13 Interesting Trivia About Your Dog’s Odor

Ever ponder why your dog is attracted to odorous objects? One of a dog’s most delicate senses is scent, which they love to use to the maximum. Take a closer look at your dog’s exceptional sense of smell with these 13 unexpected facts about their sense of smell, which will help you better comprehend their olfactory world.

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1. Dogs Have Excellent Odor Sense

A dog’s sense of smell is 10,000–100,000 times more sensitive than a human’s, according to scientists.1. Due in part to their larger number of scent receptors than humans, dogs are far better at smelling than humans. Dogs have around 50 smell receptors for every human scent receptor.

2. Not Every Nose Is Made Equal

All dog breeds have an exceptional sense of smell, but when it comes to odor sensitivity, brachycephalic breeds—dogs with short noses, like bulldogs—have been shown to be the least sensitive.2.

3. Dogs Have A Different Scent From People

The air we breathe in travels from our nostrils to our tracheas, or windpipes, and ultimately to our lungs. About 12% to 13% of the air that dogs breathe in is divided by an upper channel that goes directly to the olfactory epithelium, a tiny layer of tissue that is sensitive to smells.3 With each breath, odor molecules build up on the olfactory epithelium, enabling dogs to detect scents in their environment.

4. A Dog’s Ability to Smell Can Reduction with Age

You could see a decline in your dog’s senses as they age, including hearing and eyesight. It turns out that as people age, their sense of smell, called olfaction, also deteriorates. In one study, researchers discovered that dogs older than 14 years old had atrophy of the olfactory epithelium in their nasal cavities, and that senile alterations in the brain’s olfactory bulb resembled those seen in humans.3.

5. Dogs Have a Unique Organ for Smelling

Just above the roof of the mouth in dogs is a unique organ called the vomeronasal organ, also referred to as “Jacobson’s organ”. It is in charge of spotting pheromones, which are chemical cues that animals use to interact with one another in their species. Pheromones are used by dogs during mating to express anxiety and distress as well as to strengthen the link between a mother and her puppies.

6. Dogs Peruse Different Odors Through Each Nostril

Dogs are able to smell with each nostril independently according to a phenomena known as “sniffing lateralization”. When a dog initially begins to sniff, their right nostril is usually used for it. When faced with odors that are comfortable or familiar, like food, they usually move to their left nostril. They stick with the right nostril for odors that are unpleasant, scary, or stimulating. This relates to the brain’s processing pathways: While the left hemisphere regulates behavioral reactions to well-known stimuli, the right hemisphere analyzes new information.3.

7. Dogs are able to detect stress by scent

According to a research done at Queen’s University Belfast in the United Kingdom, persons who were under stress had volatile organic compounds in their breath and perspiration samples that dogs could detect. The study’s canines accurately alerted on the stress samples 93.75% of the time overall.4

8. Dogs Are Able to Detect Illnesses

Dogs’ keen senses are being utilized in medicine to identify illnesses, sometimes more effectively by smelling them out than by using the present diagnostic procedures. With their noses alone, dogs have been shown to be able to reliably detect cancer5, anticipate seizures6, and recognize individuals with low blood sugar 7.

9. Canines Make Great Long-Distance Trackers

Police departments and search and rescue groups have frequently utilized dogs as trackers. Dogs can detect a fragrance in a rural setting up to 1.6 miles away, according to studies.8

10. Your Dog Loves Your Scent and Can Identify It!

Trained canines were exposed to five fragrances in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study done at Emory University. The odors were those of a familiar human, an unknown human, a familiar dog, an unfamiliar dog, and the dog’s own scent. Dogs may identify our odors with positive things since only our familiar fragrance triggered the area of the brain linked to positive expectancies and social rewards.9.

11. Dogs’ Require More Brain Space for Smelling

The brain’s olfactory bulb is a spherical mass of tissue that houses many nerve cell types that are in charge of your sense of smell. According to one study, dogs’ olfactory bulbs are bigger than those of other mammals whose brain sizes are comparable.10 Better olfactory function is linked to a bigger olfactory bulb, indicating that dogs have much superior senses of smell compared to humans.

12. There are advantages to a dog’s wet, cold nose

A dog’s wet, chilled nose makes it easier for them to smell their surroundings. A dog’s mucous layer on its wet nose collects scent particles, enhancing its ability to smell.

13. The Bloodhound Wins the Best Nose Award!

First place goes to this breed, which has over 300 million smell sensors.11 Herding breeds like the German Shepherd are closely followed by other sports breeds like the Bluetick Coonhound and Labrador Retriever.