What if we told you that other than the “woof woof” of a dog and “meow meow” of a cat, there is another secret language that animals use to communicate with one another, which has nothing to do with humans? It has nothing to do with humans because it is something utterly invisible that only animals can sense and experience. This invisible energy is known as a pheromone.
What Is a Pheromone?
Some define this invisible entity as a behavior-altering agent, but most people know it as a hidden sense that triggers certain behaviors and animals, which involve sexual behavior, etc. Though they sound familiar, they are much different than hormones. Hormones exist within the body, altering the body’s chemical makeup to make animals and humans think differently. Pheromones, however, are entirely unlike hormones.
They are secreted outside the body and, depending on that, influence the behavior of other individuals.
Pheromones In Animals
Pheromones are chemicals secreted by animals to influence the actions of other animals. Even while humans are capable of seeing these activities, we can not comprehend them. First, let’s have a look at the kinds of actions that are prompted by pheromones. Let’s look at the many functions that pheromones serve in the lives of animals.
Pheromones Are Not Sexual Only
When an animal produces pheromones, it is not simply the sexual activity that is impacted or triggered, contrary to the common idea that this is the sole action that pheromones are responsible for. Animals are motivated to act in a particular manner when exposed to this mixture of chemicals, which is only released under specified conditions.
For instance, if you have seen two dogs attacking one another as a means of fighting, this may have been triggered by a specific pheromone released. This pheromone signals a danger or flight response on the part of the animal. If you have observed this, you may have witnessed the release of this pheromone.
Let us take a look at a few reactions which may be triggered you to pheromones in animals:
- Raising an alarm
- Signalinga food trail
- Triggering sexual arousal
- Bond between mother and offspring
- Warning other animals to back off
Pheromones In Dogs
Yes, dogs do release pheromones. As we have discussed earlier, unlike the widespread belief that pheromones only trigger sexual activity, there are many other behaviors triggered by the release of pheromones. In dogs, pheromones are secreted by glands (including anal sacs) and are also found in their urine, saliva, and feces.
If a specific dog behaves aggressively, its pheromones trigger that strong emotion for it to act on.
Facts About Pheromones
They induce activity in other individuals rather than affecting the individual, releasing the pheromones, unlike hormones, which are only specific to the individual or specie creating them. A lot of insects use pheromones to communicate with one another.
Humans have hormones, but they are unlikely to have pheromones. The evidence for this is extremely weak as most of the pheromone’s studies have only been conducted on and observed in animal behavior. Such as dogs and cats etc.
How Do Pheromones Affect a Dog’s Behaviour?
To communicate with it, it is rare that you must have seen a dog barking at another dog. Nonverbal communication is an actual thing between animals, which is the effect of chemical messages we have discussed are called pheromones.
If a dog behaves too friendly to another dog, the pheromones have triggered a friendliness between them. But if they act highly hostile, this indicates that pheromones triggered danger and alerted the animal to safety.
A Dog Can Smell Everything
We are also aware that dogs have a highly developed sense of smell. This kind of information is known as olfactory information or scent, and it plays a significant part in how an animal perceives a situation and another animal or a human being. Compared to humans, animals have a far more sensitive and well-developed sense of smell.
A lot of times, dog skin smell pheromones as dogs can detect substances at concentrations between thousand two hundred million times lower than humans. So, the faint smell you might smell around yourself might be strong for your pet dog. Similarly, something that humans cannot smell at all, dogs can smell very easily, and depending on that, their behaviors are orchestrated.
Can Humans Smell a Dog’s Pheromones?
There is little evidence to suggest that humans can smell pheromones produced by dogs. Even if you try to smell your puppy’s ears and scalp, it is unlikely that you will be able to pick up a whiff of the pheromones in question. It is almost impossible that anything of the kind would occur due to a considerable variation in people’s sense of smell.
Can A Dog Tell If Someone Is Dangerous or Not?
The most interesting part about dogs being able to smell danger is the fact that they can tell if someone is dangerous or not. However, this is not due to pheromones. As humans do not release pheromones, they showcase signs of nervousness, anger, aggression, etc., so dogs can sense that fear or anger and depend on that to determine whether that person can be trusted or requires help.
Our Final Thoughts
We hope that this article was beneficial and that you were able to learn something new about pheromones and your beloved pet. So, if you detect any suspicious activity by your pet, know that the pheromones send specific signals. You must consult a vet if your dog’s behavior is uncontrollable regarding aggression or sexual arousal.
But still, whatever the case may be, it is pretty fascinating to know that there is an invisible language that humans don’t know anything about, but their pets’ lives circle it.