Have you seen your dog try to roll in an airfreshner that is plugged into your wall? Or roll in something on the street after a shampoo and wash? Does your cat poop outsider the litter tray?
Dogs, cats and hamsters (for example) have a heightened sense of smell, at least 40 x more powerful than our own.
Air freshners are overpowering scents for our pets. Can i suggest that for them, an air freshner maybe like smelling a bottle of formaldehyde. This is a smell that WE find overpowering. Imagine amplifying this smell by at least 40? Do our airfreshners and shampoos have the same affect on our pets?
Dogs will try to roll in a strong smell because it is so overwhelmingly powerful that they feel they need to camouflage themselves in the same scent. Hence rubbing up to a airfreshener plugged into the wall or rolling on something disgusting in the street after a shampoo. Dogs don't want to draw attention to themselves, they feel safer blending into the surroundings. Strong smells like these can be threatening to an animal. Dogs may also urinate or defecate in the home, to try and over ride the smell of the airfreshener. As a dog listener i can recall a colleague’s story of a dog suddenly becoming nervous around the family's 13yr old daughter. It was discovered that the daughter had been given perfume for her birthday and the dog was reacting to it. A perfume smelt 40 x more than we would smell it!
Cats may poop out of their litter trays when their own territorial signals are overridden by strong smells or strong human odours. They may poop on the bed or at the entrance to the flat (den). They dont know that the smell is of pine, they just know, that to other cats, this smell overrides their attempts at marking their territory to trespassing cats. Hence they try to make their mark stronger and poo outside the litter tray.
Be aware of the affect your air freshners have on your pets. Ask your groomer to wash and shampoo your dog with a natural non smelling shampoo. Wash your hands with neutral soap before handling a hamster and do you really need the airfreshners plugged into the wall?
Reference for January 2013
I am exceptionally happy with the quality of care my cat received when I travel. Susie and team play with him and attend to his needs, as well as looking after my plants and making sure cat does not trash the apartment with his energetic tendencies. I have happily recommended Susie to several colleagues who are thinking of getting pets and are concerned about pet care while they travel.
Sarah Eves and ‘Cat’