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August 20, 2020

Why dogs drool over the car window

Why dogs drool over the car window
Dr. Chris Brown
by CHRIS BROWN

For dogs like Olli, there’s clearly no joy like the wind in their hair...and mouth. But have you ever wondered why dogs love sticking their head out the car window so much? Here’s the fascinating reason...

The simple answer? That window sliding down is their instant ticket to sensory overload. But the sound of the wind and the sight of the scenery flying by isn’t what they’re there for. This is all about sending their sense of smell (and taste) into hyperdrive.

You see, the area at the back of the nose that detects smells is called the ‘olfactory membrane’. In humans, it’s the size of a postage stamp. In dogs however, with all the multiple folds, it can be as big as a beach towel. And with a simple sniff, they can draw scent molecules onto the membrane where they’re detected. Stick that nose out a car window however, and it’s a supercharged 100km/hr sniff that draws millions of scent molecules into their nose every second.

Instantly, a regular road trip becomes the most stimulating part of their week. And it’s exactly why dogs often appear ‘high’ on the highway...

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