The sense of smell is called olfactory. Humans don’t have a very strong sense of smell, while dogs’ noses are more than 10,000 times more “professional” than ours. Nowadays, trained sniffer dogs work in different fields, but even a regular pet can save your life with their strong nose.
At Bright Side, we adore dogs and science! Today, we have collected 7 unusual facts about the things your dog may find out by smelling. We’ve also included a bonus feature with some more unexpected info on the unique relationship between humans and dogs. We can’t wait to share it all with you!
1. Changes in the glucose blood level
Studies confirm that dogs can smell a drop in the glucose blood level. They can identify this by the change of smell in our sweat. This ability can be crucial for a dog owner with diabetes. Research shows that dogs can also analyze our behavioral changes.
Therefore, as soon as your “pet doctor” notices you smell the wrong way or that you’re unnaturally sleepy, it will start to act. Dogs can start showing signs of stress and will try to attract their owner’s attention.
Scientists explain that cancer makes our cells work differently from normal in order to grow the tumor. The damaged cells produce a specific type of protein that a dog can smell. Research has shown that dogs are able to detect lung cancer via breath and prostate or bladder cancer via the smell of urine. Studies are continuingly being held in this direction, and dogs have also shown reliability in melanoma cancer tracing.
Nowadays you can meet sniffer dogs in clinics treating different types of cancer including breast cancer. This is a valuable tool in early-stage diagnostics.
While most of us recognize other people and dogs by the way they look, dogs use smell as a differentiator. In a dog’s nose, the smell of each person is as unique as a fingerprint. Moreover, experts assure us that dogs can recognize a familiar person or place even if the odor is mixed with perfume or “marks” after coming into contact with other people. Furthermore, well-trained dogs are even able to distinguish “smell portraits” of identical twins! This ability is widely-used in police work when searching for missing people after various emergencies.
4. Epileptic seizures
Scientists confirm that dogs are able to detect a future epileptic seizure up to 45 minutes before it starts. It is believed that these pets are able to sense a specific smell that precedes the medical condition. As soon as your dog is aware of the danger, it will try to get your attention by barking, for example. And if you fall down in convulsion, your furry friend will stay nearby to protect you.
5. Your interaction with other dogs
Dogs send each other “messages” via pheromones that can be found in their urine, skin, fur, and fecal matter. So, if you’ve visited a friend who owns a pet, your doggie will know all about it! Get ready for the dog to sniff you all over as they try to figure out who you’ve interacted with. The message will include information about the breed, size, health and other features of the dog you “cheated on them” with.
A dog’s nose can detect the slightest changes in your body odor. If you’re pregnant, your body goes through a serious hormonal change that simply cannot be missed by your pet. Experts state that dogs can detect very early stages of pregnancy by smell and slight changes in your body’s movements. And their behavior will change since you’re basically a new person to them now.
7. A storm or hurricane
Since ancient times, animals have been closer to nature than people are. And nowadays, observations prove that dogs can smell even the slightest changes in the air, forecasting a storm or other disaster. This, combined with a dog’s utmost sensitivity to geomagnetic fields and vibrations, makes the prediction quite trustworthy.
Bonus: Dogs have been scientifically proven to be our friends.
When adopting a dog into a family, we may think of the pet as a companion for our morning jogs or as security for the house. Furthermore, scientists have proven that dogs make the best friends for children. Having a dog in the family stimulates the child to be more socially active, more kind to other people and animals, and are even prone to read more books. Therefore, dogs are teachers to us when we’re young.
Has your dog ever detected anything involving your health? Please share your stories in the comments!