Our Pet Column

Published weekly and read widely in The Watch, Telluride Daily Planet and Telluride Inside…and Out as well as this website the Pet Column offers insights from the Second Chance’s pet of the week on a variety of topics.

Method to Sloppy Slurping

Method to Sloppy Slurping

Does your dog need a bib and a 5 foot drop cloth to protect the floor when he drinks? Well then you would be surprised to hear that there is actually a precise method underlying the sloppy madness of dog slurping. So yes although the Second Chance Pet Column is typically filled with stories about lap dogs, today I am going to tell the story of dog lapping.

As published in Science Daily and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, using photography and laboratory simulations researchers at Virginia Tech College of Engineering studied how dogs raise fluids into their mouths to drink. They discovered that sloppy-looking actions at the dog bowl are in fact high-speed, precisely timed movements that optimize a dogs' ability to acquire fluids.

I would like to emphasize that, researchers also compared what they learned about how dogs drink with what they knew from previous studies of cats. The scientists discovered that even though feline and canine mouths structurally are similar, their approaches to drinking are as different as -- cats and dogs.

Dogs and cats are biting animals and neither have full cheeks. But without cheeks, they can't create suction to drink as people, horses, and elephants do. Instead they use their tongues to quickly raise water upward through a process involving inertia.

Both animals move their tongues too quickly to be completely observed by the naked eye but dogs accelerate their tongues at a much faster rate than cats, creating a water column through the use of the curled, speedy tongue and biting movement. Although it has always been thought that dogs scoop water with their tongue it is more about creating a water column through acceleration and unsteady inertia.

Cats, on the other hand, lightly touch the surface of the water with their tongues, usually never fully immersing them. When their tongues rise into their mouths, liquid adheres to the upper side, forming an elegant water column (emphasis here on “elegant”…).

So there you have it – more fodder for feline fabulousness. My name is Munchkin a 7 month old orange tabby kitten here at Second Chance. Beyond being an elegant drinker, I am very playful, well socialized and simply adorable. Usually these qualities translate into getting adopted very quickly but for some reason I have been overlooked. I have been here for 6 of my short months of life and am bursting with desire to have a family of my own.

I want to drink up all that life has to offer outside of this shelter…and as I proved today…dogs drool and cat’s rule!

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.

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Second Chance Humane Society


(970) 626-2273 | phone
(970) 626-3233 | Ridgway thrift
(970) 728-1100 | Telluride thrift


PO Box 2096 [mailing]
177 County Road 10
Ridgway, CO 81432

Shelter Hours

Animal Resource Center 11 am - 6 pm
Cat Castle 11 am - 6 pm
Dog Den 11 am - 5:45 pm