Your Dog’s Nose is a Real Super Power – Their Olfactory Recess

Your dog uses their superpower on you every day and you usually think nothing of it. Discover just how powerful your dog’s sense of smell is.

Deep look is one of my favorite youtube channels that focuses on animals and their amazing abilities. In this 4 minute episode they explain how amazing your dog’s olfactory recess (their sense of smell) is.

If you ever felt bad about your canine buddy not being able to experience the world in color through their eyes (only blues and yellows)… I’ll bet our four-legged friends would feel bad for us having such a limited sense of smell (less than 6.6% that of a pooch’s sniffer).


Related Article: Rainy Day Pet Sitting: Indoor Exercises for Dogs

Additional facts about your pup’s muzzle

  • Dogs interpret the world through smell.
  • 125 to 300 Million smell receptors.
    At best we humans have 6 Million (Just 2-5% that of dogs!)
  • They can smell up to 40ft below ground!
  • Some dogs have been trained to smell cancer cells, falling glucose levels, and imminent seizures
  • Licking allows dogs to absorb molecules for smelling. They are licking the scent molecules off of their nose or your body to learn more about their environment.
  • A dog’s Vomeronasal Organ, also called Jacobson’s Organ. This part receives chemical messages/pheromones, these are not the same as detectable odors. Usually used for reproductive or social purposes.
    Simple Solution’s Pee Post uses synthetic pheromones to tell your puppy where to pee.
    Adaptil Calm uses the same pheromones a mother of puppies produces to calm her newborns. It’s an excellent way to use their Vomeronasal Organ of easing your dog through separation anxiety or stressful situations.

Keeping your dog’s nose healthy

A dog’s nose is his most sensitive organ.  It’s a good idea to keep their sniffer healthy. Here are some things you can do:

  • A dry nose could be a sign of dehydration. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are sick. If there is plenty of water available for your dog to drink, but is not drinking, contact your vet. A dry nose is not something to worry about most of the time. However, chronic dry nose, or a nose that has cracked, could be something serious.
  • A warm nose doesn’t necessarily indicate anything.  A dog’s nose doesn’t always have to be cold.  Use your best judgement, if you are concerned, ask your vet.
  • General Health. There are a number of good products for keeping a pup’s nose healthy.

What do you think is best for your dog’s nose, has your pooch ever sniffed out anything strange? Leave a comment, we read them all.

Written by Jesse, an EntirelyPets staff member who loves all animals and is a licensed falconer. You can follow him and his animals on his instagram & falconry web page.

5 replies
  1. Susan (Susie) Parkhurst
    Susan (Susie) Parkhurst says:

    Hounds seem to have an extra sensitive sense of smell. We Three Sisters of Ever My Pet Memorials and Urns have had several customers comment on their hound reacting to another family dog’s cremains being brought into the house. We also had a report of multiple cats in a family home reacting to the family rabbit’s cremains brought into the home. Below is one instance.
    “I picked up Indy’s ashes today. when I brought them home, I thought I’d put them on her bed until I transferred them to the new urn.
    Blue (Blue Tick Hound) got off of his bed, came over and sniffed them, then laid down beside them. I didn’t re position the urn at all.”

  2. Dog Walker
    Dog Walker says:

    Nice article!
    And it’s so true, my dog can smell things i’ll never be able to detect.
    His sense of smell is even so good that if I hide his ball from him, he finds it right away.
    Now I wonder if dogs make quick social judgments based on smell, too.


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