Did you know that a dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than a human’s? As this article so fascinatingly puts it, for an analogy, that would mean where we could see up to a third of a mile away, a dog could see something 3,000 miles away just as well. And that’s a conservative estimate.
Humans = 6 million olfactory receptors; dogs = 300 million olfactory receptors
Dogs are hardwired with an entirely different olfactory system than our own, even breathing differently than we do. We already knew dogs were super cuddlers, but what we don’t acknowledge nearly enough is that their true super power lies in their super sense of smell. And, in recognizing it, we need to do our best to protect their sensitive snouts. Sometimes things that we think smell good are extremely overwhelming to our pets.
Pumpkin and spice? Best think twice
There’s nothing quite like pulling out your cinnamon-based candles to celebrate the return of fall, but try to keep in mind that your dog may disagree. Before you pump artificial odors around your home, consider opening your windows and letting mother nature act as your air freshener. Or, bake some apples with cinnamon and sugar for a delicious treat that smells as good as it tastes.
If all else fails, use some common scents
Sometimes there’s no amount of fresh air that can properly rid your home of (dog-related) odors, and you simply need to light a candle to get by. Try doing it while your dog is in the other room and check in with her regularly to make sure there’s no sign of respiratory distress. Also take note that citrus smells offend dogs the most, so ditch the lemongrass for something a little more soothing.
After all, remembering your dog's sense of smell is a simple way to improve his overall quality of life.
Whether or not your fall involves a candle, we sure hope it does include a romp in the leaves every now and again. We may not agree on what smells great, but I think we can safely say that jumping in leaf piles is pretty fall-some.