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With 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, dogs are excellent sniffers.
According to Michael T. Nappier – DVM/DABVP at the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, your adorable pooch can detect as little as half a teaspoon of sugar dropped in an Olympic-sized pool.
Similarly, she can sense a drop of blood in a large body of water.
Knowing this makes sense why your sweet pet takes time to sniff you and other members of the family regularly.
When you get back from work, she can’t keep her nose off of your body. She smells you from head to toe and takes great interest in you.
If you had the nose ability of your pup, you would do the exact same thing.
However, there are times that dogs sniff their owners a little more than usual. You have probably witnessed this already.
What causes the behavior?
We have a list of 12 reasons for you.
1. You are overly sweaty
Ever wondered why dog greeting is through sniffing each other’s rears?
The reason is that the anus and genital areas have a high concentration of sweat glands.
The glands carry all kinds of information such as mood, sex, and age.
For human beings, sweat glands are located across the body with the highest concentration being the groin area and the armpits.
If you realize your dog sniffing these areas more, perhaps you are just too sweaty.
Perhaps you started walking, jogging, or are sweating more because the mercury is rising by the day.
2. You bought a new brand of cologne
The second reason your dog may be all over you is that you recently traded your old brand of cologne for a new one.
She had somehow gotten used to the previous perfume.
The new one is overwhelming her nostrils and she may even walk away from you a little before coming back for more sniffing.
3. You have new laundry detergent or soap
Like buying new cologne, changing your laundry detergent can also cause your canine friend to sniff you more than usual.
It is hard for the dog to miss the new scent when it is all over your clothes.
She will probably sniff every other person in the house intensely if that is the case.
If you are annoyed by the behavior, change the detergent back to the original.
You can also give her time to get used to the new scent and the problem will go away.
4. You visited a new place recently
When you travel to a new town, state, or country, you will no doubt meet new people, eat different foods, interact with other animals, you name it.
You may also sleep in new motels and use different soaps and perfumes.
When you get back home, your dog can sense that you had taken a trip.
When she runs her little snout all over your body, she can tell that you have exposed yourself to different scents.
Her brain will interpret all the scents differently in which she will take a keen interest.
5. You are menstruating
Besides having 300 million olfactory receptors, dogs have a special organ in their noses called the Vomeronasal or Jacobson’s organ.
The organ is connected to the part of the brain that interprets information and is responsible for detecting pheromones.
During your period, your pet can tell what’s going on both through the obvious smell of blood and the change in your hormonal levels.
To her, you smell a little different during that time of the month than you do other times.
Related Post: Why Is My Dog Aggressive When I’m On My Period?
6. You are ovulating
In addition to menstruating, dogs can sniff their owners more when they are ovulating. It is the same issue of elevated hormones during this time.
As a woman ovulates, the body releases the Luteinizing hormone to stimulate the release of the egg.
Once the egg is out, two hormones (progesterone and estrogen) are also produced to help the female body to prepare for pregnancy.
All these surges in hormones are picked up by the Vomeronasal organ in your dog’s body and conveyed to the brain.
If you are ovulating, give it a day or two and your hormones will come back down.
Ultimately, the dog will stop over-sniffing you.
7. You just had sexual intercourse
Here’s another probable reason your canine buddy snuffles you like her life depends on it.
During intercourse, the brain stimulates the release of feel-good hormones– endorphins and oxytocin.
Your doggie can pick up these hormones with little effort.
Additionally, semen gives off a fishy scent like that of ammonia, chlorine, or bleach. This too, contributes, to changes in your scent after intercourse.
8. You are pregnant or recently gave birth
If you are expecting a baby, you might have noticed that your dog wants to just hang with you.
For one, she sees the physical changes in your body and knows something is up.
The transformations at home (new furniture, clothes, etc) also communicate to his intelligent mind that there’s a change in the atmosphere.
That’s not all; during your pregnancy journey, you release a ton of hormones. These include progesterone, estrogen, human placental lactogen, and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG).
These also reach your dog’s nostrils and make her curious than usual.
After birth, you are oozing blood and releasing breastfeeding hormones.
As a result, your pet will sniff your to find out what’s going on with you.
Related Post: Can Dogs Sense Miscarriage in Humans?
9. You are sick
A dog’s incredible sense of smell goes beyond sniffing drugs, intact males, and identifying their owners.
It can be utilized to detect diseases and infections such as diabetes, cancer, Urinary tract Infections (UTIs), and migraines.
For example, when you have an infection in your urinary tract, your doggie can smell it through your urine.
For diabetic patients, low blood sugar is picked up by the dog’s nose. The same case applies to specific types of cancers and migraines.
This can be a scary thing but if you’ve ruled out most of the reasons listed on this list, take a trip to your doctor.
10. You are stressed or afraid
Research has shown that dogs can interpret human emotions such as anger, sadness, happiness, stress, and fear.
They do this by reading the expressions on their faces and sniffing them.
While they cannot literally smell fear or stress emanating from your body, they can snuffle the different odors that your body releases because of these emotions.
For example, when you are nervous or stressed, you tend to sweat more and get your dog sniffing you more than usual.
11. Changes at your workplace
Did your workplace experience some new transformations of late?
Perhaps you got a new co-worker with a dog sitting next to you, the washroom soap was changed, you were exposed to a smell that reminds the doggie something, ate something different, and so on.
Sometimes it can be something as simple as having an unfamiliar scent by sharing the office printer with a new co-worker.
These things introduce a new smell to you which your dog can gather.
12. You are interacting with another animal during the day
If you live in a multi-pet household, you already know that dogs are jealous.
When you pet one dog or give her too much attention, the other one will rush to you to get some love as well.
This rings true for strange dogs. If you interact with another doggie at work or away from home, she will leave her scent on you.
As soon as you get home, your own pet will pick up the scent from your body no wonder she is sniffing you non-stop.
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Dogs are scent-driven creatures. They explore their worlds through their noses.
‘Sometimes they go overboard with their sniffing for any of the aforementioned reasons.
If the behavior irks you, contact a dog specialist to help you make sense of it and give solutions for it.
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.