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Science

A dog's sense of smell is so strong it's like having a second set of eyes, study says

They can even detect the adrenaline we secrete when we are scared or anxious.

A dog's sense of smell is so strong it's like having a second set of eyes, study says
Photo by Camilo Fierro on Unsplash
two white and brown dogs

We know that dogs have highly sensitive noses. Anyone who’s tried to hide a peanut butter snack deep in the bottom of a backpack has found this out the hard way. But a new study suggests that dogs not only use their powerful snouts to smell, they also use them to see the world.

The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, revealed that vision and smell are linked in the neural pathways found in a dog’s brain. This is a trait not currently found in any other species in the world. If you need any further proof that dogs are special, here it is.

A team of veterinary and biology researchers performed MRI scans of a variety of canines and mapped an “extensive network,” starting from the olfactory bulb (the part of the brain that deals with smells) and forming connections with multiple cortices of the dog’s brain. That included the occipital lobe (the area of the brain that processes vision), but also the corticospinal tract and limbic system.

Basically, how a doggo sees, moves, feels … it’s all connected to smell. Yes, they really are just adorable walking noses.


This enhanced network explains why a blind dog might still be able to successfully play fetch, veterinary expert and one of the researchers on the study Dr. Philippa Johnson told Sky News.

dog smell study

Dog science is the best science.

Photo by Agatha on Unsplash

She used the example that where humans tend to walk into a room and rely heavily on vision to interpret their environment, blind dogs “can orientate around their environment, and they don’t bump into things.” This can be especially comforting for those who own dogs with incurable eye disease, Johnson noted.

Considering that a dog’s nose has up to 300 million olfactory receptors (compared to the mere six million we humans have), it's understandable that smell would play such a large role in a dog’s everyday experience. With just one inhale, they can detect bombs, recognize a long lost friend and find their way back home.

dog nose study

Hey you, why the long face?

Photo by Undine Tackmann on Unsplash

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, they can even detect the adrenaline we secrete when we are scared or anxious. That talent alone makes them very empathetic companions.

The study’s findings mark only the beginning of exploration. Johnson and her team plan to study other animals who rely heavily on their sense of smell. Included in that research lineup are horses, whose heads are “predominantly a nasal organ,” and cats, who “have the most amazing olfactory system too, and probably more connections than the dog,” according to Johnson.

Meanwhile, we can all bask in yet another reason to love dogs. Suddenly all that nonstop sniffing makes sense.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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Sacheen Littlefeather, who famously appeared in Marlon Brando's place at Oscars, has passed away

'It feels like the sacred circle is completing itself before I go in this life.'

Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather.

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This article originally appeared on 08.05.21


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Justice doesn't just explain why the flag is seen as a symbol of racism. He also explains the history of when the flag originated and why flying a Confederate flag makes no sense for people who claim to be loyal Americans.

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