6 Crazy Things Your Dog Can Actually Smell
It’s pretty common knowledge that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans. But while we mostly think about them sniffing out things like missing people, animals, bombs, and whatever food we’re trying to keep out of their reach on the counter, the truth is that they’re capable of so much more.
I’ve had dogs for decades and I had no idea they could smell these 6 things, too.
6. Invasive Pythons
Auburn University’s detection dogs sniff out Burmese pythons – an invasive snake species in the Florida Everglades – before they can prey on native mammals and birds.
In 2010, two dogs (Ivy and Jake) flushed 19 snakes. In 2017, Floyd and Vito found 5 more in Key Largo.
5. Different Viruses
Every virus has a specific odor, and dogs can be trained to detect each of them inside the human body. S
o far, they’ve been successful in sniffing out malaria and Ebola, and recently the Labrador retrievers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center are being trained to sniff out SARS-CoV-2.
If and when they’re successful, they’ll be deployed at airports, hospitals, conferences, you name it.
4. Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can be hard to find and even harder to get rid of because they’re small and difficult to see – but that doesn’t matter to a dog.
In 2008, trained dogs at the University of Florida rooted out bed bugs and their eggs with 97.5% accuracy.
Not only that, they could also differentiate between live bigs, eggs, dead bugs, and feces.
3. Bronze Age Remains
Cadaver dogs have been known to sniff out remains that have been decomposing for decades, but in 2015, cadaver dogs found graves that contained human remains that dated back around 3000 years.
There are many anecdotal tales of dogs realizing something was wrong with their human, prompting a trip to the doctor. Now, scientists have confirmed that different types of cancer actually do produce odors that dogs can catch.
Serious funding has been poured into training cancer detection dogs that could help doctors catch cancer earlier, hopefully aiding in more successful treatments.
1. Fertile Cows
Dairy farmers need to know when the best time is to inseminate their cows, and until recently, have had to rely on their experience and powers of observation.
Now, dogs are being trained to pick up scents like vaginal fluid, milk, urine, and blood samples. They’re working at over an 80% accuracy rate, and a 60% accuracy rate in saliva alone.
Pretty crazy, right?
It kind of makes you almost appreciate all of the food they don’t steal when they have the chance!