Has your dog ever woken you up by sniffing your face, or perhaps offering affectionate ‘snoot boops’? Does Fido sometimes get completely 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 amazing in and of itself! A local vet discusses Man’s Best Friend’s sniffer below.
We all know that dogs have a great sense of smell, but the actual data is pretty mind-boggling. Fido has as many as 300 million scent receptors in his nose. In contrast, we have a mere 6 million. To put that into perspective, dogs 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 hunting and tracking. However, these days, one can find pups trained to specifically sniff out many different things, including bombs, drugs, dead bodies, and even bedbugs. Some of our furry buddies are also able to detect illnesses and imbalances in the human body, and can smell things like cancer, upcoming seizures, and blood sugar changes.
As you have probably already noticed, Fido is always on the ‘lookout’ for new smells. (There’s actually a name for this: neophilia.) Indulge your four-legged friend a bit, and 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. 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 vinegar and newspaper to clean your pup’s ‘canvas’ so he can start on his next masterpiece.)
Wet Or Dry
You may have heard that if a dog’s nose is dry, it means that he’s sick. That actually isn’t the case! However, there is an advantage to having a wet nose. That moisture helps to trap scent particles, making it easier for Fido to smell … everything.
As you may know, pigs are often used for sniffing out truffles. However, they also damage the truffles in the process. Fido has helped to solve that problem. Dogs—particularly the Lagotto Romagnolo breed—are now often used instead of pigs.
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