Why Do Dogs Stick Their Heads Out The Car Window

A dog sticking its head out the window of a car always gives a happy picture although there are very few exceptions – like the St. Bernard breed (they often look a bit sad). Chances are that sticking their head out the window is the favourite part of a car ride with your dog. 

Questions like this – ‘why do dogs stick their heads out the car window?‘ are quite frequent in the minds and mouths of many. It’s more like a default activity for most dogs as they find it very thrilling to have their heads stuck out the window. It’s more like they’re on their own private adventure while doing this.

You can only imagine what it feels like to have breeze running through their fur and their ears flapping in the wind as they enjoy a car cruise with you.

Why Do Dogs Stick Their Heads Out The Car Window

It’s always a thrilling experience to hit the road for most dogs and sticking their heads out is one of the ways they make the most out of the trip. A dog going on a road trip can be likened to you going to a carnival – you’d want to enjoy all the beautiful performances as much as you can.

Dogs’ have a really strong olfactory (sense of smell) stimulation which is way higher than that of humans (dogs are estimated to have about 300 million olfactory receptors while humans have only about 6 million) and each time dogs stick their heads out the car window, they enjoy a very pleasurable sensory overcharge. With the help of their nose, dogs unravel a lot of information about the environment and it feels quite enticing to them.

Dogs pick the smell of people in the street, grass patches, the tar, restaurants/cafe, and with the help of pheromones, the smell of other dogs. With its neck stuck out the window, your dog is pigging out at a hi-definition all-you-can-smell scent buffet. This is because when air moves across the olfactory membrane, the odor molecules settle on the scent receptors, and the more air flowing over the membrane, the more scents the dog detects.

Another reason why dogs stick their heads out the car window is that most dogs usually are locked up in their cages/confinements or rarely step out into the neighbourhood so going on a ride will definitely help the dog to have a sense of control over their environment by allowing them to see where they are.

Also, dogs will always appreciate and enjoy a wider view of the passing scenery, and increased accessibility to enticing scents outside the moving vehicle can be irresistible to an animal whose sense of smell is so much more sensitive than ours.

Dangers of Dogs Sticking Their Heads Out The Car Window

It may not be a rosy ride sometimes when you have your dog’s head stuck out the window, the thrilling ride may come with some challenges like;

  • Ear Damage
  • Fall Risk
  • Flying Debris.

Ear Damage: 

Repeated exposure to wind can actually cause damage to the flaps of your dog’s ears and could get worse over time. Dog’s ear tissue might become damaged.

This is one of the most obvious and most likely potential dangers dogs face while sticking their head off the window.

Risk of Falling:

This is one of the most obvious and most likely potential dangers dogs face while sticking their head off the window. It is predominant with small dogs – the smaller the dog, the more likely it is for it to fall off, particularly if the glass is down too low. Always ensure that the space between the top of the car and the window is not wide. Remember that falling off the window no matter the speed at which the car is going could cause serious injuries or even death in some cases.

Flying objects:

Objects flying in the air could pose some level of threat to your dog by causing injuries especially if you’re going on a high speed.

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