New research points to the scientific reason why dogs seem to be messier drinkers than cats.
While cats gently dip their tongues into the water’s surface, dogs thrust their tongues into water at an acceleration five times gravity, according to a presentation called “How Dogs Drink Water” at the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting this week.
To see it for yourself, here’s a slow-motion video of a cat drinking:
Compare that to a slow-motion video of a dog drinking:
While the researchers previously studied how cats drink, their latest presentation focused on dogs, using an underwater camera to map the surface area of their tongues that made contact while lapping up the liquid. In addition to finding that heavier dogs use more of their tongues to drink, they also discovered that dogs must open their mouths to capture the water they lift, further contributing to the splashes.
While it seems the research is just for fun, the scientists said their pet-centric work could in turn lead to deeper understandings of fluid dynamics.