A Dog’s Sense of Smell: Understanding their Strongest Sense

Much like humans rely on sight to make sense of their surroundings, dogs rely on their sense of smell. By smelling something, dogs are able to decode a lot more information about it than by simply staring. That’s because the scent-detecting membrane in their noses is about 60x bigger than ours – a human’s membrane is about the size of a postage stamp and dogs’ are the size of a piece of paper. So, yeah, they smell things pretty intensely.
Different breeds have different senses of smell, too. For example, a bloodhound has 300 million smell receptors, while dachshunds have about 125 million (and we mere mortals have about 5 million.)

While smelling something on a molecular level works against us when it comes to dogs and the garbage can (what ARE they smelling that’s so interesting?!), it works for us when it comes to our bond. Each of us has a unique scent, sort of like a fragrant fingerprint, and it’s all dogs need to tell one person from another. It’s also why dogs are able to detect when our mood is off, because it affects how we smell. Something else that piqued our interest: a dog’s urine is essentially a full profile on them, which explains why others can’t walk away from the telephone pole, bushes, and fire hydrants when out and about. So, if you have the time, let them indulge in a little sniffing when on a walk, it’s sort of like their neighborhood gossip column.

At Stewart, we know smells are among the first things that attract dogs to something, which is why our Pro-Treats boast one all-natural, deliciously smelly ingredient: 100% pure liver. Just try them, you’ll see. Hide them around your house for a fun game of hide-and-seek – we bet Fido finds most, if not all, of his rewards!

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