Why Letting Your Dog Sniff is Vital for Their Happiness

by Melissa Keen

If you own a dog or have ever walked one, you’ll know how much they love to sniff around. Our daily strolls will often be interrupted with lengthy sniffing expeditions as our four-legged friends smell what feels like every leaf, twig and bush they come across.

While it can often feel frustrating, it’s important we have the patience to allow them these sniffing sprees. Here’s why allowing your dog the time to smell their surroundings is not only kind, but a healthy thing to allow them to do.

It’s in Their Nature to Sniff

All dogs love a good sniff, some breeds more so than others. Different breeds have different capabilities where smelling is concerned – flat-nosed breeds like the Pug or Bulldog will not be able to smell as well as a longer snouted breed like the Labrador.

Smelling is a hugely important mental exercise for them. Some dogs were bred to sniff – hunting dogs such as the Poodle or Pointer are ingrained to want to track and sniff down other animals. Not allowing them to fulfil this will be unsatisfying for them and could result in behavioural problems.

It’s How They Understand

Smelling their surroundings is how dogs understand their environment. Dogs have far more smelling receptors than us humans – in fact, they are able to tell who (or what) was there from hours before with over 200 million receptors compared to our measly 6 million.

Not allowing a dog to smell would be like blindfolding someone before taking them on a walk. They smell to interact and understand their surroundings – and they love it!

Letting your dog sniff is good for their wellbeing and happiness

Enjoy the Little Things

While we may want to get our daily walk over as soon as possible, for a dog it is the highlight of their day. With every whiff comes a mountain of information for them to process and savour. Allowing them to enjoy this small but vital thing will improve their wellbeing and happiness.

So the next time you become impatient during your walk, try to take a leaf out of your pups book and enjoy the little things!

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