4 min read


Can Dogs Smell Smoke?



4 min read


Can Dogs Smell Smoke?


Just like humans, dogs have the ability to taste, see, hear, touch and smell. While we all share those senses, that is where the similarities end. Dogs have a much keener sense of smell than humans and much better hearing. When it comes to their sense of smell, they excel at it. 

Dogs do not have the best taste buds, meaning that when they decide to eat something, they will decide whether they want it from the smell. They rely heavily on their sniffers to be able to remember scents. Things like smoke and burnt food are examples of what dogs are able to sniff out.


Signs Your Dog is Smelling Smoke

There is no way to figure out that your dog is smelling smoke specifically. However, there are ways to tell that your dog is smelling something. Dogs have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell. They can smell things that humans cannot even imagine. To dogs, they recognize people, places and things by how they smell. 

There are some signs you can look out for that prove your dog is sniffing around. Dogs will smell anything and everything and if they are not a fan of it, you will know about it. Dogs will go up to whatever they are interested in and they will sniff it. Sometimes they will react by licking it or they will sneeze after smelling whatever it is. When a dog smells something they don't like, they will try to get away from it as fast as possible. 

Dogs have good instincts when it comes to what is a good smell and what is bad. They can usually tell if something is bad, like smoke for example. There are different kinds of smoke, like cigarette smoke, smoke from an oven, or smoke from a fire that has spread. Dogs will react accordingly to how they read the situation. 

If a house is on fire, a dog will detect danger and will do what they can to remedy the situation. A dog will bark, jump, and howl to get the attention of anyone around if they smell something burning.

Body Language

Signa that your dog may be smelling smoke are:

  • Barking
  • Panting
  • Howling
  • Sniffing

Other Signs

More signs that could mean your pooch smells smoke include:

  • Distressed Behavior
  • Sneezing
  • Facing The Direction Of The Smoke

A History of Dogs and Their Sniffers


Since dogs have such amazing noses, they are able to pick up on different scents much quicker than we can. It has been studied numerous times that dogs have the ability to smell things forty times better than us humans can. 

When it comes to smelling smoke, of any kind really, dogs are much more sensitive to it. They can smell it a lot sooner than we can and there are plenty of times in history that dogs have proven to be great at giving warning signals. There are plenty of instances where dogs have alerted their owners to dangerous situations like fires before the owner even realized what was happening. 

There have been documented events stating that a dog smelled burning smoke and either alerted their owner or woke them up to get them to safety. Dogs are definitely able to smell smoke and they are able to do so much better than we do. According to scientists, out of every animal in the world, dogs are on the top ten list of best sniffers!

The Science Behind Dogs Smelling Smoke


Dogs are unique creatures when it comes to their sniffers. They have much more sensitive noses than humans and because of this, they will react more strongly to certain smells, like smoke for example. All dogs have the same ability to sniff things out and they use their noses more than almost any other sense that they have. 

Dogs use their sense of smell to remember certain people, places or things. They do not use their vision as much as we do to detect different things so they rely heavily on their sense of smell to determine the difference between things.

Training Your Dog to React to Smoke


Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years at this point and they have become man's best friend. They love to please their owners in every way that they can from the time they are puppies all the way up to their old age. They are easier to train when they are younger and that is important when you are considering scent-training your dog. 

Scent-training is when you use different smells to train your dog to react or behave a certain way. Scent-training can be used to train your dog to fetch things for you, and it can also be used for more serious things. For example, you can train your dog to react to the smell of smoke. 

You can make it so that your pup knows that smoke is bad and that they need to alert you if they smell it. Dogs already have pretty good instincts when it comes to being able to sense dangerous situations, so they have the basic knowledge that certain situations are bad. 

Training your dog to respond to different scents is not the easiest thing to do, so you will want to start with something small. For example, you can use a small item, like a slipper. You can spray the slipper with some kind of perfume and then hide it somewhere in the house. After that, you can take the same perfume and spray a towel and give it to your dog. Let your dog sniff the towel so they can register the smell and then you can slowly lead your dog with treats to the slipper. After you have repeated this a few times, your dog will be able to get your item for you without needing to be led to it. 

With smelling smoke, you will want to be careful with how you train your dog. Contacting a local trainer will be helpful if you want your dog to learn best. 

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By a Keeshond lover Molly Martin

Published: 05/18/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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