Has your dog ever offered you affectionate ‘snoot boops’ or woken you up by sniffing your face? Does Fido sometimes get totally fixated on a scent he’s picked up on his walk? Your canine companion’s cute nose is one of his most adorable features. It’s also pretty darn amazing, in and of itself! A local vet discusses Man’s Best Friend’s sniffer below.
Most everyone knows that dogs have a great sense of smell, but the actual data is pretty mind-boggling. Fido’s nose houses as many as 300 million scent receptors. In contrast, we have a mere 6 million. To put it another way, a dog can sniff out a single drop of liquid in 20 Olympic-sized pools.
A Helping Nose
We’ve long made use of Fido’s keen sense of smell for tracking and hunting. However, these days, one can find pups trained to specifically sniff out many different things, including drugs, dead bodies, bombs, and even bedbugs. Some of our furry buddies are also able to detect imbalances and illnesses in the human body, and can smell things like upcoming seizures, cancer, and blood sugar changes.
Fido is always on the ‘lookout’ for new smells, as you have probably already noticed. (There’s actually a name for this: neophilia.) Indulge your four-legged friend a bit. Let him stop to smell the roses on his walks. That’s also a great life lesson!
Here’s another fun fact: your furry best friend’s nose has a unique print all its own. Much like our fingerprints, dogs’ noseprints are all different, with no two being alike. (Note: if Fido likes making nose art on your windows, use newspaper and vinegar to clean your pup’s ‘canvas’ so he can start on his next new masterpiece.)
Wet Or Dry
You may have heard that a dog is sick if his nose is dry. That actually isn’t true at all! However, there is an advantage to having a wet nose. That moisture works to trap scent particles, making it easier for Fido to smell … everything.
As you may know, pigs are commonly used for sniffing out truffles. However, they can also damage the truffles in the process. Fido has helped to solve that problem. Dogs—particularly the Lagotto Romagnolo breed—are now often used in the place of pigs.
As your animal clinic in Carlisle, ON, we’re here to help. Please contact us anytime!