While many of us know that dog have an exceptional sense of smell, not many of us are aware of what our canine friends are actually able to sniff out. The part of a dog’s brain that is used for smelling is 40 times larger than ours. As such, their ability to decipher situations and stimulants is truly extraordinary. Here are just six of the many things your dog may know about you from their incredible sense of smell.
Whether you’re happy, sad or angry, your dog can sense it all. Apart from changes in your body language and tone of voice, the scent you emit alters depending on how you are feeling as well. Amazingly, your dog can detect the chemical changes from your emotion-regulating hormones and discern what mood you are in.
Many mothers would attest that dogs behave differently when their owners are pregnant. Yes, your dog can certainly detect pregnancy and will instinctively be more protective of you and your newborn. Just as they can understand emotions from the hormonal changes we experience, a mother’s pregnancy hormones are easily detected by canines.
From mild colds to life-threatening diseases, your dog knows if you are unwell, and why. You might notice them sniffing a particular part of your body for an extended period. This might be a sign that something could be off in that area, and it’s a good idea to check it out. Some service dogs are trained to detect epileptic seizures even before they happen. They can even detect if a human has a urinary tract infection or a drop in blood glucose levels.
Our dogs know if we are in danger from the adrenaline secreted when we are fearful. They can also read the tenseness in our body and will react to protect us should the need arise.
Remarkably, dogs are very attune to their owner’s affections, or lack of, towards somebody. When seeing or meeting other people, we secrete different hormones depending on our feelings towards that person. Canines can detect which hormone is secreted and associate it to the person you are with. Most of them will take their cue from our reaction and follow suit.
Even though we can’t sense it ourselves, we pick up scents from everything we come in contact with, even if it is a mere brush or a brief encounter. The 300 million receptor cells in a dog’s nostrils can distinguish between the aromas of every single object, animal, or person we meet. With a nose up to 50,000 times more sensitive than ours, they can detect even the faintest smell and can sense where it came from.