Why do dogs stick their heads out of car windows?

April 13, 2012

The dog is an intelligent animal that enjoys learning about its world. The dog uses its eyes and nose as a way to explore the world when it is riding in a car. Although some dogs may have car sickness from a car ride, many dogs enjoy the sites and scents that can be experienced especially when the window is open.

A dog has more than a million scent receptor cells located in its nose and roof of the mouth. The dog’s sense of smell can provide information about the world at large. If you have ever seen your dog suddenly follow an unseen trail, you have witnessed the power of a dog’s nose. A dog’s nose can detect the trail of another animal or person when the trail is up to a few weeks old.

When a dog sticks its head out a car window, the dog has the ability to gain a great deal of information through the many scents that fly by its nose during a car ride. It could be the scent of fast food, other dogs, when a car window is open, the dog may eagerly jostle for a position by the window. A dog may even beg or whine to prompt its owner to open the window so that the dog can stick its head out the window.

Although a dog can truly enjoy the experience, when a dog has its head out of the moving vehicle, the dog is susceptible to injury from insects, birds, flying stones and other debris. There is even the potential for injury from an object on another vehicle, a sign or branch. A dog that develops allergic reactions to pollen may be exposed to the allergens during a car ride.

Your dog may love car rides because of the great potential for riding around with its head stuck out the window. As a careful dog owner, you must reduce the potential for injury, such as by shortening the ride times and reducing the number of car rides for the dog. Your dog’s health and safety is important during car rides.

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