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A dog’s nose is amazing

This is a photo of all the blood vessels in a dog’s nose; beautiful & fascinating to behold.



The structure of the dog’s nose is formed by bones, muscles and soft tissue and includes a blood supply of arteries and veins plus nerves which are connected to specialised areas in the brain.

A dog can wriggle its nostrils separately & in addition it can open and close the slit at the side of each nostril. Dogs sniff to collect the maximum amount of odour; each doggy nostril can work independently of the other to take in scent from different areas. The act of sniffing disrupts normal breathing patterns; odours are accumulated to be held for identification & recognition even while air is exhaled.

There’s an old saying that a healthy dog should have a cold wet nose.  Dogs lick their nose because a moist covering of mucus helps them collect scent molecules.  Those molecules then dissolve in the mucus & transport odours to the scent receptors at the top of the nose.  Insufficient moisture prompts the dog to lick its nose.  On average a pint of mucus is produced per dog per day!

The breeds of dog that excel at scent-work often have physical characteristics to make them super sniffers.  A Bloodhound for instance has numerous wrinkles along the nose & Spaniels have long ears – both of which can help trap scent. 

Dogs have a better sense of smell than humans as we know & rely heavily on this sense to inform their everyday lives.


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