Perhaps you have been hearing the term “sniffari” lately! Honestly, I had never heard it until earlier this year when I was introduced to the fabulous book, The Forever Dog by veterinarian Karen Becker and animal activist, Rodney Habib.
A sniffari is an opportunity for your dog to explore his or her environment without interruption. Why is this important? Giving dogs time to take in smells is important for their mental and physical stimulation. Dogs’ noses are extremely powerful and they want to engage their brains by tracking scents.
I have been guilty of denying Miranda the opportunity to sniff at her leisure. Daily walks were more about “getting her business done.” When she sniffed too long in one area, I would tug on her leash, in fear that it was something gross or anticipating that she was going to roll on a worm. Now, I love to watch Miranda enjoying her uninterrupted outdoor time. Yes, our walks are a lot longer! According to Dr. Becker, the research shows that when dogs are allowed to freely use their sense of smell, they are more optimistic and content. I believe this is true. When Miranda is finished with her sniffari, she runs back up to the front door. I’m pretty sure she is smiling too!