Have you ever been woken up by your dog, sniffing your face, or perhaps offering affectionate ‘snoot boops’? Does Fido sometimes get totally fixated on a scent he’s picked up on a walk? Your canine companion’s wet nose is one of his most adorable features. It’s also pretty amazing in and of itself! A local vet talks about Man’s Best Friend’s sniffer below.
Most people know that dogs have a great sense of smell, but the actual data is pretty amazing. Fido has as many as 300 million scent receptors in his nose. In contrast, we have a meager 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 tracking and hunting. However, nowadays, one can find pups trained to specifically sniff out many different things, including drugs, bombs, dead bodies, and even bedbugs. Some of our furry buddies are also able to detect imbalances and illnesses in the human body, and can smell things like blood sugar changes, cancer, and upcoming seizures.
As you have probably already noticed, Fido is always on the ‘lookout’ for new smells. (There’s actually a name for this: neophilia.) Let him stop to smell the roses on his walks and indulge your four-legged friend a bit. That’s also a great life lesson!
Here’s another fun fact: your furry best friend’s nose has a unique print. Much like with our fingerprints, dogs’ noseprints are all different, and no two are alike. (Note: if Fido likes making nose art on your windows, use newspaper and vinegar to clean your pup’s ‘canvas’ so he can start on his next project.)
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 true at all! However, there is an advantage to having a wet nose. That moisture works to trap scent particles, which makes it easier for Fido to smell … everything.
As you may know, pigs are typically used for sniffing out truffles. However, they tend to damage the truffles in the process. Fido has helped to solve that problem. Dogs—particularly the Lagotto Romagnolo breed—are now often used in the place of pigs.
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