How many odor-sensitive cells are inside a dog’s nostrils?

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There are roughly 220 million olfactory cells inside of a dog’s nostrils. Because of this, dogs have a finely tuned sense of smell that surpasses many other animals. Compared to cats, who have about 100 million olfactory cells, dogs can smell remarkably well. For this reason, dogs are often used for police and military operations to detect trace amounts of drugs, chemicals and blood.

It is estimated that dogs can smell nearly 50 times better than humans, who in contrast to a dog, only have about 5 million odor-sensitive cells. It’s clear that dogs rely on their sense of smell much more than humans, and even more than cats. A dog uses it’s leathery, wet nose to collect scents that are then passed up through the nose to the brain and analyzed by the olfactory bulbs.

A dog’s sense of smell is so keen that it can pick up on a great number of scents that humans cannot, including pheromones released by other animals. A dog will be able to smell the pheromones of another animal to sense if the animal is pregnant, in heat, or even injured.

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