Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, DVM & Co-President of the San Francisco SPCA, answered an interesting pet question:
"I was at the beach the other day and my dogs made a beeline for a mound in the sand. Turns out the mound was a seal or something washed up on the beach and rotting. I found my dogs literally nose diving into the ribcage. Why do my dogs like to roll in the most disgusting scent they can find?"
Dr. Scarlett responded:
Dogs are only so-so on the vision front but their sense of smell is incredible - millions of times better than ours. There are two basic theories on why dogs roll in crap.
One is that rolling in strong smells disguises the dog’s scent thus allowing them to sneak up on prey easier. I don’t know why a rodent or deer would be lulled into thinking that wafts of rotting flesh would equal safety. In fact, researchers found that wolves—who may be more motivated to be a successful hunter than your average English Bulldog—tended to prefer rolling in scents that are inoffensive, which nullifies that theory.
The other theory is that the Eau d’Offal is attractive to dogs i.e. it makes dogs more attractive to other dogs. What if beauty is not only in the eye but also in the smell of the beholder? And when you think about it, dogs are pretty much stuck with the same ole fuzzy coat to wear day after day so they need a little olfactory accessory to spice it up.
That beached seal carcass to your dog is the equivalent of you finding a full size bottle of Jo Malone on the subway – Score! And, since your dog has no thumbs, he can’t use your Annik Goutal.
You have questions? We have answers! No question is too silly or too gross…we’ve heard it all! “Ask A Vet” every Friday from 12pm-1pm @sfspca.
Hmm… maybe Teddy should start a line of doggy perfume…
[Image via AP Images.]
Tags: disgusting, dog, dr jennifer scarlett, q and a, smells, teddy