November 1, 2023 | Casey Fletcher

Pet Owners Reveal The Incredibly Smart Things Their Pets Have Done

Every parent believes their child is the smartest kid in the world, and it's no different with pets. If you've taught your dog to sit, stay, and heel, you've likely boasted about how smart your dog is to your friends. Maybe your dog can even spin and stand on its hind legs. But it's a totally different game when your pet is actually on the same wavelength intellectually as you.

Can you say that your dog can turn on electric blankets, and then turn them up when he's too cold? What about that your Pomeranian can sense medical emergencies before they happen? Or that your rat belays down your windowsill like Lara Croft? Probably not—but these owners can.

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#1 Good Boy

My chocolate lab woke me up one night barking in my face. I was really mad because he does that often, but when I got up to see what was up, I realized that I was having a massive heart attack. He saved my life. Thanks, Luke.

Dog and man in bed and shocked woman split image

#2 Life Saver

I am diabetic and one night, I fell on my carpet from weakness and disorientation. My beloved dog, who now rests in Heaven, brought my emergency kit from my bathroom counter so I could take my medication. Just writing this post brings tears to my eyes. I will always remember you, Bumper.


#3 Looking Both Ways

I once had a dog that would look both ways before crossing the street. She was legitimately looking for oncoming traffic. One time, she started to cross, but then he saw a car coming. She backed off and only crossed after the car passed. On the other hand, I once had a dog who would sunbathe in the middle of the street. Literally in the middle, as to block traffic in both directions.


#4 Human or Dog?

My samoyed knows he can use his nose to turn off my Xbox and get my attention. He also always gets a drink of water before going on a walk. And he knows he can sneak more food off of a platter left too close to the edge of the table, if he slowly takes nibbles when nobody is watching, instead of knocking down the whole tray.


#5 Disgusted or Impressed?

My dog used my laptop cable to scratch her rear-end with. The laptop cable was on the floor and attached to my laptop on the bed. My dog came along, sat down, and did the ‘scoot along the floor’ thing that dogs do, all whilst staring at me. I was absolutely disgusted but oddly impressed at the same time.


#6 Sweet Corgi

My Corgi helps hold open doors inside my house for my three-legged dog that we adopted when he realized Wobbles couldn't follow him due to the doors shutting behind him. At least he tried.


#7 Quick, Fling!

I had a pet mouse that would fling himself onto his cage door when I would walk into my room. I would open it up and he would make his way on his little path from his cage to my desk, where he would try to eat pencil erasers while I did homework. Eventually, he would crawl into my sleeve or the hood of my hoodie and take a nap.


#8 Cold Puppy

My rescue dog was found in cold weather before he found a home with us. It took him all of one month to figure out how to turn on and turn up the electric blanket to keep himself warm. We have to make sure it’s unplugged when we leave the house because he isn’t smart enough to not get overheated and get sick, unfortunately.


#9 This Ferret Should Win Awards

I had a genius ferret. All of my ferrets were smarter than you might expect, but Mia was ridiculously smart. My roommates and I used to hang out in my TV room that had a doorway with no door. Since I wanted the ferret to be able to run around while we were there, I put a baby gate across the exit. It took her ten seconds to climb it, of course. I then wrapped the gate in carpet runner, so she couldn’t scale it. She tried for a long time but could find anything to get a grip on. The three of us were all kind of marvelling at her commitment.

Then, she stopped trying to climb and just froze for a minute, her eyes panning around the room like she’s concocting a scheme. She started eyeballing a shoebox on the other side of the room. Eyes upon the gate, back to the box, back to the gate. My buddy said, “No way. You think she’s figured it out?” She walked over to the box and started sliding it across the floor, stopping every foot or so to check her progress. Finally, she got to the gate, hopped on the box, and jumped up. She figured it out.


#10 Savior Dog

My stepdad was a serious drinker, however, before he met myself and my mother, he had this beautiful Staffie. Multiple people confirmed that if he was in the bar and the dog was worried, it could get out of the house. It would go onto a bus and to the main strip. It would then go to every bar one by one looking for him. If he didn't find him, he would go back to one specific bar and sit on a chair and wait for him.


#11 Sneaky Pop

If all of the spots on the couch were taken, my dog would scratch the door to go out and when someone got up, he would take their spot.


