I always hear my owners making comments about if my whiskers will grow back if they give them a trim. I have whiskers located on my muzzle, beneath my chin, and right above my eyes, and no two dogs have the same pattern of whiskers.
Many people think my whiskers are just there to make me look more appealing, but they serve some pretty important functions throughout my life. Whiskers help me safely navigate through my environments better by alerting me when danger might be near. Because of that, it’s best not to cut my whiskers off.
My whiskers are much different in comparison to the fur on the rest of my body. My whiskers are much coarser and longer than my regular dog hair. They also stick out much more than the rest of the hair I have.
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You’ll also notice that my whiskers are a different color than my hair. The hair follicles that whiskers come out of is different than the follicles from my hair. Whisker hair follicles are nearly three times deeper than my regular hair follicles.
Under The Root
If you want to get into technicalities, ‘vibrasse’ is the actual term for whiskers. My whiskers are sensory hairs that will sense various nuances and vibrations in the environment. They are so sensitive that even air fluctuations are noticeable. Therefore, I can perceive my environment much better than humans can.
My whiskers will begin to move around when the receptors in my whisker follicles vibrate. Regular hair follicles don’t have the same nerves and blood vessels that whisker follicles have. The nerves in whiskers are closely linked to the area of my brain that helps me comprehend touch and feel.
My whiskers are like your human fingers.
They give me an increased ability to help me understand what’s going on around me. You use your fingers to experience the temperatures, textures, and sizes of things, and I use my whiskers to do these things, as well.
What Are the Different Kinds of Whiskers?
Many people think my whiskers look the same as other dog whiskers out there, but there are many different types of whiskers, and the differences lie in where they are situated on mine and other dog’s faces. It doesn’t matter where the whiskers are specifically located, because they all serve the same functions and objectives.
The most common type of whiskers in dogs is mystacial whiskers. These whiskers stem from my muzzle and my upper lip. The longer whiskers I have are the ones that stem from the side of my mouth. If I’m ever lost and exploring the wilderness, these whiskers assist me in finding food.
Genal whiskers are another type that I have stemming from my cheek area. These types of whiskers give me additional sensory information about the peripheral environment that I’m navigating.
Interramal tufts are underneath my chin. The objective of these whiskers is to give me more information about what’s going on below my face and areas that I can’t typically see very well.
These whiskers are located right underneath my eyes. You might think these are eyebrows, but they are whiskers. The point of these whiskers is to keep me on my feet about any dangers that can potentially damage my eyes.
Why Do I Have Whiskers?
Most people don’t realize how important whiskers are to my well-being and survival. While they are probably more important for dogs living in the wild, I still use my whiskers every day to help me navigate through life better.
Whiskers constantly give me information on what’s happening around me. You have your senses, and I have mine. Whiskers provide me with advantages that you might not ever understand or be able to comprehend unless you were a dog yourself.
Navigating The Environment
You might wonder how I’m able to get through the forest so well while it’s dark out. You probably think I have some type of supervision that lets me see through the darkness, but I don’t. Whiskers help me navigate through obstacles and let me get to wherever I’m going much safer than if I didn’t have whiskers.
Whiskers are extremely sensitive, and I can sense air changes when I’m walking near an obstacle or something that might be in my way.
Whiskers also allow me to visualize my surroundings better and help me see blind spots much more accurately. If you put a dog biscuit on the floor right in front of my eyes, I might not be able to see it depending on the location of it. With the whiskers on the side of my mouth, I’m able to sense it and eat it.
My whiskers also help me fetch sticks and other things you throw when we’re playing. I will use a combination of my hearing to navigate the stick and then use my whiskers to find out exactly where it landed so that I can run and grab it with my teeth.
Whiskers Provide Protection
My supraorbital whiskers help keep my eyes protected whenever I’m running through the wilderness. If my whiskers brush up against branches, leaves, or rocks, my brain will be alerted that there is an obstacle there, and I’ll be able to avoid it. When my brain is alerted, I’ll know exactly when to close my eyes to keep them protected from obstacles in my way.
Do Dog Whiskers Grow Back?
Dog whiskers are a super important part of how I experience life and the environment around me, so I highly recommend that you just leave my whiskers as is. If trimming my whiskers, a good chunk of my sensory perception will go down the drain, and that could lead to future accidents.
I might be able to adjust without whiskers over some time, but it’s not something that I would be looking forward to at all. Whiskers play a vital role in my life, and it would be comparable to you not being able to experience life with your fingers.
What Can Happen If My Dog’s Whiskers Are Trimmed?
If you do end up trimming my whiskers without realizing how important they are to me, you don’t have to worry too much because whiskers are like my fur in that they will grow back after some time. Whiskers also fall out like dog hair does and will grow back just the same.
Some people think that it will cause me pain when my whiskers are trimmed. Even though whiskers are a complex part of my anatomy, I won’t feel pain when the whiskers are cut off. It will feel uncomfortable and weird at first, but I won’t be experiencing pain from it.
You should avoid tugging or play around with my whiskers, though. There are nerves in the follicle of my whiskers, and it will be extremely uncomfortable for me if you do that.
If you’re thinking about trimming my whiskers, I highly advise that you leave them as is. You might think I will look nicer without them, but I won’t feel better. Letting them grow is what is best for me.