Dear Lynn, Whenever we go to the park to play, my dog can’t seem to stop sniffing other dog’s butts. I’m embarrassed by this and I don’t want to let her around others. How can I stop this offensive behavior? Sniffers Gonna Sniff - NYC 

Dear Sniff,

A dog’s way of saying “HELLO! Nice to meet ya!” to another dog is to sniff the other dog’s butt. In the human world, we would be fitted for an orange jumpsuit. So WHY do they do it? Dog’s sense of smell is at least 10,000x better than ours, and unfortunately the butt is the best place for them to get to know each other. A dog’s butt has pouches called anal sacs that give off chemicals that can tell your curious pup a lot of information-- like gender, reproductive status, and clues about its health, diet, and even emotional state. Some dogs are not as enthusiastic about being on the receiving end of this behavior, and it can potentially get the sniffer into some trouble. Always be aware of the other dog’s stance and posture to make sure the greeting goes well!

-Lynn, PUPPO Nutrition Team