Sniff first, ask questions later. While this may seem like the motto of every dog known to humans, the dog’s sniff is more like a work of art. Did you know that a canine is an ultimate sniffer with an estimated 100,000 to 100 million times more sensitive than your nose? That is one serious sniffer.
If you’ve spent any time with a dog, you know they will sniff and snort pretty much anything, and without any regard to personal boundaries. They stick their sniffers anywhere, and because of this, they spend about 33 percent of their time with their bionic and legendary sniffer pointed to the ground, body parts, and other strange and gross places.
If a dog sniff wasn’t epic enough on its own, these marvelous canines could detect drugs, diseases like cancer and diabetes, along with COVID-19, along with rare animals, plants, and even used to find cadavers. Their olfactory abilities are a part of why you love your puppy companion, also if their nose goes where it shouldn’t.
Let’s look at some of the behaviors that are related to a dog’s sniffer!
For you and other humans, vision is our primary source of helping us understand the environment we are in. For a dog, it’s their nose. Dogs get more information from sniffing something then they do with their other senses. This information is transmitted by their nose instead of touch or by hearing. Everything a dog sees or knows is from its nose.
Dogs detect all these smells in parts per trillion. They can sniff subtle odors, discover their complexity, and even gender, age, and health of another dog with their extraordinary sniffer. The scent organ called the vomeronasal organ has specialized receptors for detecting pheromones. Their need to sniff is also due to their olfactory part of their brain, which is 40 times bigger than yours.
Is Sniffing Good for Dogs?
Sniffing makes your dog feel better. Many dogs can become over-stimulated during high energy activities, and giving them a chance to sniff will calm and relax them. By providing your dog with more sniffing opportunities, your dogs will feel more optimistic.
A snuffle mat is a great way to put your dog’s brain and nose to work at the same time! This mat encourage foraging for food, which satisfies your pup’s natural instincts! We recommend the highly rated Wooly Snuffle Mat by PAW5.
Also, if you walk your dog regularly, consider a slow-paced walk, and allow them to sniff their surroundings. It will relax them more, and they’ll be less likely to do anything destructive when home. Dogs also use their potent sniffer to communicate. They sniff to find scent marks from other dogs and see if its someone they know or if the dog was male or female.
If you want to add some fun enrichment to your dog’s life through their nose, scatter some kibble in a grassy environment and let them sniff it out. This will also help if your dog is a little nervous and add to their confidence!
Why Does My Dog Sniff My Nose?
You’ve probably had that moment when a dog gets close and sniffs your nose or breath. While mealtimes, this may seem like it makes more sense, a dog will do this outside those times. Look at it as a scent analysis. Dogs can separate smells in your exhaled breath.
If you had an Italian dinner, a dog can smell the garlic along with the oregano, and even smell if a cavity is forming. They sniff your breath so they can learn more about you. It gives them insights into you because they can’t ask you what you had for dinner, but if they sniff your nose, they can tell.
It also increases the bond you have with them. Even if you feel your breath is atrocious, a dog will be intrigued and use their nose to investigate further. Also, dogs smelling each other’s nose and mouth is a standard greeting. This is extended to their humans as part of the pack.
Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts?
Of all the places for a dog to stick their sniffer at is another dog’s butt. It seems at the very least an odd place to sniff, especially with ears and feet or even mouth would seem to make more sense. There is an anatomical reason why digs go straight for the bootie when it comes to intercanine communication.
Here is the reason why dogs sniff butts. Inside a dog’s rectum are small sacs, two of them, called anal glands which secret an obnoxious odor, of course. Because of what it does, this gives each dog a unique smell. Like an ID of sorts and almost like a fingerprint, but smellier. This allows a dog to tell if they’ve met the other dog or not.
Dogs also sniff buts as a form of greeting. Consider it their version of a handshake. It gives them vital information on the other dog. It can set the foundation of dominance in a relationship and whether or not the dogs have met before. A dog’s sniffer is so good, and they can identify a dog they haven’t seen in years by smelling the other dog’s butt. It allows them to play catch up in each other’s lives, where they went, ate, and what they did.
A dog’s sniffer is a fantastic and wondrous thing. While you may have to see something to get the information you need about your environment, a dog uses its nose. It can tell where another dog has been, detect disease, and even help an officer in a drug bust. While it may seem like they sniff a lot, allowing them to sniff and also encouraging this behavior will strengthen the bond you have with them.
When it comes to the canine life, the nose knows all. As many dogs are curious, they are very much a sniff first and ask questions later. If you see your dog sniffing around or drawn to a lamppost on a walk, keep in mind that they are exploring their world through their nose.
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