#12 Ph.D. Cat

My cat has this thing about drinking water from a bowl. She would always tip it over lick it off the floor. We got tired of stepping on a wet floor in socks every day so we wedged the water bowl between two heavier objects so that she couldn't tip it over. She realized she could get a running start to jump onto a rolling office chair to create enough force to move the bowl enough to spill it onto the floor. I feel like she has a pretty good grasp on simple physics and using tools to get her way.


#13 This Cat Saves Lives

My cat has learned my work and school schedule, and if I'm not getting up in the morning, she will step on the button of my CPAP machine, causing me took choke and wake up. If I have a panic attack, she meows until I pick her up and pet her until I calm down.


#14 She Just Wants More Food

My American Eskimo dog lies. I'll feed her, and a half-hour later, she'll go to my mom and beg her to feed her as well, trying to avoid me. She gets disappointed pretty quickly when we figure it out.

American Eskimo dogIne Potargent, Pexels

#15 You Win

I was ignoring my dog one day and, to get my attention, she poked at my leg and managed to get me to look over, where I saw her holding a small part of my shoe in her mouth. I love my shoes—I guess she knows this—and knew it would catch my attention. When I went to grab the shoe, she walked away with it until I followed her to the kitchen where she dropped the shoe and begged for a treat. She got the treat.


#16 This Is How You Teach

I was trying to teach my husky “paw” and he wasn’t getting it. After about five minutes of watching, my lab mix came over and put his paw in my hand to show his brother how it’s done.


#17 Thoughtful Pet

A couple of years ago, my grandmother, who doesn’t walk very well anymore, fell while walking in the living room. They have a plot of land so it’s pretty big, and a couple of my family members live there. But at that time, nobody was home. When our dog found out my grandmother fell, he ran all around to look for another person. When he didn’t find anyone, he laid down and sat with her until she found the strength to stand up again. She told the whole family and I think we were all a little more thankful he was there for her that day.


#18 They Had to Childproof the House

We used to have this dog when I was younger. She learned how to open our fridge and she would eat almost everything in it. It got so bad that my mom had to buy a childproof lock for our fridge. She ran a daycare so it was always funny when parents asked about it and she had to explain it was for our dog and not the daycare kids.


#19 This Cat Saved Its Own Life

My cat hid under a comforter when my house caught on fire when I wasn't home. It saved his life because the layers of the comforter acted as an air filter and saved him from dying of smoke inhalation.


#20 Not a Lab Rat

My pet rats were smart. When they would walk around on my bed, they were able to step onto the windowsill. I used to have blinds in front of my window, and the little cord hung over it down to the ground. At the end of the cord, there was this little weight.

So, one of my rats tried to lift the cord upward, but it kept falling back down because of the little weight. He thought for a minute, and then lifted the cord again. He put his front paw on the cord, gripped another part of the cord with his teeth, lifted it upward a little further, and put his paw on top of it. He managed to get the rest of the cord and little weight on the windowsill. He did that every day after that.


#21 Good Intuition

One of my dogs would walk next to me without a leash and no matter what, he would never bark or leave. All I did was give him attention and take good care of him. He learned all this stuff by observing my behavior. When one of my dogs passed, he would cry at night and one day, I laid on the floor and slept next to him. He started crying even more until he became silent again.


#22 Where Is My Butler?

My cat uses her claw to make her water bowl ring like a bell. I'm apparently the servent being called to refresh the water.


#23 One Incredible Cat

This is a completely true story. It's weird but true, and it shows a really impressive level of intelligence in my cat. It happened when I was a teenager. I was sitting on the couch and my cat walked into the room. He started meowing loudly, but not coming to me. So I stood up and went toward him, and he started walking away, so I followed. He led me, meowing the whole way, and looking back to make sure I was following to the bathroom. Weird, right? Just wait.

So we were in the bathroom and he hopped up on the toilet and, get this, he PEES IN IT. I was floored. One, he peed in the toilet. Like a person. He’d never done that before. It’s impressive that he knew what a toilet was for. But two, he brought me there to show me. Why? This is where the real intelligence comes into it.

Well, he stopped and turned to look into the toilet and then looked at me. So I look in the toilet. It was full of red liquid. He had a terrible kidney infection (as the vet later confirmed), and this is how he told me. Think of all the things he had to understand to do this! He had to know he was sick and in which part of his body the infection was. He had to know that the bathroom was the place where I deal with the part of my body that matches up with his sick part. He had to know what a toilet was for and how to use it. And he knew that if I understood the problem, I’d be able to fix it. Seriously, that cat was incredible.


