The rancid, the putrid, the nasty, the foul - if the smell makes your stomach turn over, your dog probably loves it! A dog's sensitive nose can sniff out cancer, bombs, drugs, food, treats - you name it - so why do they use that powerful sniffer just to find a rotten corpse to roll in or to dig up cat poop? Turns out there might be some science behind a dog's penchant for all things rank.
Two Reasons Your Dogs Love Stinky Stuff
Scent scientists have a couple of theories as to why dogs seek out anything disgusting and then - ack! - roll around in it until they smell just like it. (i.e. Remember the last time your dog found that skunk carcass?)
The first reason has to do with survival. By rolling around in dead stuff for example, dogs mask their own scent. Covering themselves with the aroma of decay can create a confusing sensory event for predators, throwing them off the trail so to speak, and it can also keep prey from noticing they are roving about the area. Nasty yes, but also effective. But keeping their whereabouts hidden is not the only reason dogs like to smell rather rotten.
Remember the last time you were invited to a formal event? What was the last thing you did before you headed out the door on your way to the party? That's right, you spritzed on a little perfume! What for? So all your friends would notice how great you smell and like you even more! And if you are single, maybe you were thinking about attracting a mate too. Well, that's exactly what your dog is doing! Not only will a little Eau de Squirrel Corpse impress all your dog's buddies, it might even score him a new girlfriend. As far as your dog is concerned, you are likely to be really impressed with his new scent too!
So, gross as it may be, your dog has some pretty good reasons to find, and then cover themselves, in as much stinky stuff as they can dig up. Do them a favor next time they come home smelling like something dead, and at least try to act impressed.