Be it a quick head bump from an otherwise aloof feline or the endless "talking" of a chatty husky, very few things can live up to the endless love and devotion that a pet offers you at the end of a long day. Our loveable buddies may never cease to cause us headaches, hiding atop impossibly high cupboards, demanding that half the bed is theirs, or even ruining your only nice pair of shoes that you spent an unreasonable amount on, but at the same time they'll never stop surprising us with what they can do and how they act. After all, how can a bird have a better love life than most people I know? And what else have our furry (and not so furry) friends been hiding from us?
1. Your Dog Can (And Will) Watch TV
Chocolate Labrador laying on a couch
While dogs only see in yellow and blue, they can still see your television screen and identify other animals. Depending on your dog's personality, they may choose to watch TV with you at the end of the day.
2. And When You Affectionately Call Your Dog a "Dummy," He Probably Knows Exactly What You're Saying
Golden retriever with its paws in the air
Not every dog is like Chaser, the border collie who can identify 1,022 different words, but the average pup can learn upwards of 165 to 250 words along with basic mathematics. While he may not be able to help you with your math homework, he'll definitely know when you're hiding an extra treat behind your back.
3. Your Cat Probably Shouldn't Have that Milk
Cat dipping its paw in a cup
While not all adult cats are lactose-intolerant, most are. Like some humans, most cats only produce the enzyme that breaks down lactose as kittens and will get sick if exposed to it as an adult. Instead, getting a cat-safe alternative would make your feline friend much happier.
4. Remember that Time You Laughed So Hard You Snorted Milk Out of Your Nose? Your Horse Sure Does!
Gray Arabian thoroughbred
Horses may not always act like it, but they're very intelligent and have an excellent memory. A horse can recognize voices, effectively guide people towards items they cannot reach, and it has been postulated that a horse's long term memory can reach upwards of 10 years. If you don't want an animal who can remember every embarrassing thing you've done in the last decade, you may want to try this instead.
5. Your Exotic Rat Qualifies for a Job that Saves Lives
Rat in a small basket
Two, actually. The African giant pouched rat uses its nose to identify both tuberculosis and landmines significantly faster than a human can in high-risk areas. One rat can go through more TB samples in 10 minutes than a lab tech can go through in a full day, and can clear a 200-square-meter field with land mines in only 35 minutes. Let's be honest though, it's just nice to cuddle with them at the end of the day.
6. The Romantic Life of Your Scarlet Macaw is More Human-like Than You Think
Two scarlet macaws
Scarlet macaws are the Addams families of the bird world when it comes to love and devotion — just less creepy and kooky. These birds are monogamous and mate for life, often showing their affection for one another by licking each other's faces. Both parents are equally involved in raising their chicks and will preen each other for hours at a time as well. I'm sorry, but no one's #relationshipgoals are going to live up to these birds.
7. Your Cow Has Friends — And Gets Stressed if They're Separated
Two cows grazing
That's right, cows form bonds with other cows. Their heart rate and stress both drop when the two are together, but rise quickly when separated. They also seem to produce more milk and learn much better when they're together!
8. Your Ball Python Doesn't Have Ears, but He Can Hear you... Sort of
Ball python covered in water droplets
Unlike most pets, ball pythons won't do much when you're talking. A dog may wag its tail or a cat may flick its ear, but as a general rule there's a lot of disinterest going around. Is it because they're deaf? No, your snake probably just couldn't care less. Even though snakes don't have an external ear or ear drums, they have an inner ear that is connected to their jaw; when the jaw picks up vibrations through the ground or air, they can "hear" what's happening in their environment.
9. Who Needs Oxygen? Apparently Your Fish.
Goldfish in a pond
A common misconception people have is that fish breathe water, not oxygen; after all, fish will die if you take them out of water, right? Fish actually push water (H2O) through their gills where red blood cells are where red blood cells use the dissolved oxygen (O) in the water and push the rest (H2) out, and use the oxygen they gathered to breathe.
10. Is Peter Cottontail Part Cat?
Rabbits in a door
Rabbits have been known to do a lot of strange things, but very few things will surprise a person like their rabbit "purring" for the first time. When happy, rabbits will grind their teeth together to make a sound similar to a cat's purr. They may also lick people when they're happy or want attention!