#24 No Hairballs, Please

My cat gets really ashamed when he hacks up a hairball. He will sit there looking very sad until it's cleaned up. Well, one day, I was at work when he threw one up, and since there was nobody in the house to clean it up for him, he tried to cover it up it on his own. He found one of my dirty socks I kicked off the day before, unrolled it, and then neatly placed it over the hairball. I still ended up stepping in it though...


#25 Come Back!

When I was a kid, we had two dogs: a Pyrenean shepherd and a labrador retriever. The retriever was a goofy idiot but the shepherd was smart. One day, the retriever got loose (we had to tie him up in the yard because he kept chasing things and running away), and the shepherd ran after him. We never even realized what had happened until we saw the shepherd coming back with the retriever, holding the would-be runaway's leash in his mouth, and leading him back to the house. Must have been a weird sight for the neighbors.


#26 He Can Smell Himself

We gave our late Italian greyhound, Elon, baths every week due to his stench. One time, we were both sick with sinus infections and it had been about two weeks since Elon had gotten his bath. We were sitting on the sofa watching TV as a family, and Elon got up off the couch and trotted down the hall. This happened often, so we didn’t move. We then heard his nails on a different surface than we’d ever heard previously. Perplexed, we went down the hall to find him standing in the bathtub staring at us like, “People I can smell myself. It’s time.”


#27 Who's In There?

I have an African grey parrot. I also have a large mirror that leans against a wall. He once walked up to it and studied the other bird intensely after fluffing up. Then, he decided to look behind the mirror for the other bird. Except, you could see the confusion when he popped his head behind there only to see nothing. He then looked at me as if I caused this black magic. Then, he proceeded to walk behind the mirror and poke his head around so he could look into the mirror while standing behind it. He then looked at me quizzically, studied the mirror, popped his head behind it, popped it back out to confirm, then just walked away. Now, he seems to check himself out in the mirror every time he waddles past it. I swear he knows it's him in the mirror.


#28 Decent Cat

I was in the middle of packing to move and one of us forgot to close the hamster cage. Hammy got out and ran around. The cat noticed Hammy and made this loud strange meow that woke us up and alerted us to the loose hamster. It was pretty decent of that cat to not eat the hamster.


#29 You've Got Mail

Our cat, a big Maine Coon, delivers the incoming mail from the letter slot in his teeth (or bats the larger pieces) to where I'm sitting. If a piece is too heavy, he looks at me and meows until I go to the letter slot to finish the delivery job he started.


#30 Dog Games

My golden retriever has created a game, we call it Brody-Ball. Basically, he gets a tennis ball between his paws while he’s laying on the couch or bed and slowly starts to nudge it towards the edge. Once it gets to a point where it’s balancing, he tries to stay perfectly still until it starts to fall. Once it starts to fall he either wins, by snagging the ball before it falls to the ground, or he loses, by failing to catch it. I think he just did this to counteract the boredom he had when he was a lonely pup.


#31 Detective Cat

I'm pretty bad at keeping track of my 3DS game cartridges. Lucky for me, my cat isn't. I once lost my copy of Pokemon. I nearly destroyed my room trying to find it. A week later, I was outside exercising and my cat walked up to me, dropped the missing game cartridge at my feet, and then just walked off like it's no big deal.


#32 Ring Ring 

Our family's Border Collie would ring the doorbell when he wanted to come in. He was never trained to do it. My dad figures he had learned it from my childhood friends who came over to invite me out to play.


#33 Pretty Bird

My male quaker parrot managed to get out of his cage one day and had free roam over the entire house. He took every pen, pencil, and hair tie he could find and built a nest in the corner of his cage. When we tried to take it down, he guarded it with his life and screeched at us. We got him a few boxes of pencils the next day and let him remodel as much as he wanted. Honestly, he loved building it and fixing it up, it kept him busy and happy.


#34 Doctor Dog

When my son was a baby, he was teething really bad. He was constantly running a fever and was cranky. We gave him lots of the Tylenol suspension drops. One morning, I had the baby wedged in the recliner while I was looking for something. Of course, he was crying. Our dog looked at the baby, ran upstairs, came back down a few seconds later with the Tylenol, and dropped it in the recliner where it rolled to the baby. Then, the dog turned to me and barked until I picked it up.


#35 Who Needs a Compass?

My dog got out of the yard one time when we weren’t home. He went to my parent's house, which is about a half a mile away, and started scratching on the door for my dad.


