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  • Writer's pictureMeg Barker

The Importance of Letting Your Dog Sniff

Today's Doggy Science post is about...sniffing! 👃🐶 This is one of the biggest factors I take into account when planning and conducting my walks! A slow paced walk where you let your dog sniff and walk wherever they want is much more mentally and physically engaging for them than a brisk walk with few sniff stops.

But Why?

Smell is the most important sense to dogs, and the mental maps that are created when they are allowed to sniff their environment are way beyond the scope of human imagination 🤯 Imagine visiting a museum and everytime you tried to look at an exhibit you were forced to move along and cover your eyes. How frustrating and boring would that be? That's how your dog feels when you drag them away from a smell!

Walking shouldn't just provide physical movement. Pausing for calm, quiet sniffing expands the mental horizons of your dog and provides them with information of incidents that have recently occurred in that area. Just like a daily doggy newspaper or, for the young, hip pups, a dogstagram feed!

What can I do?

An exercise regime that provides an appropriate combination of walking and sniffing time will result in a happy, well stimulated dog, that is much less likely to display destructive behaviours 🐶💕 So next time your dog wants to stop and smell the roses, let him!

For some more info on this topic, the following Ted-Ed video lesson gives a good summary of the dog's sense of smell and why they are able to process scent so efficiently.

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