Dogs are not just cute, but they are also helpful in search and rescue operations because of their smell and hearing senses. In fact, a research from the Louisiana State University asserted that dogs hear better compared with us. But why is that?
If you’re quite observant, you will notice that dogs have a habit of suddenly pricking their ears or moving their ears towards a certain direction. This means that they heard something even if you clearly didn’t. To be fair, they are four times more sensitive to sounds than us.
Dog Ears versus Human Ears
One of the factors that make dogs more perceptive to sounds is their ear muscles. Canines have 18 muscles in their ears that let them rotate, tilt, or lift up and down their organs for hearing. Because of this, they can pinpoint where the sounds are coming from. On the other hand, humans only have six ear muscles that allow us to slightly move our ears.
The location of a dog’s ears also contributes to their reactivity to sound waves. Their ears are on top of their heads while ours lie flat on both sides of our head. Theirs are also longer, which means their era canals are also longer. With this, canines can locate the sound and perceive it unerringly even at a greater distance.
Moreover, the frequency of sounds that a dog can hear plays a part in its auditory processing. The frequency range for a domestic dog, for instance, is around 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz. For humans, it is at 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
Hearing Problems in Dogs
Like humans, dogs also lose their hearing senses as they get older. That being said, there are dog breeds that are susceptible to deafness and hearing disorders. There is a BAER test which dogs for the hard of hearing go through to measure the extent of the hearing loss and determine the activities in their brain’s auditory pathway.
One of the most common causes of hearing loss in dogs is ear infection. To prevent this from happening, always check their ears and the folds on their ears. When dogs age, there are manifestations of tumors or nerve damage. Trauma also contributes to deafness in dogs.
Like we always say, prevention is better than cure. If you observe that there’s a problem with your dog, particularly on their hearing senses, you should consult your vet as soon as possible. Nevertheless, properly caring for your dogs will protect them from diseases or conditions such as hearing loss.