What your dog can Smell and you Can't

Without a doubt, the main sense for dogs is that of smell. This is the one that allows him to function in the environment, even if the sight or hearing do not work well for him. For this reason, experts affirm that these animals can perceive certain odors that we cannot. Do you want to find out what your dog can smell that you can’t? Keep reading!

What your dog can smell and you can't

The perception of the world for dogs

A study carried out by anthropologists determined that people pay more attention, value and memories to what enters our eyes. Therefore, the sense that we usually value the most is that of sight.

However, pets perceive the world differently. Therefore, for them the sense of smell is much higher in the ranking of importance, at least in dogs.

In addition, we must remember that the sense of sight of dogs is not as developed as ours. However, the same cannot be said for the sense of smell.

The sense of smell of dogs

Dogs do not only smell what is present near them, but they are continuously scanning around them for the existence of people, things and other animals.

For this reason, some collaborate with police and firefighters in the search for missing persons or explosives: they can find out if there is something buried, above their heads or behind another object, for example.

All this has a good explanation: dogs have between 200 and 300 million olfactory receptors, compared to the five million that humans have.

These receptors are distributed throughout the canine nose, lining the mucosa, which is highly folded, thus increasing the receptor surface.

In addition, the base of the brain area that in dogs is destined for smell is 40 times greater in them than in humans.

Knowing this, are you surprised that your dog can smell things that you can’t?


Canines are able to smell these aspects because their noses attract and dissect the scent of human hormones. Therefore, in this way a dog can know if we are calm, excited, afraid, etc.

That is perhaps what makes them so empathic with us and leads us to consider that they understand us.

They smell like us

Surely many times you have come home and before entering the door you already hear your dog barking to welcome you. No, the dog is not a fortune teller, it is that he has smelled you from afar! That’s why he’s going to greet you with such joy.

The smell of his favorite human is one of the most impregnated in the dog’s memories.

What’s more, several studies have determined that when dogs dream they don’t just dream visually, but they also dream in smells, among which the smell of their house and that of their favorite human stand out.

Chillies and chillies

We are not going to talk about how horrible it can be to bite into a chilli pepper, but we do have to admit that smelling them does not seem like something serious… at least for us.

However, the smell of these elements can irritate the dog’s respiratory tract, causing itching and sneezing.

The reason is that both chilli peppers and chili peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical element that is hardly perceptible to people, but is very powerful for the dog’s sense of smell.

Anything appetizing

Adding to the list of what your dog can smell and you are not just any good thing that is appetizing.

Surely you have experienced the situation of opening or taking any succulent food on the other side of the house and that your pet realizes it instantly and runs to you to claim his share. And it doesn’t matter if it’s bread or a slice of turkey without salt! If it’s something he likes, he’ll smell it.

Just as we enjoy seeing, dogs are able to enjoy those foods that are their favorites with their sense of smell.


Several studies have already been carried out to train the sense of smell of dogs in order to detect diseases.

The results have been very positive, detecting, for example, prostate cancer in the urine of patients.

Similarly, it has worked with patients with diabetes, making the dog detect a hypoglycemic attack, even before it occurs.

As you can see, what a dog can smell and you cannot, is not only curious, but quite important.

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