Super Sniffers: What Illnesses Can Dogs Sniff Out?

From sniffing out bombs to locating missing persons, it’s no secret that dogs have a powerful sense of smell. But did you know that they can also detect illnesses? That’s right – our furry four-legged friends can actually be used to detect diseases in humans! So what illnesses can dogs sniff out?

In this article, we’ll explore the range of illnesses that dogs can detect. You may be surprised at just how much our canine companions are capable of! Read on to find out more about this incredible superpower.

Can dogs smell if you’re sick?

Dogs have approximately 220 million olfactory receptors in their noses compared to humans who only have 5 million. This means that their sense of smell is about 40 times greater than ours.

When a person is sick, certain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released into their sweat and body odor, and it’s these VOCs that a dog can detect. Dogs can pick up on scents that are too faint for us to notice and alert their owners if something isn’t right with them health-wise.

How do dogs act when they smell illness?

When a dog smells illness, it may act differently than its usual self. It might paw at the sick person or stick close by them for comfort.

It may also lick at their face as if trying to help in some way. They will often take on protective behaviors such as barking more than normal when someone new enters the room.

What illnesses can dogs sniff out?

Did you ever wonder what illnesses can dogs sniff out? It’s almost like they have a sixth sense!

Amazingly enough, many highly-trained canines are able to detect certain medical conditions through their incredibly sensitive noses.

They can smell electric currents and hormones that humans cannot. Here are 7 diseases that dogs can sniff out:

1. Cancer

Dogs have been trained to detect the presence of cancer in a person’s body by smelling breath samples or even urine samples. When they detect cancer, the dog may bark or indicate with its nose which sample contains the malignant cells.

2. Diabetes

Dogs are often used as diabetic alert dogs because they are able to detect changes in blood sugar levels before the person is even aware of it.

They can be trained to alert people when their sugar levels become too high or low, which in turn could save a life.

3. Parkinson’s Disease

Dogs have been trained to smell certain biomarkers that are associated with Parkinson’s disease. When they detect these biomarkers, they will often paw at the person and/or bark to try and get them to seek medical attention or take their medication.

4. Bacterial Infections

Canines have an amazing sense of smell and can often detect bacteria in lesions that humans cannot see with the naked eye.

This ability may help doctors diagnose infections faster and more accurately than before by alerting them when bacteria is present in wounds or sores.

5. Endocrine Diseases

Dogs have been trained to detect certain hormones that humans cannot smell, such as cortisol or adrenaline.

This ability can be used to diagnose endocrine diseases, such as Addison’s disease, which could otherwise go undetected without proper medical testing.

6. Seizures

Dogs are able to sense changes in a person’s body before they even experience a seizure. They may bark, whine, or paw at the person in order to alert them of an impending seizure and help them take necessary precautions ahead of time.

7. Heart Attacks

Dogs have been trained to detect changes in heart rate and respiration patterns that indicate an impending heart attack. They are used to alert people in time for them to seek medical attention, which could save their lives.

Can dogs sense death?

It’s often said that dogs can sense when someone is about to die. But what does the science say? Well, it turns out that while we don’t know for sure if they can sense death, there are some indications that suggest they can.

One theory is that dogs are able to detect pheromones released by a dying animal or person. Pheromones are scent molecules released into the environment which help animals communicate with one another.

Another possibility is that dogs may be able to sense changes in their human companions. Before someone passes away, they may experience physical and emotional changes that could alert a dog to their impending death.

This could include a change in scent, body temperature, or even facial expressions.


These incredible canines have proven that they are capable of much more than we ever thought possible.

With proper training and care, they can help detect diseases and even save lives! So next time you see a pup with its nose to the ground, remember that it may not be chasing an imaginary rabbit– it might just be doing its best to keep us healthy and safe.

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