Your dog’s nose is an amazing tool that can sniff out even your quietest snack from three rooms away. But their sense of smell stretches far beyond just the ability to sniff out your favorite meals and snacks. The way dogs use their nose is nearly the same way we use our eyes. While they still obviously use their eyesight, their nose can “see” more than 3,000 miles away.
It’s no wonder why our dogs LOVE going for a walk - no matter their age!
It's no wonder why our dogs always want the window rolled down on a nice drive.
A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more accurate than yours, according to James Walker, former director of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University.
If you’ve never given much thought to your dog’s snout, check out these 4 fun facts about your dog’s sense of smell.
1) Your Dog Thinks You Stink
Just kidding! But not really. In fact, no matter how clean you think you are, your dog can still smell you. It doesn’t matter what type of scented lotion, perfume or cologne you put on, you have a very unique smell that your dog can detect. According to the author Alexandra Horowitz, her book Inside of a Dog: What Dog’s See, Smell, and Know, explains the phenomenon of our “human stink.” Our skin is constantly producing and secreting oils and sweat that allow us to leave our signature scent on everything we touch. Even our breath has its own unique brand of scent your pooch could pick up on.
2) Your Pet Can “See” With Their Nose
While dogs have great eyes, their nose is really the star here. In fact, dogs can be trained to smell as little as a picogram which is a trillionth of a gram. Every step you take you unknowingly leave loads of skin flakes. Humans shed about 50 million skin cells each minute. This biologically rich “snowstorm” that we shed helps dogs see us without actually seeing us.
3) Your Dog Can Tell Time With Their Nose
Have you ever noticed how your dog always seems to know that it’s dinner time? While keeping dogs on a schedule is part of it, the biggest factor is their ability to literally smell time. A dog’s nose allows them to perceive the passage of time. Odors change throughout the day, including the odor of the air density around lunch, breakfast or dinner time. Dogs know that strong odors indicate that something is “recent” or “coming.” This research on a dog’s ability to smell time is still extremely new and complex, however, it is a further indication of the unique and incredible technology that dogs innately carry and utilize.
4) Dogs Are Communicating When They Sniff Each Other
Sure, it’s a little gross when your dog sniffs a random dog’s butt. But, there’s actually some really important conversation happening. Your pets may not be discussing the weather as we might during small talk, yet they are sharing important info like age, diet, and temperament. This curious exchange between your pets is an important part of healthy socialization.