How Do Dogs Smell

As we all know, dogs see the world differently than us, but that does not necessarily mean that the world is any less fascinating. Dogs interpret the environment through their wonderfully developed noses and depend on their sense of smell to learn about the captivating world.

Dog’s Nose

As humans, we inhale the air and use the same passage in the nose to exhale the air. However, dogs have two different air passages, one for breathing and the other for smelling. The passage that they use to smell contains 225-300 million highly specialised olfactory receptor cells, whereas there are only 5 million of these receptors in a human nose. Their noses are always wet to help them capture every scent particle. What is amazing is that they have the ability to smell independently from each nostril, which enables them to know which direction the smell is coming from. As a result, a dog sense of smell can not only know what is out there but can also know the location. 

dog sense of smell

Dog's Brain

It is scientifically proven that dog sense of smell can smell about 1,000-10,000 times better than a human, but do you know that they are also able to remember those smells in their brain? Although a human brain has a larger visual cortex than dogs, a dog`s brain has a much larger olfactory cortex to process their sense of smell. A dog`s olfactory cortex is about 40 times larger than that of humans. While humans can smell the scent of a meal being cooked in a small room, a dog would have no trouble smelling it in a stadium and analyse all ingredients. They can even know where you have been and what you have been doing just by sniffing!

Emotion Sensors

While dogs sight may not be as strong, they compensate through other sensors. When a dog sniffs, it can analyse the surrounding environment and tell whether there is danger. Dog sense of smell have another special olfactory system above the roof of their mouth called the vomeronasal system, which helps them sense things that cannot be seen, such as animal hormones and human emotions. Dogs can tell if its owner is sad or happy, and also distinguish between friendly or hostile animals. Humans express their emotions to each other through words or facial expression, but a dog can sense human feelings directly without any words.

Human's Best Assistant

The excellent capability of a dog sense of smell has already been developed and helped humans in many ways. Dogs can feel if their owners are sick or sad, and even identify if someone is pregnant. With proper training, they can also detect bombs and drugs as they are used by the police and military. 

dog sense of smell
Your dog recognises you by your unique smell, and they will always love you no matter how you look or dress. Their lovely and amazing noses reveal a whole other world beyond our eyes. 

If you would like to track your dog as they go off and discover the world through smells check out PoochPlay's dog activity trackers here!