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7 Things To Know About Your Dog’s Nose

Updated: Jan 28

Dogs put their noses to work every second of the day but this can be troubling to humans – particularly when dogs sniff places and things we consider taboo, like private parts – canine or human! Dogs also like to sniff pee and poop ... and all sorts of other stinky stuff. But its more than that – your dog needs to scent and sniff to live a happy life. Sniffing for dogs is like talking for humans. They’re born to do it. To understand why, here are a few things you may not know about your dog’s nose:

Dog's nose


Your dog has a second nose. Its called a vomeronasal organ or Jacobson’s organ. A patch of sensory cells within the main nasal chamber that detect moisture-borne odour particles.


Fido’s olfactory cortex – part of the brain – is 40 times larger a human’s.


About 35% of a dog’s brain deals with odours – while only 5% of a human brain is devoted to smell.


Dogs can use each nostril separately.


Dogs inhale through their nostrils but exhale through the slits

on the side of their noses.


While humans can scent up to 10,000 different smells, dogs can sense 100,000 different odours.


Which makes a dog’s nose about 100,000 to a 1000,000 times more sensitive than ours.

No wonder our dogs want to spend so much time sniffing! And whilst some of those sniffs might make us squirm a little, perhaps we let dogs be dogs ... forgive them for not adhering to human standards of propriety and instead marvel at the wonder of what that canine nose knows!

Dog  Accessory Olfactory System
Our thanks to Pet Poo Skiddoo for their graphic of the Accessory Olfactory System

To find out more about scent-work and why ‘sniff time’ is so important for your dog’s welfare (from their mental and physical health to building their bond with you) check out this fab article from Your Dog Advisor.

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