Our canines are superior to us when it comes to nose work, and it’s one of the things we love about them. While the nose is your dog’s most important organ, not all owners know there is more to it than meets the eye. Here are the most amazing facts about your pet's incredible 'device'.
Dog nose prints are basically our fingerprints
According to Pet Helpful, a dog's nose print is just like fingerprints for humans. The lines on our canines' noses are unique, like the lines of our fingers, and no two noses are the same. It is a great way to identify a dog in many situations. You won’t believe it, but the Canadian Kennel Club has been accepting canine nose prints as proof of identity since 1938!
Taking nose print is quite easy. There are even apps for it nowadays!
Dogs can sniff out 100,000 times better than us
The ‘smart device’ of a nose that dogs are blessed with has 300 million olfactory receptors, while we only have 6 million. The part of the dog’s brain dedicated to interpreting smells is 40 times larger than ours. It is not surprising that our four-legged detectives can sniff out so much better than humans! Dr Michael T. Nappier, of the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, puts this into perspective, as PetMD reports:
A dog's sense of smell is so sensitive that it detects the equivalent of half a teaspoon of sugar in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Dog noses can detect cancer
According to Medical News Today, dogs can detect many types of cancers in humans. Like other diseases, cancers leave specific odour signatures in the human body and its secretions. Cancer cells produce and release these odour signatures. Depending on the type of cancer, dogs can detect them in the skin, breath, urine, faeces and sweat.
A dog’s nose might well be the future of cancer diagnostics!
Dogs actually have a nose within a nose
As if one powerful nose wasn't enough, your canine comes with a special vomeronasal organ, also known as the Jacobson organ. It acts as a second nose, boosting your dog's sniffing capabilities. Web MD writes that the miracle organ consists of a patch of sensory cells found within the nasal cavity just above the roof of the mouth. It detects pheromones.
We have a 3D view, and dogs have a 3D smell
Did you know that your dog can smell separately with each nostril? Just as our brain combines what each of our eyes sees to form a 3D picture, a dog’s brain uses information from each nostril to create a '3D smell' and determine where smelly objects are located. This unique characteristic also helps the animal split one smell into several different ones, identifying the ingredients involved in making it.
Studies suggest that allowing your dog to indulge in their sniffing adventures makes them happier. Be patient with your four-legged detective when in the park. Or why not enrol them in the fun canine nose work sport?