A dog’s sense of smell is one of their most profound traits. I am sure we can all note that when we take our dogs for walks or into a new space their noses are to the floor, up in the air, or in a bush taking a whiff. Umwelt is a German word meaning, “how an organism perceives the world.” Humans see the world through our eyes, and it is said that dogs “see” the world through their nose.
Let us start with the anatomy of a dog’s nose. Olfactory receptors are all along your dog’s nose. These receptors detect odor molecules in the air and send information to the brain to process that odor. Dogs have a whopping 220 million olfactory receptors in comparison to humans who only have 5 million olfactory receptors. To put that into perspective, we can detect when there is a teaspoon of sugar in our morning cup of coffee whereas dogs can detect a teaspoon of sugar in one million gallons of water (that is two Olympic sized pools)!
So, let us talk about how dogs' sense of smell can impact their taste. Dogs have far less taste buds than humans but, as stated before, many more olfactory receptors. What does this mean? It means that dogs “taste” with their nose. The smellier the food, the more enticing it will be for your dog. Normally, if we see something and think, “eww gross,” our dogs will love it. A dog's sense of smell is correlated to their age, breed, and sex. Each dog is different and can have different preferences as to what they do and do not like. At Michael’s Barkery we have a variety of different treats and chews for your pup, so come by the store and pick up something nice and smelly!
By Michael's Barkery Blogger: Courtney Larrier