A Dog’s Sense of Smell.
Dogs rely on their sense of smell much like humans rely on their eyesight. In general, dogs do not have the greatest eyesight. But with just one sniff, a dog can find an object from miles away like a person, object, or another animal. Inside mammal noses there are bony scroll-shaped plates called turbinates. When air passes over these turbinates, scent detecting cells and nerves transport the information to the brain. In a human, the area that the turbinates take up is about 1 square inch (about the size of a postage stamp.) In a dog, they take up as much as 60 square inches (about the size of a sheet of typing paper.) Think that’s huge? Well humans have approximately 5 million scent receptors, and dogs? Up to 300 million (bloodhound). So how much better is a dog’s sense of smell compared to a human’s? Depending on the breed, dogs can smell 1,000-10,000 times better than humans. But maybe it’s a good thing that humans cannot smell as well as dogs can. Just think of smelling 10,000 times more skunk, rotten egg, or (please no!) a room full of sweaty people.