Can you imagine seeing the world through your sense of smell? Where every scent tells a story? A world where you don’t have to go on a date to find out a person’s vital statistics, you can check them out with a few sniffs?
Well, this is exactly how your dog primarily views the world.
For dogs, their sense of smell is a vital source of information. A dog investigates the world with his nose, and what may seem like an innocent ‘sniff’ to a human, can tell a dog everything there is to know about the ‘object’ in his or her pathway.
Think about it. What is the first thing your dog does when out on a walk? The first thing most dogs usually do is check their ‘pee’ mail; the scent of other dogs which has often been left on lampposts, grass, or the sidewalk. Another dog’s scent will inform a dog of many things. It is more than just a dog’s signature, more like a note full of vital statistics for other dogs to ‘read’.
A dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times more sensitive than our sense of smell, more so depending on breed. However, for all dogs, we are our smell, and this is how they recognize us and others.
Dogs can smell the pheromones which we produce. And from this not only can they tell what sex we are but who we have spent time with. Also, unlike us, when a dog smells food, it can usually smell every ingredient in the food. So you can imagine the massive amount of information that a dog is taking in when it is sniffing, which for a dog, is not the same as breathing.
Unlike most of us, dogs love most natural smells, in fact, the smellier the better. Many of our ‘clean’ household smells are an insult to a dog’s senses, and probably why, after we have bathed our mutt in a lovely scented shampoo, they will oftentimes go out directly afterward and roll in the dirt. We bombard our dogs unwittingly with a range of household smells which must be truly pungent to them, from household cleaners to air fresheners. Dogs cannot turn off their sense of smell like we can, or become so accustomed to it that we no longer acknowledge it or we filter it out. It is believed that dogs are always adjusting to the scents around them.
But dog’s really are man’s best friend when it comes to our health.
We all know about the amazing ability of sniffer dogs who can detect bombs and narcotics, but there are also cancer detection dogs who can detect cancerous cells by the change in our body odor. Dogs also act as companions for people with conditions such as epilepsy. These amazing assistance dogs can be trained to sniff out seizures before they happen.
Remember, whatever you are hiding, your dog can usually smell it!