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  • Writer's pictureVickie Foster

Five Scents Dogs Can Smell That Humans Can’t

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

A dog’s nose is much more sensitive than a human’s. What do you think your dog can smell that you can't? Read on to find out!

1. Coronavirus

Eight labrador retrievers are learning to sniff out covid at the the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center.

According to Director Cindy Otto, at completion of their training, the dogs should be able to sniff out coronavirus at airports, hospitals, and other public places.

The dogs will not be substitutes for tests, but will be a helpful agent for screening people in sensitive areas.

2. People

Dogs are able to find people by their smell. That’s why they are used so often in missing person searches.

Dan Morris from Pet 'N Pat says dogs can even catch scents in the air. This special skill makes them invaluable in locating missing persons.

3. Cancer

Dogs can smell proteins that cancer produces. They are particularly good at detecting lung, bladder, prostate, and breast cancer. They are so good that they are used in clinics during the early stages of diagnosis.

4. Emotions

Hormones are often released in response to emotions such as cortisol during stress. Our canine companions can detect these hormonal changes in our breath and sweat. This makes them especially good at being emotional support dogs.

5. Diabetes

Dogs can smell the changes in a human’s glucose blood level just from sniffing their breath. Some dogs are specifically trained to detect glucose level drops in someone with severe diabetes. Such an alert can mean a life-saving difference to that person.

Our furry friends are amazing in so many ways. Detecting sensitive smells is just one of them. Give your dog an extra pat on the head for being so amazing.


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All proceeds from Thousand Hills Pet Resort support New Life K9s. New Life K9s provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to them.




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