Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers?

Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers?

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Some people believe that dogs' whiskers have no useful role and therefore have it clipped off by the groomer since dog's parent believe the whiskers makes their pets appear messy or unkempt or because it is not beautifully positioned or set up like that of a cat. However, whiskers seem to be extremely important in assisting your dog in navigating the world and should never be removed. Continue reading to learn more about this topic!!


Dog's whiskers, also referred to as “vibrissae”, have a number of functions, including the emotional regulation, performance of sensing and protective roles, and the facilitation of canine movement through the environment. Your dog will benefit from having one of these in many ways, dog's whisker has also been proven to help dogs walk without colliding at night. This article has put together some cogent reasons why dogs have whiskers and reasons why you shouldn’t get them clipped off, regardless of how unkempt they look.


Whiskers, also known as vibrissae, are strong, gritty strands of hair that often grow around a dog's nose, chin, and mouth area. Whiskers are also known by their Latin name, vibrissae. They are firmly rooted in the epidermis, and the follicle at the root of the whiskers contain a dense network of receptors which communicate sensation information to a dog's nervous system. The following is a collection of possible explanations for why dogs have whiskers:

Whiskers serve as sensor devices.

Dogs are renowned for having keen sense of hearing and scent, but their eyesight isn't as good as their ability to hear and smell. Dogs may concentrate on items close up yet see clearer at a distant. Dogs could only see" objects which are directly in front of them due to the whiskers' continual communication with the brain. When a dog approaches anything in its route, they conjure up wind patterns which touch hard surfaces and return. Whiskers function as sensor detection by picking up on extremely small vibration brought on by variations in air flow. It also aids dogs in night time discovery of their favourite toy or feeding bowl for dogs that eat at night without light sources.

Whiskers are a means of expressing feelings.

The whiskers of a dog stop activities when it's time for them to relax. On the other hand, whenever the dog is busy, so are the whiskers.  When a dog is excited or interested in something, the whiskers often rise up across their eyes, offering them the adorable, broad aspect that their owners adores. When a dog perceives danger, they would raise the whiskers on the front of their nose and point it in the direction of the aggressor.

Whiskers serve as a form of defence.

When even the tiniest particle brushes up against these hypersensitive bristles, they react. In the event that a solid particle lands on one of the whiskers located above the eyes, a dog would either wink or jerk its neck in order to dislodge it. This action safeguards the eye, which might suffer damage from something as insignificant as a speck of dust. Whenever a dog is wandering outdoors, the whiskers on its nose will tell it to back down if it comes into contact with a thorn shrub or high blades of grasses. This is done to protect the dog's eyes and face from being injured or pricked.

Whiskers are vulnerable and require preservation.

Interpreting information received from touching receptors takes up a significant amount of space in dog 's memory. Whiskers are touch receptors that can be relied on very much. Nearly forty percent of the receptive brain region corresponds with different body segments with whiskers. Whiskers hold significant cerebral property in a dog 's system because each and every whisker could be linked to a particular location in the cortex. This suggests that whiskers serve an important function in a dog 's physiology.


Unless directed by a veterinarian, it is not advisable for dog owners to remove their dog's whisker. Several pet groomers remove the dog's whiskers for cosmetic (aesthetics) reasons; however, it is not recommended. Although cat whisker grows in perfect rows, but dog whisker seems to sprout randomly, both species perform crucial functions and a pet owner should never have them stripped away.

Although, cutting off dog's whiskers does not necessarily affect them because the hair do not have any perception of pain; although, doing so may confuse your dog or cause them to become less cognizant. It can impair their capacity to recognise adjacent items, that could leave your dog considerably less comfortable.

But then do not panic too greatly if your groomer had clipped them off; whiskers is a hair so they surely will grow again. But make all effort to understand and inform your groomers not to trim the whiskers off again in the future. Furthermore, as a dog owner, consider never to remove your dog's whiskers because doing so will be uncomfortable due to the numerous peripheral nerves endings at the root of the whiskers. Therefore, the next time you opt for a grooming, make sure to tell the groomers to avoid trimming your dog's whiskers during the grooming procedure.

Concluding Words

Because whiskers are so crucial to a dog's capacity to live properly both within and without its territory, whiskers serve as protectants, sensors, and emotional messengers, among other protective functions. Touch your dog lightly, going with the line of the whisker. Avoid pulling or plucking your dogs' whiskers since it will hurt them. Avoid trimming your dog's whiskers as doing so could frustrate and lessen their sense of unique sensitivity.

Dr Marvelous Ibiniyi, DVM

A pet enthusiast and young veterinarian in the making, who loves writing and giving educative information about pets especially dogs and cats. Dr Marvelous has a German Shepherd dog named Smart and likewise a Persian cat named Rolex.

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