Here's Why Dogs Sniff Each Others' Butts

I have a dog. He is the cutest creature on this planet (he’s on Instagram @otisheidewald, feel free to see for yourself). He also does things that are so disgusting. I can’t comprehend how this little dude who is basically my son can do so many gross things I would never do unless I was getting paid a lot of money. One of those gross things is sniff other’s dogs butts (and people’s butts, too, which my roommate’s friends really love). But why? I embarked upon a scientific investigation (googled it) to find out why dogs are always taking a whiff of each others' butts.



Dogs have a powerful sense of smell

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Dogs’ sense of smell is between 10,000 and 100,000 times stronger than humans’. That’s insane! I can’t even fathom what that’s like. But I know what you’re thinking — when dogs sniff each other’s butts, doesn’t that mean they're sniffing poopy butt smell 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than we would? That sounds horrible. I know that’s what you were thinking, but you’re wrong.



Dogs filter out the smell of poop

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This honestly explains so much. Dogs have a part of their nose called the Jacobson Organ which filters out poop smell. So when they’re smelling a butt, they’re smelling all the other stuff. This also might explain why my dog loves eating cat poop, though that’s an investigation for another time.



They’re detecting each other’s chemicals from their anus glands

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Totally normal. By sniffing the chemicals excreted from their anus glands (why their anus glands? Still not sure, that may be above my scientific understanding), dogs find out how old another dog is, what gender they are, if they’re healthy, and if they’re a raging bitch or not. Imagine if we could skip small talk and go for a little sniff of the butt instead. Revolutionary.



A butt sniff lets dogs know if they’ve met before

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A deep whiff of anal gland chemicals is how dogs figure out if they have met before. That means dogs who butt sniff never have to go through that awkward experience where you introduce yourself to someone and they’re like, "OMG, we went to third grade together," and you’re like, "sorry, you just got so much uglier since then, I didn’t recognize you."

And that’s why dogs sniff each other’s butts! Why did God put so much information in dogs’ butts though? That’s a question we’ll have to ask when we die. Someone, please remember to ask, and tell everyone else. Do you have any other scientific queries you need me to google for you? Tweet at me and let me know @erikaheidewald!