If dog sniffs everywhere, it is because his curiosity is expressed above all by his sense of smell. Find out how smells in the home affect the dog: good or bad?
Have you ever noticed that Dog literally puts his nose everywhere in the house? It does it exactly for what you think (it’s incredibly curious), but also for many other reasons. We all know very well how developed it is and they rely heavily on that for living, and also for surviving all external agents. Dogs move and act, carefully choosing their actions, based on the fragrance that things around them emit. So, it is true that dogs are curious and that sniffing continuously allows them to discover the world, learn from it and especially to socialize with their new home, when they are adopted and entered for the first time. Sniffing people is useful for learning to become familiar with them and, therefore, after a short time also to love them.
Unfortunately, even if all odors in the home affect the dog, not many produce a positive effect on our puppy: they can be annoying, offensive or even unbearable. Better to know immediately what our dog likes or dislikes, so that our coexistence can be more harmonious and enchanting for both of us.
How smells affect the dog: experts give the answer
We are constantly impressed with the sense of smell of our dogs, especially when they find snacks also slightly perfumed during games and while having fun hiding inside the house. At the same time, it is natural for a master to be afraid of filling his home with too many olfactory obstacles for him. From slow-cooked meals to baby diapers to scented candles, we wonder what dog thinks about the daily aromas that spread around our home.
Our pets are family members and we are committed to taking care of them, he claims Tim Link, author of “Wagging Tales and Talking with Dogs and Cats”. It is important to know what he likes and what disgusts him, what makes him happy and healthy and what does not, he adds.
Dogs have seventeen times thicker epithelial cells in their nose than humans, says the specialist therapist Sally Morgan, explaining why dogs essentially have a better sense of smell than ours. So what should we do about these perfumes, aware that everyone odors in the home affect the dog and can they have both a positive and negative effect, making them potentially delicious or unpleasant?
The stinky socks
Parents of pets can assume that the more the smell is smelly, the more the dog likes something. The facts show us that it is true, but only up to a certain point. In fact, your puppy’s attraction to socks and underpants may have more to do with them connection with your smell (the master’s perfume) that with their “pungency”.
Everything that has our scent will be a positive thing for them, says Tim Link. To this end, when an animal disappears, Link tells customers to bring along items that give off the scent of the various family members, in addition to dog food, to attract the wandering animal. It is also the reason why many animal experts suggest wrapping your puppy in an old shirt that you have recently worn to offer comfort during fireworks and thunderstorms or other loud noises.
Dead animals (yes, that’s right)
As Morgan explains, our four-legged friends are unfortunately attracted to the carrion left to decompose on the road. Although this disgusts us, there are two valid reasons why this happens:
- The ancestors of dogs were predators, more like wolves and did not live with men at all, nor did they simply have to wait for their human waiter to serve him dinner. The animals have always had to procure the food themselves, very often recovering nutrients from the carcasses that were available, already started by larger and fiercer beasts (therefore, always leftovers). The instinct to be attracted by the smell of dead things, therefore, is a historical-cultural factor that has become part of the basic characteristics of their species.
- Your dog may even decide (don’t get your hands on your hair) to roll over the carrion. It is not sadistic, it is only responding to the impulse that responds to its survival instinct: in fact, the smell of the dead is very pungent and unpleasant, it covers any other perfume and in this way hides the presence of dogs from predators nearby (this is also the legacy of past generations).
The perfumes, cologne, deodorants and candles
As you may have guessed, dogs can establish a connection between you and your perfume or cologne that you usually put on, says Link.
The problem is that they often don’t like “artificial” smells: therefore, they may not have much pleasure in being in your company, when you pour a liter of cologne on you, he adds. Some bottled fragrances, perhaps your favorite, can probably be too strong for your puppy. Have you ever noticed that your dog sneezes after you’ve sprayed something aromatic over it? This is Dog’s way of “getting rid” of his nose after experiencing a negative feeling. Next time, apply your perfume in a separate room with the door closed and wait for it to settle on your skin and clothes before reuniting with your pet. Morgan points out that any product flavored with chemical based perfumes is offensive to dogs.
Part of the reason is that too strong scents stick to their hair and this interferes with their natural ability to smell food sources or companions, He says.
Who doesn’t love a bouquet of fresh flowers? According to Link, animals may generally be less interested in roses, hyacinths or jasmine and more in marigolds with a pungently scented stem and leaf: these are also the ideal plants to keep insects out of your gardens, therefore double win. But, just like humans, each animal has its own personal preferences which prove to be unique, despite the basic characteristics of the breed. Furthermore, it depends a lot on the association between the smell of the flowers and you or your mood: in practice, if a certain aroma has a good effect on you, it will therefore be easier for it to have a good effect on your dog too. When you bring flowers home after happy events or show yourself in a good mood, your pet will feed on that positive energy.
Lavender is widely known for its calming properties and Link and Morgan are both big supporters of essential oils and herbs holistic alternatives for animals. But don’t wet the pet bed with oil without knowing what you’re doing, Link warns. First of all consider the history of your puppy’s health and how it responds to floral and herbal essences; find out if allergic reactions and potential negative reactions may occur.
It is easy to exaggerate in these cases, He says. Then talk to your pet’s vet before giving any perfumes.
Morgan says some are so sensitive that just opening the bottle is enough to bring any benefits. So, start slowly. Likewise, never perfume your pet’s bed. Keep it clean and wash it with a fragrance-free laundry detergent and free of chemicals. But when it comes to essential oils, let your pet choose. Put out some open bottles and see which your pet gravitates towards.
Food and cooking
As also happens to humans, what every dog likes to smell in the kitchen can be different from individual to individual, even if in general it seems that they like meat much more than fruit and vegetables (especially if raw). Link suggests looking at your pet for take a cue from his behavior. He could smell the air more and more as you prepare and cook the ingredients or he might even start to drool a little.
When licking the lips it helps move multiple odor molecules into the mouth and nasal system, which dogs love, says Morgan. At the same time, an animal will spend a long time sniffing new or unsafe food. Dislikes can also be aroused. When Link’s dog fell ill after eating ricotta, he associated forever that food, which he probably loved before, with the consequence of feeling bad and, therefore, he never came closer to that type of dairy product.
Dirty diapers and other garbage
Have you ever found your dog, returning home from work, literally with the “muzzle in the bag” of the trash, who rummaged or with a diaper all dirty with poop in his mouth? Your puppy may do it out of boredom or because some nutrients like minerals are missing from his diet, which he is trying to recover in all possible places, even the coarsest. Morgan suggests to seek professional veterinary advice of pet food, so that puppy parents can get some ideas on how to improve their pet’s nutrition. Additionally, Morgan claims that our soil is depleted of magnesium and selenium, so these are lacking in many pet foods.
How smells in the home affect the dog: always keep in mind that …
In addition to keeping in mind the preferences of our pets when it comes to environmental smells around the house, tapping into their sense of smell can also be useful during training and learning. Experts always say that a “smelly” treatment is a good bait: partly because your pet will really want that tasty reward, but also because odor information is saved in long-term memory, according to Morgan.
Associating a particular behavior with a particular smelly treatment will mean that the smell of the treatment will improve the memory of that behavior and therefore the result, he claims. In addition, the olfactory and limbic systems are closely linked, therefore the sense of smell is linked to emotion, which can be useful when it comes to learning and recall.
So do not hesitate to do good to both and take advantage of the incredible sense of smell of your pet.