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What smells are dogs most attracted to? Can you guess?

Study shows that dogs are more likely to interact with and be interested in the scents of lavender, blackberry, blueberry, peppermint, linalool, and rose

adult chocolate Labrador retriever

How many of us love dogs, yet went it comes to living with them, how often do we really try to take their perspective? It’s easy to know what they like, especially with snacks, but do you know what smells they love and which ones they hate?

Knowing this might not only enrich and improve their environment but also get them to love you even more.

Think about it. The human sense of smell is a lot less sensitive, and yet when you encounter an odor you can’t stand, who knows if you will puke, pass out or run away.

An experiment was recently carried out on 14 dogs of different genders, breeds, sizes, and ages to better understand what odors might attract and deter them. During the experiment, 33 different fragrance oils were presented to them, some of which include peppermint oil, sage oil, tangerine oil, rose oil, lime oil, basil oil, blackberry, melon, and meat. To do so, dogs were entered into a room (size 2.4m x 3.6m) where the dog handler would unleash the dog and let them walk freely for 30 seconds. Each time a dog entered the room, 4 different samples were present. Over 8 days, each dog undertook 40 trials.

The authors of the study found that the odor of food (i.e. meat) was usually preferred by the dogs over the other smells. Their results also suggest that dogs might find lavender pleasant, while also finding blackberry, blueberry, peppermint, castor, linalool, and rose interesting to smell.

One reason why dogs might be attracted to plant-based smells, as the authors suggest, is the fact that they can protect against parasites and help with self-curing.

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