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Dog’s nose – everything you should know about it

a dog on the beige cushion

Do you know what functions your dog’s nose performs? A dog’s sense of smell is much more developed than a human’s. Your dog’s sense of smell is highly developed and significantly impacts his daily life. The sense of smell is essential for a dog to explore the world.

Your dog’s nose picks up all odours from the environment very accurately. Using the nose, your dog identifies people he meets and picks up their emotions and intentions. The dog also finds food by smell, which is extremely important for a quadruped; it also learns its location in the field.

What you will learn from this article:

  • Dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans
  • The dog uses his nose to recognize people he encounters
  • Dogs can read people’s emotions through their sense of smell

A dog’s nose plays an essential role in a pet’s life

Do you know how important a dog’s nose is in your dog’s life? Our dogs have an excellent sense of smell. Getting to know new scents is one of their most exciting dog activities. What’s more, it is in the first place that your dog learns about the world around him using his sense of smell.

For your pet, the nose is significant. Knowing how a dog’s sense of smell works is exciting. So, if you want to find out how our dogs perceive smells, I refer you to the post that you will find HERE.

In this article, however, I will try to familiarize you with the structure of your dog’s nose and its functions, which differ from the subjective assessment of smells.

How a dog’s nose works

The appearance of the dog’s nose will vary depending on what breed we are dealing with. However, apart from the shape and appearance of a dog’s nose, there are other standard features.

First, it is worth mentioning that a dog’s nose has about 200 million olfactory cells. Considering that only 5 million are in the human body, this is an imposing number. Among other things, this is one of the main reasons for such a good sense of smell in our quadrupeds.

What does the number of olfactory cells in a dog depend on? From how big his nose is. The larger its surface, the more olfactory cells it can hold. Consequently, at the same time, the better and more sensitive your dog’s sense of smell is.

In addition, our four-legged friends’ olfactory epithelium is about 125 cm². For comparison, in the case of the human nose, it is only 3cm². The difference is enormous, right?

That is why a dog’s sense of smell is incomparably better than ours. The structure of the dogs’ noses makes their sensitivity to scents impressive.

How dogs perceive smells

The dog, wanting to identify a given smell, automatically closes his mouth. Why is this happening? Because in this way, your dog better perceives the smell, which then fully hits his nostrils.

Dogs also perceive smells using the olfactory chamber called Jacobson’s organ. It is placed along the muzzle of the dog’s mouth, more precisely between the palate and the vomer bone. This name comes from the name of the author, who was the first to describe the operation of this organ in dogs, and it was Ludvig Levin Jacobson.

Jacobson’s organ picks up odours from saliva, which contains odour molecules floating in the air. Indeed, watching your pet, you have often managed to observe how in a very characteristic way, he tucks his upper lip to experience a particular smell with the help of Jacobson’s organ.

The dog moves its nose while sniffing

When a dog starts sniffing, it also moves his nose in addition to sucking in the air. More precisely, our dogs can move each of their nostrils entirely independently. What is the purpose of this? This ability allows your dog to determine the direction from which a given smell comes accurately.

a dog on the pink dog bed

It is harder for dogs to pick up scents when it is hot

When the temperature outside is very high, your dog has difficulty recognizing the smells he encounters. Why is this happening? Because the dog inhaling air into his lungs with his mouth open cools his body.

As a result, his sense of smell from the outside weakens. While scorching weather, when the dog’s body is heavily overheated, his olfactory ability may be less effective, even by almost 50%.

Why is the dog’s nose wet?

Indeed you have more than once asked yourself why a dog’s nose is wet. That is due to the overproduction of tears that occurs in dogs. Excess tears flow down the nasal lacrimal ducts to the nose, keeping it slightly moist.

That is perfectly normal, and you don’t have to worry about your dog’s tears. They are in no way connected to his malaise.

What’s more, the wetness of the nose in dogs is mainly responsible for such a good sense of smell in dogs. Namely, odour molecules dissolve in water. Thanks to this, your canine can catch even more scents from the environment.

So one of the mysteries of having a constantly wet nose in dogs is that it affects their sense of smell.

What are the tasks of a dog’s nose?

You already know the structure of a dog’s nose and how dogs perceive smells. Nevertheless, I would like to tell you what a dog’s nose does. To narrow the question even more, it would go something like this: Why is a dog’s sense of smell so good?

For us humans, the sense of smell is only partly similar to that of dogs. What’s more, for us, smell perception is much less important in everyday life than it is for dogs.

The dog uses his sense of smell to search for food

Although nowadays, most dogs do not need to search for food on their own, and it was initially one of the main tasks of a dog’s sense of smell.

By catching and locating the source of the smell of food, the dogs searched for the food they needed to live. Today, dogs can rely on the care of their owners, who provide them with food. Nevertheless, my dog ​​can perfectly sense as soon as his favourite treats appear in his dog bowl.

Therefore, you must choose a bowl for your spa that does not absorb food odours. Bowl&Bone Republic bowls have ceramic inserts that do not absorb odours.

The dog’s nose allows him to orientate himself in the field

Dogs use their sense of smell to learn their location in the area. Our quadrupeds can smell a familiar scent from a long distance. That’s why they can return home independently, even in an unfamiliar area. If only they could sniff out a familiar scent, they would be able to find the right way.

That is how your dog’s nose works. It is a signpost for him, allowing him to find himself in a given place. That is a beneficial skill.

The dog recognizes others and their intentions by smell

For dogs, the scent is more important than a person’s appearance. By the smell, your dog identifies everyone he meets on his way. Each person has a scent that dogs can distinguish and recognize.

What’s more, although it may seem quite strange to us, our dogs can read the emotions of others through smell. How it’s working? A fearful person emits a different odour than an aggressive or relaxed one.

You, as a human, of course, are not able to sense these smells. However, your dog’s nose can quickly identify the emotions of the person it encounters. As a dog guardian, you have often experienced that your pet seems to read your feelings. That is the most correct and accurate belief.

the dog takes a toy from the basket

The smell is the dog’s most important sense

It is not for nothing that it is said that the sense of smell is the most essential in a dog. It is through the nose that dogs mainly perceive the world around them. Sniffing allows them to find food and their location in a given place.

A dog’s nose allows him to identify a person or other animal he encounters and read what emotions speak to them. Thanks to this, your dog knows what to expect from such a meeting.

Did you know that your dog’s nose has a much more critical job than judging whether he likes a scent? Please share your opinion with me in the comment.

If you have any questions or want me to discuss a topic in the next post, share it in the comments section.

Author: Klaudia, great dog lover

The dog by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and to perceive each subsequent day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. While looking for my soul mate, I found it in a dog's wise eyes.

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