3 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Sniffing the Ground or Air

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Do you have a dog that’s almost like a detective because he likes to constantly sniff the ground or air wherever he goes? Is it a concern if your dog is sniffing too much? Here are the most common reasons for this dog behavior.

Sniffing Could be a Sign of Nervousness

If you see your dog sniffing the ground a lot and he is also pacing around then this could be a sign of nervousness. They may have heard or seen something unusual, both in and out of the house, so they are sniffing to figure out the identity of the unknown.

A nervous dog may also display other signs like flattened ears, tucked tail behind the hind legs, and yawning. Sniffing is one of several things that dogs may do to avoid the stressful situation. For example, your dog might start sniffing the ground while they are in the dog park if they haven’t been properly socialized yet.

Your Dog Likes to Investigate

Dogs are naturally curious animals and they like to investigate their surroundings with their nose since their sense of smell is so powerful. If they are sniffing around the room or sniffing certain areas as they are taken out for a walk then they could be trying to find the source of a certain smell.

Your Dog Smells a Body Change

What if your dog is sniffing you constantly? Are they sniffing certain parts of your body? This could be due to the fact that dogs are able to sniff certain changes in the body. For example, studies have shown that dogs are able to sniff out medical conditions like cancer and even low blood sugar levels.

Should I Stop My Dog from Constantly Sniffing?

No, let your dog be. Sniffing is an important part of a dog’s wellness and it may cause him stress if you try to prevent the dog from doing something that’s natural behavior for him. That’s why dog toys, such as snuffle mats, offer great mental exercises for dogs. You may find that such exercises work really well for dogs with separation anxiety.

The one situation when you may want to control your dog’s sniffing is when he does it excessively to your guests. One way to handle this situation is to let your dog sniff the guest’s hands once or twice then train him to remain calm after (make sure to give plenty of praises and treats). Eventually, your dog will stop sniffing your guests so much.


  • Mrs Susan Norris | 18/10/2021

    My dog is sniffing my skirting boards and trying to scratch my carpet. It’s stressing me out. Why’s he doing it?

  • susan Lloyd | 27/01/2022

    My dog is 7 and today she won’t stop sniffing she is driving me crazy I’m really worried

  • Devon | 09/04/2022

    I have an older black lab who I hate to even think about it but doesn’t have a whole lot of time left considering he’s 11 years old almost 12. I have 2 questions if anyone has dealt with anything similar, 1st off he keeps sniffing the carpet excessively and licking it in some spots, Im aware that dog’s especially labs have a great sense of smell but this has just started to progress, he’ll like obsess on spots on his bed and on blankets too it’s been weird, I’ve heard sometimes this could be a sign that they’re in pain can anyone attest to this? My 2nd question is that he’s suffered from ear infections (this is common among labs) and has a pretty serious case. We’ve taken him to the vet and tried a few different medicines and nothing has really helped. They’ve been bothering him a lot I can’t even scratch near them or he’ll yelp. He’s always shaking his head flapping his ears to itch them and groans when itching them himself. They’re pretty infected I’m assuming because they stink pretty bad. Visits to the vet are extremely pricey and considering the hit I took financially during the pandemic I can’t afford to pay even a couple hundred let alone a couple thousand dollars, so my question is does anyone know of any medicine that actually works for this and is there a way I can just order it maybe online somewhere without a prescription? Me and my pup Ace thank you!!

  • Lynnetta Hartson | 13/08/2022

    My 6 year old Soft Coated Wheaten is driving me crazy constantly sniffing the air and looking up. I feel like I must have animals in my crawl space and attic.

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