We used to play a game with our dog called "Smell it, find it." We would hide her dog treat somewhere around the house and that basset hound nose of hers could sniff it out every time. Yep, it's obvious that pets have a far stronger sense of smell than we do.
Pets need these strong senses of smell for more than just games. It's vital to their survival. They find safe food, sniff out a mate or an enemy, and establish territories. Cats and dogs have millions more sensory cells than humans and even a larger portion of their brain is dedicated to olfaction.
Humans, meanwhile, have far less sensitive noses, and we also love perfumes and scented items to use in our homes. But how does this effect our furry friends?
It's hard to know exactly, but researchers have attempted to study the way that scents affect our pets, both emotionally and physically.
Ever notice your dog rolling on the grass right after a bath? Well that's because they dislike that scent! A pet would do anything to get rid of that fresh bath scent that we love so much. Pets want to smell like themselves because it's part of their own canine and feline identity.
Some pets won't even eat after encountering a large dose of perfume. Perhaps it makes them feel sick or even affects the odor of their food, which decreases their appetite.
Just like humans, some pets with sensitive skin may even have allergic skin reactions to shampoos, sprays, and lotions. Sometimes we see it when a pet is itchy and starts biting at the irritated area.
When our dogs or cats have sensitive skin and allergies, just like humans, it's wise to reduce their exposure to the same triggers that we can have--perfumes, chemicals, and dyes. It might be completely impossible to figure out exactly which cleaner our dog is reacting to--is it the mopping chemicals, the laundry detergent, the shampoo, antibacterial wipes or spray? Or something else? The easier thing to do is simply switch to natural cleaning products.
If your cat or dog is suffering with allergies, you'll want to wash their detergent in cleaners specifically designed for allergy sufferers. Make sure no dyes or perfumes added. Of course, we recommend our own detergent because it's simply the best natural detergent you can find. If pet odors are a problem, then it doesn't get any better than our Stink Out.
Dryer sheets are often the culprit behind allergies, so be sure to ditch those. The solution? Dryer balls.
Allen's Naturally offers dryer balls in various colors, so you can even designate one color of dryer balls specifically for your pet laundry and use another color for the family laundry.
But I wouldn't stop at the laundry. By switching to all-natural cleaners throughout the entire home, we can be sure that when our puppy is licking her paws or our toddler is eating off a high chair tray that we just cleaned, our babies are not consuming chemical residue.