(ANIMAL SCIENCE) It’s no secret dogs can tell when something is bothering the people in their pack. But can dogs detect something as serious and invisible as cancer? Lucky for us, dogs can detect when things are off with our bodies. New studies show that diseases give off odors that a dog’s nose is powerul enough to smell. And with a little training dogs can even determine who is sick and who is not. Impressive! Read on to see if man’s best friend will become a tool for early detection of disease. — Global Animal
Psychology Today, Mary Bates
Dogs are born sniffers. Humans have roughly five million olfactory cells in their noses. It sounds impressive, until you compare it to the 200 million cells in a typical dog’s nose. Canines’ sense of smell is generally 10,000-100,000 times superior to that of humans. Much more of their brains are devoted to processing smell, and they also possess more genes that code for olfactory ability and many more olfactory neurons than humans.
People have known about and taken advantage of dogs’ sense of smell for centuries, even breeding some dogs to be scent hounds used in tracking and hunting. In recent years, dogs have been trained to sniff out explosives, drugs, bodies and other scents.