By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It never fails. You give a dog an open window in a moving car and out goes the head. Sniffing around. Checking everything out.

Ross from White Bear Lake asks: “Why do dogs like sticking their heads out of windows?” Good Question.

The problem with finding the real answer to this question is that dogs don’t talk. That means the experts have to make an educated guess.

“Though we can’t say for certain why dogs like to put their heads out car windows, a primary reason may have to do with an enhanced experience of detecting scents on the air,” Deborah Bryant, a veterinary behaviorist with Veterinary Behavior Specialists of Minnesota, said.

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell that could be 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than a human’s. Bryant pointed out their larger nasal cavities, more nerve cells dedicated to scent and how dog brains differently process scent.

“Smelling has an intoxicating effect on dogs,” Maureen Hagerty, owner of The Canine Coach!, said.

However, both experts warn dogs can be injured when sticking their heads out windows. When dogs are in cars, they should be restrained in a crate or seat belt.


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