Does your dog like to sniff and explore everything on your walks? Pepper loves to explore and sniff around and we love seeing her reactions when she discovers new scents and smells! But, did you ever wonder WHY your dog wants to sniff everything in sight? 


A dog’s nose has 300 million smell receptors (compared to our 6 million) and the part of their brain that analyses scent is 40 times larger than ours; sniffing and smelling is their superperpower. Dogs navigate and understand their world through their nose and what they smell.


We recently read a study on how sniffing affects a dog’s pulse, you can read the article here 


Here’s the basic run down:

61 dogs participated in the study. Sniffing time and pulse were measured during a 5-minute walk on a short leash, long leash, and no (off) leash.

Here are the results:

  • Dogs spent 280% more time sniffing on a long leash than on a short leash.
  • Dogs spent 330% more time sniffing off leash than on a short leash.
  • Sniffing lowers dogs’ pulse even while walking.
  • The more intense the sniffing, the more the pulse lowers.

What does this mean? 

  1. Sniffing is calming.
  2. Sniffing helps relieve stress.
  3. Sniffing is essential to a dog’s physical and behavioral health.
  4. Sniffing is vital for dogs who are stressed or anxious.


Allowing dogs to sniff and explore with freedom of movement (long leash or off leash) allows for more sniffing. Sniffing and exploring leads to a calm, stress-free, and properly exercised dog. 


Enrichment is a HUGE part of Gaithersburg Pet Sitters’ daily activities with our dogs. We play sniffing and exploring games and provide lots of opportunities for dogs to do what they do best in a safe and stress-free environment; be a dog! If you’re interested in how we provide enrichment or how we do what we do, check out our Facebook and Instagram page for pictures and videos!