Do Dogs’ Whiskers Function Similar To The Cats’?


Many animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits and rats which are kept as pets, have a set of protruding hair from below their noses which are commonly known as whiskers. Unlike other pets, cats have whiskers which internally contain streams of nerves.

These streams of nerves may act as the sixth sense of the animals and help it in sensing the environment. Cat’s whiskers also help in measuring the size of an open space and maintain their balance while they walk or run.

Due to these reasons, vets and pet-specialists generally forbid the act of cutting your cat’s whiskers as it would render them impaired from one of the vital senses that they naturally have.

Contrastingly, dogs too have whiskers which are better termed as Vibrissae, and these hair on their body may not be functioning similar to the cat’s whiskers.

But before you attempt to clip your dog’s Vibrissae, you need to look at the following points first:

Vibrissae And Their Surrounding Vicinity:

Dog’s whiskers are similar to their body hair, but differ in the size and the depth of hair roots. The whiskers are surrounded with muscles and erectile tissues which help the dog in sensing the conditions of its surroundings. The Vibrissae may also be connected to two imperative nerves that subsequently connect a blood supply.

If you attempt to pluck it completely from its place, it would result in a rather painful condition followed by a gush of blood.

The Functions Of Vibrissae:

Dogs are said to analyze the conditions of their surrounding with the help of Vibrissae. These hair on its body are sensitive to air currents and would inform it about some obstruction that is present in the path.

Vibrissae could also be helpful in locating the nearness of an object, its shape and size etc. Though these conditions have no applications when dogs are used to living in a well-lighted area, whiskers could suit dogs that are used as night hunters, guard-dogs or working terriers.

Again, unlike cats, dog’s whiskers probably do not hold any function in balancing their body.

Removal Of Vibrissae:

Dogs could undergo a removal of their Vibrissae very easily and without any pain, since the nerves that are associated with these are situated very deep in the skin. Therefore, removal of whiskers may also take place on the surface from where they appear.

You could contact a professional groomer and learn all the dog grooming tips in terms of removal of its whiskers. Professionals would probably use a clipper to remove the hair.

In contrast to this, plucking and electrolytic practices in terms of dogs’ whiskers are not usually practiced, since these remove their Vibrissae far below the surface from where they appear. Some vets may even suggest not to trim your dog’s whiskers unless there is any medical emergency.

But all in all, a dog’s whiskers would grow rapidly, even if they are trimmed from the surface and get back to their normal within a short span of time.