dogs experience something akin to pleasure when they smell their owners.”  WTF fun facts

Source: “Dog Brains Link Pleasure With Owner’s Scent” — National Geographic

WTF Fun Fact 13081 – Dogs Fake Sneeze

Did you know that dogs fake sneeze? We know our fluffy buddies can manipulate their environment to get more attention, but fake sneezing actually has a few different uses that we found interesting.

Why do dogs fake sneeze?

According to the American Kennel Club (cited below), dogs will fake a sneeze for play and communication purposes.

“Many dogs like to sneeze when they play with other dogs or humans. This ‘play sneezing’ is normal and something dogs use to show that they are excited and having a good time. Dogs will also use play sneezing to show that their behavior is only playful.”

When dogs play sneeze, they tend to curl their lips and create a wrinkle in their nose. These sneeze sound more like a short “snort” than a sneeze, since the air comes from the nose and not the lungs.


Your pup is watching you closely for signs of what will make you more empathetic and playful.

According to the AKC, “When a dog fake sneezes, they tend to watch you as they sneeze to make sure they’ve got your attention. They may even move closer and sneeze on or near you so you can’t ignore them.”

And dogs will even sneeze to communicate with one another. Sometimes, they’ll use it as a calming signal to let those around them know things are getting out of hand.

Pay attention to dog sneezes

Of course, dogs can sneeze due to illness and allergies as well. So it’s important not to assume your dog is sneezing just because it wants to play. And dogs with compressed nasal passages, like pugs, will sneeze more often simply because of their physiology. This may require attention if it starts to happen more often since it can be indicative of breathing issues.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Why Do Dogs Sneeze?” — American Kennel Club

WTF Fun Facts 12785 – Dogs Are Family

A 2017 survey from found that Americans are really fond of their dogs. In fact, “dog people” tend to prefer their pets over people at times.

People think of dogs as family

Aside from the finding that 54% of dog owners said they would consider ending a romantic relationship if their dog didn’t like their partner, the report also noted that:

24% of dog owners make up songs to sing to their dogs
29% share more pictures online of their dogs than of friends and family
47% of those with a significant other admit they’d find it harder to leave their dog for a week than their human partner

Other furry findings

According to’s report on their findings, there are 54 million households in the U.S. wth dogs.

  • 94% of dog owners consider their dog a part of the family
  • 56% greet their dog first when they return home before greeting the rest of the family.
  • 78% would include their dog in family moments like marriage proposals, holiday cards, and even vacations
  • 56 percent% have celebrated their dog’s birthday

Being a dog owner is even good for our health. “Dog ownership increases leisure time and physical activity by nearly 70 percent.”

According to Rover pet lifestyle expert Brandie Gonzales, “Young Americans are less likely to be homeowners or parents than previous generations, but one category they lead in is pet ownership. They shower their dogs with attention and splurge on expensive gifts because their dog is their best friend, and they want to be their dog’s best friend too.”

Millennials may have killed department stores and traditional marriage, but they sure were a boon for the animal rescue industry! At least one thing has remained stable over time – dogs are still man’s best friend.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “ Reveals New Research on ‘Dog People'” —

WTF Fun Fact 12772 – Real-Life Paw Patrol

Remember McGruff the Crime Dog? Ever watch Paw Patrol with your kids? Well, it turns out dogs really do take a bite out of crime – just not in the way we expected.

The Pros of a Paw Patrol

Recent research in the journal Social Forces has found that neighborhoods that contain more dogs have lower levels of crime. But the paper, titled “Paws on the Street: Neighborhood-Level Concentration of Households with Dogs and Urban Crime,” found that it wasn’t the dogs themselves that deterred criminals.

Based on the work of Jane Jacobs, this research adds to the idea that “eyes on the street” can (but don’t always) help deter bad actors. That’s a plus for communities where people get out of their houses and are seen by neighbors. (But it’s obviously not that straightforward, and Jacobs failed to take into account race and class in much of her research.)

Eyes on the street

Nevertheless, the new research suggests that in many neighborhoods, the presence of community members makes a neighborhood less likely to seem like a target for crimes such as theft. Not only do neighbors get to know each other better and establish trust, but more eyes mean more potential reporters when people who see something wrong.

Of course, we’ve seen reporting of “something wrong” go sideways in many cases, especially when it comes to situations that involve race and class differences. We’ve also seen that a police response isn’t the best way to keep crime down. So this research just provides a general sense of how things might work for some neighborhoods.

So what’s the deal with dogs?

Dogs come into play because people need to walk them – and people do this at all hours of the day. Neighborhoods with dogs tend to have a lot more human activity out on the sidewalks. In general, the evidence showed that this was largely a good thing when it came to deterring crime.

The researchers found that neighborhoods with higher concentrations of dogs tended to report less robbery, homicide, and aggravated assault rates (as long as “eyes on the street” came with an increased level of trust).

As always, it’s important to note that the researchers found a correlation between dog ownership and less crime. This is not the same is causation – meaning we can’t say that owning dogs leads to less crime until there’s far more evidence.  WTF fun facts

Source: “Dogs Could Be Lowering Crime Levels in Your Neighborhood. Seriously” — ScienceAlert

WTF Fun Fact 12395 – Cat Allergies

Three main types of allergies plague our feline friends – food allergies, skin allergies (from flea bites, for example), and environmental allergies.

Environmental allergies can refer to anything in a cat’s environment, such as dust, pollen, or humans. Dogs can be allergic to humans as well.

According to Raelynn Farnsworth of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, “It’s rare, but dogs can be allergic to cat dander and people dander and vice versa. For everything.”

In cats, the allergy shows up as miliary dermatitis, which results in tiny scabs, usually around their head and neck. It can also result in missing spots of hair.

Cats can also develop asthma if exposed to allergens for too long. So if your cat is sneezing or coughing, it’s essential to see a vet. And you probably shouldn’t worry too much since they’re likely allergic to something else in their environment besides you.

People don’t have as much dander as animals since we frequently bathe. Our pets are more likely to be allergic to something like perfume or beauty/skincare products we use, especially if they contain preservatives (as most do).

– WTF Fun Facts

Source: Can Your Pet Be Allergic to Humans? — Understanding Animal Research