Dogs Can Smell the Specific Odor That Our Bodies Spread When Stress Kicks In

Dogs Can Smell the Specific Odor That Our Bodies Spread When Stress Kicks In
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Scientists struggle even nowadays to understand at a deeper level the powerful bond that exists between humans and dogs. But it’s great to see that the mystery still brings updates!

According to a new study that was published in PLOS ONE, dogs are able to smell our stress, literally speaking! That’s due to the fact that when our bodies are stressed, some physiological changes occur, and a special odor is released.

720 smell tests were carried out

ScienceAlert tells us what we need to know about the new research. To come to the unexpected conclusion, researchers had to analyze the behavior of 36 people as they had to complete math problems. Thus, the participants developed some level of stress, while four dogs were also there to smell the sweat and breath samples of the participants.

It was amazing to conclude that the four dogs reached a 94% efficiency rate when it came to alerting researchers to the stress sample during the 720 trials. 

Clara Wilson, a researcher from the Queen’s University Belfast who specialized in animal behavior, explained:

The findings show that we, as humans, produce different smells through our sweat and breath when we are stressed, and dogs can tell this apart from our smell when relaxed – even if it is someone they do not know,

The research highlights that dogs do not need visual or audio cues to pick up on human stress.

Helen Parks, the owner of one of the four dogs involved in the study, stated:

The study made us more aware of a dog’s ability to use their nose to ‘see’ the world,

We believe this study really developed Treo’s ability to sense a change in emotion at home.

The study reinforced for us that dogs are highly sensitive and intuitive animals and there is immense value in using what they do best – sniffing!

The dogs’ sense of smell is generally known to be between 10,000 and 100,000 times more acute compared to ours.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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