Dogs + Smell
Have you ever taken a dog walk on a heavily traversed path? Why does a dog insist on smelling every pole, bush, tree, and mailbox imaginable? The answer is a dog’s nose is the guide towards assessing their emotional and physical environment. Dogs greet each other, and YOU with invasive sniffs. Whereas humans prefer a handshake or a hug, your pup can learn more about the environment from a good nose whiff rather than a doggy handshake. As your dog is walking down the sidewalk where other dogs have trekked, they are smelling other dogs, their genders, their ages, and their health status! The walking path is the key to your dog keeping informed on the latest “gossip” in the neighborhood. After taking a whiff, the dog should leave a little gift just to make sure the next pup that comes by knows who was in the neighborhood!
Scientifically speaking, humans have 5-6 million scent receptors compared to a dog possessing 100+ million receptors. The scent smelling section of a dog’s brain is 40 times larger than that of humans! Over 10% of a dog’s brain is dedicated to smell. This is massive compared to that of people.
If you are cooking brownies for dessert at your house, you simply smell brownies cooking in the oven. Your dog uses their amazing scent receptors to breakdown the brownie scent into unique scents for each the flour, the chocolate, and the sugar components all baking in the oven.
Another amazing metaphor to emphasize a dog’s immaculate scent ability is to realize that your dog can literally smell 2 tablespoons of your scent if dispersed in 2 Olympic sized swimming pools!
Above all else, the smell of YOU – the dog parent, is the most important scent that gives your dog feelings of calm and comfort and is paramount towards easing their anxieties. Your unique scent is the bridge to creating a happy and healthy environment. When you are upset, your dog can smell this, and it causes them to be alarmed. When you are calm, your dog senses this as well leading to more passive calm moods.
The takeaway is that your dog is reliant on smell to maintain a happy mindset. You as the owner must recognize the importance of a pups sniffing, even that nosy invasive sniffing, is the key towards keeping your canine in a less stressed and happier mindset.
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