As we know dogs have an awesome sense of smell, they love to come and sniff us in spots we probably aren’t used to getting sniffed (especially in public)! Dogs amazing sense of smell isn’t just great at sniffing out those treats from behind your back; they’re SO amazing they can smell pretty much anything, from bombs to cancer!
So when your dog takes a good whiff of you, they take in heaps of valuable information. But what about the other way around? I know the first thing I do once I get home is pick up my doggo and get a good whiff. *Instant relaxation*
Can’t think I’m the ONLY one.
What do we get out of the long sniff of our poochies odour? Turns out, quite a lot. Here’s what you need to know.
Smelling our pets can calm us.
So there isn’t a lot of FORMAL scientific research but all the anecdotal evidence is huge. Taking a good old whiff of your dog can have a beautifully calming effect.
Michael W. Fox, the author of a newsletter and several books on animal care, welfare and rights, and a vet with a doctoral degree in medicine and animal behavior, wrote about the phenomenon of the dog whiff for the Washington Post.
In the article, which was a response to letters from two readers describing their habits of smelling their pooches, Fox wrote:
"Your letters give support to pheromone research and marketing of dog-calming body scents for dogs, which you both find calming for yourselves!
Smelling = Caring
In addition to just making us feel good, pet-sniffing is a way we can keep tabs on our furbabies' health. We can use our sense of smell to help recognize when our dogs aren't well, need a change of diet, or maybe just a good old scrub down!
Smelling our pets helps us form a bond with them. Dogs secrete pheromones from at least 6 spots - some places you'd think, and some you probably don’t want to be sniffin’ (their butt and bits). They also release pheromones from their faces and, very importantly, their ears (100% my favourite sniff spot) . The pheromones released from a dogs' ears trigger social cohesion among groups of puppies. It's not proven, by any means, but if you love to sniff you pup's ears, there's a pretty decent chance you're honing in on the pheromones designed to make other living things bond to your dog, which doesn’t sound so crazy.