Blind nose in dogs | Daily News

Blind nose in dogs

“During last few weeks in the country the sense of dogs’ saved thousands of people”.

Dog’s nose and sense of smell

Unlike humans, dogs have an additional olfactory tool that increases their ability to smell. While humans primarily depend on their vision, dogs use both sight and smell to assess their surroundings and communicate. Dogs devote lots of brain power to interpreting smells. They have more than 300 million sensory receptor sites in the nasal cavity as compared to 6 million in people, and the area of the canine brain devoted to analyzing odors is about 40 times larger than the comparable part of the human brain.

The dog nose works best when it is damp. The wet outer nose and mucus-covered nasal canal efficiently capture scent particles. Moisture is so important to the canine sense of smell, that dogs will lick their noses when they become dry. Smart dog don’t want to miss out on important information due to a dry nose.

The two separate parts of the dog’s odor detection system, the nose and Jacobsen’s organ, work together to provide delicate sensibilities that neither system could achieve alone. When the dog curls his lips and flares his nostrils, he opens up Jacobsen’s organ, increases the exposure of the nasal cavity to aromatic molecules and essentially becomes a remarkably efficient smelling machine.

Jacobsen’s organ communicates with the part of the brain that deals with mating. By identifying pheromones, it provides male and female dogs with the information they need to determine if a member of the opposite sex is available for breeding.

Blood hounds and other hounds, Belgian malinois, German shepherd, Labrador and golden retrievers, Dachsunds are having more sense power than other dogs.

“Talking” nose of dogs

A dog’s brain is also specialized for identifying scents. The percentage of the dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is actually 40 times larger than that of a human. It’s been estimated that dogs can identify smells somewhere between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than nasally challenged humans can.

With a single sniff, dog’s nose interprets an entire story without words and determines if a new friend is male or female, happy or aggressive, healthy or ill. Dogs also have a good scent memory. In other words, they work to detect “undetectable” odors. This power of sense is used to human benefit such as searching suspected person, bombs, drugs etc. the dog’s sense is always 100% accurate and accepted by any jurisdiction.

Though the size of this surface varies with the size and length of the dog’s nose, even flat-nosed breeds can detect smells far better than people. The following table shows the number of scent receptors in people and several dog breeds.

Animal type/breed                                    Number of sense receptors

Human                                                     5 million

Dachshund                                               125 million

Beagle, German shepherd,

Retrievers,                                                225 million

Blood hound                                             300 million

You may have seen dogs go crazy in their breeding season. That is due to heavy sense from the female bitch which is called pheromone as males can detect it from far.


Cancer in the olfactory organ is one of main kinds of disease in the sense organ of dog which is very rarely occurs. The cause of the cancer is unknown.


There are signs such as blockage of the nasal passage. The dog doesn’t show the sense of smell.


The veterinary clinics in Sri Lanka have facilities to diagnose this disease. The vet may recommend performing x- ray of your dog. The blood picture of the dog will show the clinical picture of any evidence of cancer of the dog.


To overcome this situation feed the dog a nutritious, wholesome, natural diet. Vitamin A is a crucial nutrient associated with the health and care of sensory cells in a dog’s nose and brain. Your dog might enjoy vegetables, eggs, carrots, and organ meats, such as chicken liver and beef all of which contain vitamin A. other than that cod liver oil tablets and syrup is rich in vitamin A. Provide healthy food for your dog, and he will be sniffing happily for years to come.

How to increase the power of sense of your dog

The other type of “food” for your dog’s nose is environmental enrichment. Take your dog to both old and new locations, so he can expand his olfactory horizons. Walk on new routes, go to different parks, hike some trails, or run with your dog. Sniffing is what the dog was born to do, so let your dog sniff to his heart’s content.

(The writer is a Veterinary Surgeon and holds B.V.Sc; M.Sc Poultry Science; Master of Public Administration and Management)


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