We've all been there. Trying to sneakily hide the smallest morsel of food from our good boy or girl. It doesn't make sense how one minute your pooch is asleep in the living room and the next they are right at your side begging for a bite. Well the truth is that your dog is nothing short of a super-hero. But whereas The Incredible Hulk has super strength, your dog has super smell! Studies have shown that a dog's sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than that of a human's. If you were to use vision as a substitute for smell, then assuming you could see something clearly from a third of a mile away a dog would be able to see the same thing just as clearly from 3,000 miles away! Now that's impressive!
Why Can dogs smell so well?
a dog's superb sense of smell is in thanks to the up to 300 million olfactory receptors
in their noses. We only possess about 6 million ourselves. And also the part of a dog's brain responsible for for analyzing smells is in proportion about 40 times larger than ours! And you thought your husband's feet smelt bad, imagine what your dog thinks!
How does smelling work for dogs?
In humans, upon inhaling, we smell and breathe through the same airway. Whereas when dogs inhale a little fold of tissue inside their nostril separates these two functions. This allows the air that doesn't go to the lungs to be filtered through turbinates, which are small scroll-like bony structures in the back of a dog's nose. The tissue that lines the turbinates are covered in olfactory receptors that recognize odors by their shape. Once the odor is recognized the turbinates send electrical signals to the brain to be analyzed.
What does the Jacobson's organ do?
The vomeronasal organ, better known as the Jacobson's organ, is located in the bottom of a dog's nasal passage and is used to pick up pheromones. pheromones are chemicals that are unique to each animal species and usually tell things such as danger, food is over here, or sexual arousal. (Spay and neuter your pets people!). Due to its own set of nerves leading directly to a part of the brain that is dedicated to analyzing its data, the Jacobson's organ is able to separate the scent of odor molecules with those of pheromones.
Dogs possess some of the greatest noses known to the animal kingdom. They are able to track down and find lost people, sniff cancer, and even sniff out things submerged in gasoline! So the next time you're wondering how your dog was able to find the one chicken bone in the bottom of the trashcan keep in mind that he can also smell that baby needs to be changed in five minutes!