Why You Should Let Your Dog Sniff On Walks
All dogs, including yours, love to sniff around. Did you know your dog is more attuned with their walk and feeding schedule than any other daily habits? Here’s why. Once you open that front door with your keys and their leash in your hand, their sense, call it dog-intuition, gets them fired-up knowing they are going outside because they enjoy sniffing and fresh scents.
There is a positive stimulus associated with walking time for dogs or the time you take them outside for any physical activity for them to exercise their brains, body and emotions. Regular physical activity is critical to ensure that your dog keeps a normal weight, receives enough natural light, and expends his strength appropriately.
Never Underestimate the Power of Your Dog’s Nose
It is crucial to remember that dogs' noses are really powerful. They might have a sensitivity up to 1 million times as compared to our own noses. As per popular belief, a dog can sniff out a bit of blood from such an area about the size of an Olympic swimming pool. Their ability to communicate, explore, and evaluate critically depends on their sense of smell.
What Is So Great About Sniffing?
Dogs perceive everything using their sense of smell. It tells them what happened in a certain spot, what is going on at the moment, if there is another dog in the vicinity, whether there is any danger approaching, and so much more. You can consider it their version of Google as they obtain all their information via their noses. And this is exactly why your dog insists on pausing every so often for a good sniff. It could be a pretty good starting point of cerebral stimulation for your dog as it encourages them to utilize their brain.
Your Dog Uses His Nose to See
Even when it does not sound so, your dog can reveal a lot with only a few sniffs. For example, whereas a tree may merely smell like sap to you, your dog can sense not only the tree but also if another dog has recently been in this area, how long ago it was, the breed of the dog, their disposition, and perhaps even their favorite foods. All of this with a single sniff? (interesting, isn’t it?)
Gives Your Dog a Sense of Freedom
While your dog's existence may appear easy and carefree, they are virtually completely reliant on you. You, not your dog, determine what and when to eat, how to get around, and when to go outside, among other things—letting your dog wander freely while out on a walk might make them regain a sense of control and be at peace. Of course, it would be important to monitor your dog and protect them and keep them safe from harm. It is, nevertheless, a great idea to let your dog smell a log for 5 or 10 minutes.
Mental Exercise for your Dog
As it is essential that your dog receives enough mental activity besides physical exercise. But how are you going to do it for them? You can simply do it by allowing him to sniff around.
Sniffing various items and deciphering the information requires practice and effort. When smelling, your dog could expend their brain energy the same way as they would when solving a tough arithmetic problem. Allowing your dog to sniff while out on walks is a perfect way to encourage them to constantly stay active and decrease the risk of early mental impairment in them. The results might not be as evident as a few pounds lost or muscle gained, but it is indeed helpful in keeping them mentally active and decreasing the risk of initial mental decline.
Sniffing Can Make Your Dog Feel More Tired
A moderate stroll with plenty of time for smelling provides considerably more cerebral stimulation for your dog than a fast-paced walk to heel. This implies that a brief sniffy stroll will tire them out, and they will be more calm and far less inclined to be disruptive or naughty while indoors.
Sniffing Plays a Crucial Part of Dog Communication
When a dog instinctively gravitates towards smelling another dog's butt as they first meet, as owners, we might feel the urge to pull them back. However, this is more like an appraising greeting to a dog and their way of familiarizing themselves with each other.
Sniffing could also be used as a kind of appeasement. If your dog is trying to calm down another dog, they may start sniffing the ground to let the other dog know that they’re not a threat. Encouraging your dogs to do that instead of just tugging them away will help both dogs relax.
Other Sniffing Activities for your Dog
If your dog enjoys exercising their nose, there are many additional enrichment things you may explore in addition to providing him more opportunity to smell when on walks.
Foraging for Food
Scattering dry doggie biscuits or other treats across a safe, non-distracting grassy setting and then letting your dog come out and freely scavenge for the food may be a simple method to provide extra enrichment for your dog. This is a great pastime for dogs that are less mobile or have limited exercise options, and it may also help their fearful canines feel more comfortable and confident. Interactive toys like snuffle mats/bowls that you can find on www.fetchnplaytoys.com in various colors are a great way to help your dog exercise their nose.
Scent Work Classes
A sniff training course of certain forms may be an interesting option to explore if you want to see more organized learning setting to manage your dog's scenting ability. This can improve your pet's talents and enhance your relationship. The dog will be trained to identify a certain smell, be taught how to locate it, and inform its handler where it has been concealed.
A Good Time for A Sniff
Your dog looks forward to taking their regular walks so that they get some mental exercise, fresh air and roam around loosely on their leashes, if you don’t have a backyard. So, the next time you are out on a stroll with your dog, do not be frustrated if they choose to stop and smell; embrace it instead, you’ll have a happier and healthier dog.