#36 Great Referee

The smartest thing I've seen my cat do is be a referee when my girlfriend's kitten was trying to fight her older cat. We were initially terrified because my cat was found as a stray and you can tell that he's had his behind kicked in a few fights back in the day. When we adopted him and he'd hear the other cats play fighting, he'd rush out to be there too. He weighed about twice as much as the next biggest cat. Well, we followed him out into the next room and he had just managed to perch himself on the coffee table, above the action, and was just watching. When the older cat switched from playing to getting genuinely exasperated with the kitten, he tagged in so the other cat could get away. For months he would do this, so we figured he may have helped raise kittens when he was stray.

These Animals Changed LivesPexels

#37 Let Me Help You, Master!

We have smooth wooden floors that can be kind of slippery in socks. One night, I took a corner too fast, slipped, and went down hard. I wasn't hurt, just sort of stunned. So I just stayed on the floor for a second. When I didn't get up right away, my dog leapt over the couch to get to me, wiggled her body under mine, then stood up so that she was kind of lifting my body up on her's. I'm not sure if it was her intention, but I like to think she was trying to help me.


#38 Thank You?

The first Christmas that we had our cat, she saw us handing out and opening presents and abruptly ran off. About twenty minutes later, she came back with a deceased bird and dropped it in the present pile. It's, uh, definitely the thought that counts?


#39 Life-Saver Pomeranian

My youngest son, a two-time cancer winner, was recovering from a particularly ugly round of methotrexate. He was home recovering and my Pomeranian, Ping, who was always at my heel, wouldn’t leave his side. I was curious but not concerned and continued my morning chores. I was in the next room when Ping came in and barked until I came to see. He returned to my son's side and began to shiver.

My son was playing Xbox and seemed okay. I turned to go back to my chores and Ping let out a howl I didn’t think he was capable of. As I turned, my son was seizing—a full, grand mal seizure that I recall clearly 11 years later. I was just in time to keep him from hitting head first on the hardwood floors. We just put my little Ping down last month. He was my best friend for 17 years, and my son's hero forever. We miss you, Ping.


#40 Dodging a Fire

My cat would not let me go to sleep and insisted I follow her to the kitchen. We had just gotten a new stove with a glass cooktop and didn't realize one of the burners was still on very low. Thanks, kitty.


#41 He Knew

One time, my dog had a minor blockage and we took him to the emergency vet to see what we could do. The vet decided to give him some fluids to try to flush it out. Later that night, he woke me up by punching me in the face and looked deeply into my eyes as if to say, “This is going to be a photo finish.” I let him outside and he let out the biggest poo I had ever witnessed him take. Thanks for not doing that in the house buddy.


#42 Particular Fish

I have a blood parrot cichlid, it's the smartest fish I've ever had. His tank contains half sand and half white pebbles. However, he's very particular with where and how the floor of his environment looks like. For example, he'll move plants towards certain places if he doesn't like how the ground looks beneath them. He'll place pebbles on the sand part, and make a sand pile in the pebbles area. But it isn't random. If you remove a pebble from a little pile, he'll notice it and place another one. If you destroy a little sandpile, he'll build more on top of the remains. He'll spend about three days carving out a small hole just to see his reflection at the bottom of the tank. If you lightly dust the empty space with sand, he'll come swimming out of his house, collect the misplaced sand in his mouth, and literally throw it at you against the aquarium glass. He's a very grumpy fish, but his personality is amazing!


#43 Just To Let You Know

My cat knows that old grocery bags are what I scoop his waste into, so when I slip up and forget to clean his litter box, he drags one in there to let me know.


#44 Dog Superstition

My Golden Retriever leaves a shoe on the bed, without fail, for my wife or I to find if we are both gone at the same time. My theory is that she did it once, and we came home, so now she does it every time we leave to ensure that we come back. Like a doggy superstition.

After doing this for years, my wife had to leave the state for a week. My first day back from work, there was a shoe on the bed. That was normal. After my second day back (wife is still gone), there were three shoes on the bed. After my third day returning from work alone, every shoe and boot in the house was laid out on the bed and couches, and all of my wife's dirty socks were in a bowl.


#45 Hey, That's My Spot

My roommate's dog is very smart. We were taking care of another dog for a few days and he was staying at our house. They got along well enough, but the visitor dog kept trying to play and the resident dog never wanted to. One evening, resident dog walked into the living room to find that visitor dog was in her favorite spot on the couch. She immediately barked, drops into a play bow, and started jumping around to play with him. Visitor dog got super excited that she finally wanted to play and abandoned the couch. Resident dog dropped the playacting and reclaimed her rightful throne.




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