You know the deal, you take your dog out for his walk, and he has to stop at every lamp post, mail box, tree and bush. We often get annoyed, but remember that he is following his oh so powerful nose. There are several scents that will attract your dog's attention. The sense of smell in dogs is legendary. Some research shows dogs can detect the difference in identical twins. There is growing evidence that canines can identify certain cancers in humans. If your dog were in charge, he’d have a preference for things that go beyond what he smells you cooking for dinner. Nature equipped dogs for detecting different smells. People have 5 million scent receptors, while dogs have up to 60 times as many. Certain breeds have more scent receptors than others. Leading the pack with the 300 million receptors is the Bloodhound. Here is a list of smells that our pups really like.
A study published in the journal of Applied Animal Behaviour Science found that vanilla had a calming effect on rescue dogs and dogs that are in stressful situations. Dogs barked less and engaged in less activity that is typical of stressed animals.
The same study found a similar effect with coconut. Dogs also slept more, an excellent way to recover from stress. The interesting thing about the data is that humans received similar health benefits from the scent and consumption of this tropical tree.
Another study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science showed that dogs were more likely to interact with toys scented with the soothing scent of lavender. This could be a helpful tool in distracting a new puppy from chewing on your furniture. A spritz of lavender on a toy could be a great enticement away from things he shouldn't be chewing on.
We find it repugnant, they find it enticing. Although we are not sure why, dogs will probably roll around in it. It is not clear why, but anyone who has ever experienced it, will certainly not forget it! Yes, it stinks!
It is amazing what a dog can smell and figure out about their fellow canine family. Dogs can figure out another's sex, age, health status, and more from a quick sniff. There is a valid evolutionary reason for it. Knowing who is in their territory can give them a competitive edge by assessing potential threats and opportunities.
Ginger is known to have a calming effect as well as settle an upset stomach. This aromatic root can also ease stress and help your pet relax in stressful situations.
and of course...
No surprise to us, we have been praising the effects of your scent with your dog for years. Researchers found that detecting the scent of a familiar human showed a heightened response in the caudate nucleus, the part associated with positive experiences. It wouldn't surprise us if our dogs had the same affect on us!