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Why Does My Dog Sniff So Much? It's Normal!

Dogs are known for many things, such as their loyalty and their great sense of humor. They’re also known for sniffing everything they encounter. Why do they do that?

Never fear if your dog exhibits this behavior. Dogs being sniff happy is not just normal, but ideal! Due to their powerful sense of smell, your pet experiences the world differently than humans do. 

“Why does my dog sniff so much?”, you wonder as your puppy shoves its face into your dirty laundry. Read more to learn about the biology behind this iconic behavior!

How Your Dog’s Sense of Smell Works

brown dog sniffing around at the beach

Dogs have some of the most potent noses in the animal kingdom. While humans have a mere few million scent receptors in their nose, certain dog breeds can have up to 100 million!

Some dogs have been bred to track and hunt down game, such as deer or waterfowl. For example, the Bloodhound is believed to have at least 300 million scent receptors. Other dog breeds with exceptionally powerful senses of smell include:

  • Basset Hound
  • German Shepherd
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Dachshund
  • Golden Retriever

Related: How Do You Keep Your Dog Cool In The Summer

Why Your Dog Sniffs Sensitive Areas

Have you ever been embarrassed by how your dog shoves their nose in the crotch of your guests? This behavior may be annoying at the moment, but it’s a sign your dog is healthy and curious. 

Dog noses have several sections depending on function. The reason your dog will sniff embarrassing areas is due to the Jacobson’s organ. This organ is designed not to detect odor, but to detect humidity!

Related: How To Keep Dogs From Digging Under Fences

Why Your Dog Loves Stinky Smells

Another day, another dog shoving their nose into your stinky laundry or smelly shoes. Unsurprisingly, foul smells are a significant source of fascination for sensitive dog noses.

Stinky smells may be putrid to the human nose, but they’re the dog equivalent of reading a newspaper. When smelling something funky, the average dog can detect details such as:

  • The age of other dogs
  • Pheromones
  • Pregnant dogs
  • Animal scents such as birds and squirrels
  • Food

Dogs can even send messages with their urine, so dogs tend to visit well-traveled areas like tree stumps or fire hydrants.

Related: Dog Refuses To Walk? Here Is What You're Doing Wrong

Human clothes are a blend of form and function. Your dog deserves the same! We provide high-quality hoodies, sneakers, and booties for dogs to keep them cozy.

Your Dog’s Link Between Taste and Smell

dog licking an ice cream cone

Have you ever felt your tongue water when smelling a delicious stew wafting from the kitchen? Taste and scent are closely linked together not just for humans, but also for dogs.

Dogs will experimentally lick or chew on things to learn more about this. Despite this habit, dogs have less refined taste buds than humans do. This fact is why dogs don’t often notice certain flavors that humans go crazy over, such as sweet foods or spiced foods.

Why Your Dog Loves to Sniff Everything

Where does the urge to sniff come from? This instinct in dogs is so natural it’s practically their go-to habit. 

See a new tree? Sniff it! See a new person? Sniff them! Let’s take a look at the reasons underlying this behavior.

It’s in Their DNA

Dogs are descended from wolves, an animal known for its strong sense of smell and determined behavior. This DNA is further refined by dog breeders that selectively choose dog strains with favorable traits.

As stated above, certain dog breeds have much stronger senses of smell than others. Dog noses are so strong, these animals are able to detect certain bacteria or cancer strains!

It’s Their Primary Sense

Another reason dog noses are so sensitive is due to how dogs navigate the world. Dog eyesight tends to be farsighted, making it easier for them to move through the world using their nose.

Your Dog’s Nose Knows

Did you know a dog can sense when a human is pregnant? If you pay close attention to your dog’s behavior, you’ll be able to find out things way ahead of schedule!

Dog noses are highly sensitive to hormonal changes and chemical shifts. This fact is why you see dogs sniffing luggage for illegal substances at airports. Although some dog breeds have sharper noses, a dog’s nose is still a unique part of who they are. No two noses are alike!

Catering to Your Dog’s Need to Sniff

Your dog needs to sniff to learn about and navigate the world efficiently. If you don’t let your dog indulge in this habit, they can become moody, nervous, or depressed.

We provide comfortable dog apparel so your dog can sniff to their heart’s delight. Our dog booties protect sensitive feet from hot gravel, sharp ice, and calcium chloride (used to melt snow). 

Want to give your dog the best walk they’ve ever had? Check out our store to outfit your pet with snug and durable booties and hoodies!

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