Furry Co-Pilots: Why Do Dogs Put Their Head Out The Car Window?

Why Do Dogs Put Their Head Out The Car Window

Ever wonder why your dog loves riding in the car with his head out the window?

No, it’s not because you smell bad!

In a nutshell it’s because our dogs like to take in all the scents outside. That stuff’s exciting for them!

The Science of Dogs Sticking Their Head Out The Car Window

Yes, there’s science behind this phenomenon!

Humans have around 5 million olfactory receptors, while in comparison dogs have over 200 million. You don’t need to understand the meaning of “olfactory receptors”, it just means your dog can smell better than you.

Now that’s nothing to “look down your nose at”. The more air hitting your dog in the nose, the more scents he is able to detect.  Your dog’s nose is one powerful sniffer! He’s better at hoovering up his surroundings than your fancy Dyson.

As a matter of fact, dogs can detect scents even weeks after the fact! Crazy, eh?

What are the Dangers of Your Dog Sticking His Head Out of the Window?

Although dogs love riding with their heads out the window, you may want to think twice before allowing it.

There are several dangers from such a scenario. Some comical, some not.

Your dog may be pelted in the head by birds. This isn’t good for the bird, and your dog won’t like it either.

Yes, I know it’s unlikely, but your dog is also at risk of injury from debris, other cars, and of course ignorant cyclists.

On a Hot Day…

You may be tempted to leave the dog in the car on a hot day with the window down. Your dog could then escape, be stolen or even bite someone approaching the vehicle. I once saw a guy chasing his dog down the Mitchell Freeway in Perth after his Kelpie jumped out the window – true story.

Another example of the harm that could come to your dog is if your dog has allergies. Pollen or dust may cause your dog to develop an allergic reaction. Dogs suffer from that hippy nonsense as well.

Should you let your Dog Stick Their Head out of the Car Window?

Ok then, yes, Fido loves it, and yes, you want him to be happy. Remember though, it is your responsibility to keep your dog safe. But if your dog sticks their head out of the car window then keep you km’s down – 20km max!

If you don’t take precautions, you can end up “paying through the nose”.

Until next time,




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If so, please tell others about our website. That’s all we ask!

Gina & David

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