Let Them Sniff!
Unless the client specifies otherwise, we at Paws At Home allow dogs to sniff to their hearts content!
Now of course we do not let a dog sniff (let alone eat) anything gross or dangerous, such as poop, mushrooms, dead critters, food, trash, and so on.
But yes, they can absolutely sniff pee! Why do we give pee the green light?
What’s so special about sniffing?
You may already be aware that dogs can decipher lots of information from their fellow pups’ pee.
Of the many things they can determine about other dogs, information includes the:
- Age of other dogs
- Sex of other dogs
- Diet of of other dogs
- Overall Health
- Helps your dog understand their rank in the neighborhood
- Improves social behaviors
- Picks up on scents of new dogs
- Connects new scents with new dogs
- Calms aggression and / or fearfulness
Think of it as “P-Mail,” a message containing loads of interesting information for the dog to “read” via smell.
Dogs learn about the other dogs in the neighborhood by exchanging these biologically sophisticated (and smelly!) messages.
This process of communication also keeps the dog’s brain focused, engaged, and stimulated. The more information a dog is processing, the more it is using its brainpower.
From Your Dog's Perspective
Not only is the data from P-Mail informative for a dog, but it can also be pleasing. Another way of describing this is as follows: a dog sniffing pee is akin to how you experience watching a beautiful sunset. You witness the vast array of colors -orange melting into pink, pink drifting into purple- and you find yourself stopping in your tracks to take in this magnificent sight.
Human Brain VS Dog Brain
And so, a lovely sunset for a human translates into an equally delightful pee sniff for a dog.
How does this work, you may ask? Well, a dog’s sense of smell is synonymous to a human’s sense of vision because of neural pathways. The neural pathways between a dog’s nose and their brain have about the same bandwidth as a human’s eyes have to the human brain.
This means what gets triggered when we see something gorgeous is similar to what gets triggered for a dog when it comes across a particularly glorious scent.
Sniff Away We Say!
Sniffing is both relaxing and stimulating for a dog, and therefore a positive venture on a dog walk. Yes, it is important to be mindful about what a dog is sniffing for their (and your) safety. However, as long as it’s a P-mail that the dog is investigating with its snout, sniff away we say!