Your doggo has been sniffing the air lately.
When they look up, they start staring at the wall.
You begin to wonder:
“Does my dog have a sixth sense?”
“What’s going on?”
Continue reading, and you’ll discover:
- What your dog can detect through sniffing.
- 9 reasons why dogs sniff the air and look up.
- How to know if the sniffing is related to a phobia.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Why is my dog sniffing the air and looking up?
- 9 reasons why dogs sniff the air and look up
Why is my dog sniffing the air and looking up?
Your dog is sniffing the air and looking up because they’re nervous or simply exploring. Dogs can sense the presence of other people or animals when they sniff. Through our body odors, canines can tell if we’re sick or sad. Sniffing is also their way of detecting the weather.
9 reasons why dogs sniff the air and look up
#1: Your dog is nervous
Is your pup sniffing the air plus pacing? Your dog might be nervous.
Something is in the unfamiliar air. Your canine may have heard or smelled something different.
They’re trying to find the source. It doesn’t always mean that someone is inside the house.
It could be a passerby or a lost animal. There’s no need to worry if the sniffing is occasional and doesn’t come with other behavioral signs.
Other common signs that your canine is nervous includes:
- Tucked tail.
- Flattened ears.
However, you need to observe if your doggo exhibits more severe symptoms such as:
- Frequent urination.
- Excessive barking.
- Destructive behavior.
What are the common causes why your furry friend gets nervous? It can be any of the following:
- New places.
- Loud noises.
- Being left alone.
You can help your doggo calm down by making sure they have regular exercise.
A tired dog is a happy dog.
Petting time can also ease their nerves. How about trying music therapy?
Research has proven that music can make our canine pals relax. You can bond over listening to your favorite sound.
#2: Exploring their surroundings
Our furry friends are natural explorers. It’s in their blood.
Is your doggo sniffing the air while you’re walking? Their curious nature motivates them to sniff the air.
It also helps that they have a keen sense of smell. Their noses are 100,00 times more powerful compared to ours.
You may not notice anything interesting while strolling with your furry friend.
We only have 6 million olfactory receptors, while our dogs have 300 million.
They can smell every type of insect or plant that you encounter.
When at home, they still sniff to explore. Dead insects on the walls can be fascinating for them.
Did you use new cleaning agents? They’re smelling and exploring the fresh scent.
Sniffing to explore is your dog’s nature. So enjoy exploring with your furry friend.
#3: Canines are disease detectors
You got the sniffles. It’s been days that you’re feeling unwell.
Is your doggo sniffing the air and you as well? Your furry buddy definitely knows that you’re ill.
When we’re sick, our body produces a different kind of odor than usual. Our canine friends can detect even the slight change.
Did you know that canines are known for detecting cancer?
Cancer cells produce a particular odor. A study conducted in 2006 proved that dogs could smell cancer.
5 dogs were able to detect lung cancer with 99% accuracy and breast cancer at 88%.
There are dog owners who are thankful that their dogs detected their cancer early.
We know that early detection of cancer can help to have more effective treatments.
Most recently, researchers have been studying if dogs can also smell Covid infections.
When you don’t feel so well, and your furry buddy keeps sniffing you, it’s their way of saying,
“Hooman, I know you’re sick.”
Scientists say that dogs can detect 8 illnesses, even migraine.
Watch this video to learn more about it:
#4: Dogs can forecast the weather
We rely on the news, weather app, or even Siri to forecast the weather.
But our doggos can tell if it’s going to rain today. They can even detect if a storm is coming.
A change in the atmospheric pressure may lead them to act strangely.
They can even feel electric charges in their fur.
You can take notice that before the rain falls, your dog sniffs the air or whines a lot.
When your doggo is outdoors, they’ll usually run inside before the rain starts.
Our canine friends don’t like storms because it could mean there’s thunder coming.
Loud noises such as thunderstorms make them anxious. Some dogs even suffer from storm phobias.
Sniffing the air can be their way of detecting the weather, but it can be a serious matter if they show other signs.
How to know if your dog has a storm phobia?
Check for the following signs:
Storm phobia is common in our canine friends. Most dogs that have this condition are also fearful of gunshots and firework sounds.
The condition can worsen if there is no proper intervention. Here are some things you can do to help your dog with a storm phobia:
- Close the windows.
- Cover a wire crate with a sheet.
- Provide a safe area for your dog.
- Distract your dog with fun games.
- Play calming music such as classical sounds.
- Fill the crate or space with your canine’s favorite toys.
If none of this helps, you can also desensitize your dog by playing a recording of thunderstorms softly.
Play with your dog or give treats while the recording is on. Stop giving treats when you turn off the sound.
Gradually increase the volume as days go by. In time, your dog might get used to the sound.
When all else fails, it’s time to get an expert’s advice. So contact your vet for a checkup.
#5: Your dog can smell other animals
“Sniff, sniff, sniff.” It’s been several minutes, but your dog is still smelling the air.
Did you bring home a furry addition to the family?
Does your neighbor have a new dog?
Your furry buddy can smell other animals. It may even be a stray or just a cat passing by.
Insects roaming around can also arouse their curious noses.
Is your dog sniffing and staring at the wall? Our canine friends can smell carpenter ants.
