Sniffing out the world!


(No need for citation because this is my dog!)

As we all know, dogs love to sniff things. It’s one of their main senses and it how they discover the world. According to Dr. Horowitz, the canine’s nose has about 300 million olfactory receptors, while human only have 6 million. This is why our dogs are so fascinated when we take them on walks. They feel the need to sniff everything because the smells are overwhelming them and it makes them want to explore.

Dr. Horowitz also says that licking is related to smell as well, dogs have another smelling system called the vomeronasal organ. It is located above the roof of the mouth and right where the nose slits into two nostrils. This is really interesting to me because people think of dogs as really simple creatures typically, but their bodies are equipped with two different ways to smell, while human are only restricted to a inferior one.The vomeronasal organ gives dogs a sense of smell of objects it can’t see. An example of this is human emotions or even being able to detect if their owner has cancer before the owner even know! I thought this was weird how a dog can smell human emotions. I always thought it was through facial expressions, like how humans know someone is sad or happy.

2 thoughts on “Sniffing out the world!

  1. Anna Strahle

    I think that the tasting and smelling applies to humans as well just much less intense compared to dogs. Whenever I didn’t want to eat a vegetable I didn’t like when I was younger, my friends always told me to hold my nose as I ate it because then I wouldn’t be able to taste it as I chewed the food. It turns out that the odor molecules from the food set off nerves in our nose to tell our brain when certain chemicals are being consumed. So our mouth is not the only part of our body for tasting food.

  2. Jen Malespina

    I did not know this much about dog’s and their heightened senses; this is so interesting! Obviously this must have been a good topic for you to write about considering you are a dog owner. I like that you discussed both their smelling and licking abilities, however I am curious as to how it works that dog’s can essentially smell human emotions? What is the science behind that and how does that work?

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