We already know that dogs have certain meanings that are more developed than ours. For example, their sense of smell is a million times stronger than that of humans.
On top of that, many dog owners will tell you that their dog has a kind of “sixth sense” to feel and notice things that escape us.
So, can dogs really feel that something is wrong with humans?
How does it work?
Although experts are not completely certain, they believe that dogs can certainly smell volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. These are microscopic elements in the gaseous form, which are emitted by both humans and certain other living organisms, objects and substances.
We can feel some of them too, like those in paint and varnishes. However, dogs perceive them well before us, even when their volume in the air is tiny.
This ability of smell varies greatly between dogs: some breeds have a particularly keen sense of smell from birth, while the sense of smell of others will be refined with training.
Not surprisingly, the dogs that smell the most are recognized for their exceptional sense of smell are those traditionally used for hunting. The reason is simple: their sense of smell is essential to their “work”.
The dog considered to have the best sense of smell is the St-Hubert dog. It has been used for ages as a detection dog. Next, come the Basset Hound, the Beagle, the German Shepherd, the Labrador, the Breton Spaniel and the Pointer.
Researchers have tried to find out if sick humans could emit VOCs with a particular olfactory signature, which we can not perceive, but which indicate that something is wrong. By pushing their research further, they tried to see if the dogs would be able to detect these characteristic smells of the disease.
The scientific community hopes one day to be able to identify exactly what dogs feel to better understand and develop the procedure. It is also thought to create machines that could detect these tiny compounds that identify diseases.
Dogs help humans become more aware of their health problems every day. For example, some dogs may tell a diabetic that his blood sugar level is too high, even before the patient feels the symptoms.
Others are able to recognize that their master’s blood pressure is too high, or that an epileptic seizure is imminent. Dogs are always there to provide a sense of security and comfort to people with mental health issues or neurological conditions such as autism.
Dogs can help these people calm down or prevent them from hurting themselves.