These types of ants build their nests inside wooden walls. You may not see it, but your dog can smell these tiny creatures.
Your doggo can smell pests that are not easily seen, like silverfish.
These pests like to live in clothing or furniture and chew holes. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to spot them if you don’t inspect your belongings.
Don’t underestimate this…
If your furry buddy is acting weird with your wall or furniture, there might be creepy crawlers.
My friend’s dogs kept sniffing and barking at their wall for days.
So the family got tired of their dog’s behavior and decided to check the insides of their wall.
It turned out termites were starting to destroy their home.
Note: Your canine’s sniffing can even be a home saver if you observe them closely.
#6: Your doggo is looking for a mate
Imagine if humans sniff when looking for a mate? It looks weird, right?
But for our canine friends, it’s one of the most effective ways. Their powerful noses can smell a female dog in heat even far away.
At the age of 6 months, male dogs are already sexually mature. Small female dogs may start getting in heat at 6 months.
If you have a larger breed, it can take up to 1 year. But it’s best to breed your dog when they reach 1 ½ to 2 years.
Do you have a female dog? Your furry buddy is ready to breed when they show these signs:
- Swollen vulva.
- Bloody discharge.
- Urinating frequently.
- Licking of the genital area.
Male dogs can get hyperactive when they smell a female dog in heat. They can bark too much or start marking their territory.
You can have your canine spayed or neutered if you choose not to breed them.
Spaying means the removal of female reproductive organs.
Neutered means removal of testicles in male dogs.
Warning: The decision to spay or neuter your canine should be taken seriously. It’s also recommended for dogs above 12 months. Spaying or neutering your dog early can lead to complications. You can ask your vet about the risks and benefits.
#7: Poor vision
When a dog has poor vision, they might use their sense of smell to identify things.
If your pooch can’t see clearly what’s in front of them, they can recognize what’s going on by sniffing.
It’s not easy for us fur parents to detect if our doggos are suffering from bad eyesight.
Canines have a keen sense of smelling and hearing. So they’ll use these senses to find their way.
Even if they have bad eyesight, they know the ins and out of our homes.
They might start to get confused if you rearrange the furniture.
How to know if your dog has poor vision? Check if your canine has the following signs:
- Low energy.
- Cloudy eyes.
- Eye irritation.
- Easily startled.
- Pawing at their eyes.
- Bumping into walls or objects.
- Hesitation with a new environment.
- Unwilling to climb stairs or jump from the furniture.
The best remedy is to take your furry friend to the vet. An expert will know the extent of the eye damage.
The earlier the detection, the better. If your canine has to live for the rest of their lives with bad eyesight, you can make things easier for them.
Here are some tips on what you can do for your visually impaired dog:
- Walk them around the house.
- Be consistent in your routine.
- Talk to your furry pal regularly.
- Leave location cues such as rugs.
- Bring them toys that have sounds.
- Give your dog a safe spot at home.
- Remove hazardous stuff around them.
- Keep food and water in the same place.
Providing a comfortable and secure environment for your dog is essential.
Your canine friend will continue to thrive despite their condition.
#8: Your doggo is a foodie
Your dog keeps sniffing the air. It seems like they’re smelling something delicious, but you’re not cooking anything.
A whiff of the neighbor’s grilled meat will entice your furry buddy. They can smell food even from a few blocks away.
If the sniffing comes with a bit of drooling, your pup may have smelled something yummy.
When I smell freshly brewed coffee or baked goods, it energizes me. The same is true for our furry friends, especially with the food they love.
You and your doggo probably share some favorites.
What human food do our doggies love? Take a look at the list below if you have the same taste:
- White rice.
- Green beans.
- Peanut butter.
- Dairy products.
I love meat like our canine friends, but I won’t say no to apples and watermelon.
A bit of peanut butter is also a treat my dog and I like to share.
How about you?
#9: Your dog knows you’re feeling blue
The first thing my dog does when I’m sad is to sniff me and lick my face.
What can make your day better when you’re down in the dumps?
Spending time with your furry buddy can surely lighten up your mood.
A thorough study has proven that our dogs can indeed detect our emotions.
Upon hearing their owners crying, the canines in the experiment pushed through the door to get to their fur parents.
Our cues, emotions, and even body odor can indicate how we feel.
Dogs feel stressed when they hear us crying. That’s the reason why your pooch hurriedly gets near you when you feel sad.
Due to their abilities to detect human emotion and provide comfort, some canines are certified to become therapy dogs.
All dogs have this ability. However, therapy dogs have certificates.
They’re trained to help people with mental and emotional problems.
These types of dogs undergo an obedience test to pass. A therapy dog should not be too young nor too old.
They should also have good socialization skills and be generally calm.
Visiting libraries, hospitals, nursing homes, and schools is the job of these dogs.
By accompanying the patients and giving unconditional love, dogs help their condition improve.
Patients will experience the following:
- Reduce anxiety.
- Decrease heart rate.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Increase happy hormones such as endorphins and oxytocin.
The next time your furry friend sniffs and licks you when you feel blue, take it as a sign.
It can be their way of saying, “Hooman, I’m here for you. Let me make it better.”