Sniffing and Breathing in Dogs
Location: Outside U.S.
Date: Summer 2011
What is the difference between sniffing and breathing in dogs?
That is a good observation. Sniffing is done by dogs to smell the
air. The act of sniffing does cause air to move in and out of the
nose and lung like breathing. The purpose is a bit different.
Breathing is done to allow oxygen to reach the red blood cells which
is vital for life. Sniffing helps dogs get information about their
environment. I hope this helps.
Louis M. Huzella, DVM, Diplomate, ACVP.
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Update: June 2012