In what is considered as the most groundbreaking, important study in the history of science, researchers have discovered why dogs smell each other’s butts. Well, it may not be as important as it seems, but we can officially stop with all the speculation. Researchers from the American Chemical Society revealed the results on Monday to help shed light on man’s best friend.
Canines possess anal sacs, which hold glands that emit chemicals. These chemicals give off signals about a particular dog’s emotions, what it eats, and so much more; communicating by chemical secretion. These chemicals are what the dog is looking for when its nose is buried in another dog’s butt. Being that their sense of smell is so acute, they’re able to ignore the smell of poop.
Everyone knows that a dog’s sense of smell is far superior to man’s. Depending on the breed of dog, a canine can have as many as 300 million olfactory receptors in their snout; compared to five-to-six million receptors in humans. Another sensory advantage dogs hold over humans is the Jacobson’s organ, a completely separate olfactory system designed by mother nature to allow animals to communicate by chemicals.
Dogs may also be able to sense the chemicals humans emit, probably why they chill when we chill and get amped when we are. There are dogs with such an uncanny sense of smell that they have been able to detect medical disorders such as seizures, cancer and low blood sugar in humans.
Chemical communication is used by a variety of different animals equipped with the Jacobson’s organ, found in a variety of reptile, insect and mammal species. Ants use chemical communication to lay trails and organize foraging while snakes use it to find their next meal.