Although smells can trigger a variety of memories and feelings in humans, dogs' incredible sense of smell is something else entirely. Of the five different senses that dogs have, smell is the one they rely on the most. Depending on the breed, dogs have anywhere from 125 to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses. To put that in perspective, humans only have 5 million. The presence of so many more of these receptors means they can pick up far more information from smells than humans.
Dogs Use Their Noses to See the World
The best way to put yourself in the shoes of a dog is to think of how you visually process information. When you see a table with several items on it, you can identify each of those items. But when you smell dinner cooking, the scent you pick up is a mixture of all the ingredients. For dogs, their strong noses means they process all the individual components in a scent. Being able to pick out all these different things is why dogs want to smell everything and often spend quite a bit of time doing so.
Given that dogs are mostly farsighted, have less binocular vision, less ability to perceive depth and limited color vision, being able to process such rich information through smell is essential for a dog to make sense of the world around it.
Why Are Dogs So Drawn to Bad Smells?
Just about every dog owner has wondered why their pet seems so drawn to the worst smelling items during a walk. According to experts, this behavior has roots that go far back to before dogs were pets. Finding something smelly and then rolling in it was a way for dogs to mask their scent and become better hunters.
As far as why dogs want to stick their noses right up against other pups, this is all about finding out lots of information. This sniffing allows dogs to learn age, gender, mood and current health. Dogs are even able to get all this information simply by smelling a spot where another dog previously peed.
Let Your Dog Have a Blast Sniffing All Around
If you want your dog to have fun and stay busy smelling around while you're away at work, our Cincinnati doggy day care services in provide a positive and safe environment for dogs to explore their natural instinct as pack animals. Your dog will get to socialize and put its nose to good use in large, open play spaces that are conducive to both high energy stimulation and quiet play. Take a look at our dog day care rates and call us at 513-860-DOGS with any additional questions.