Most people are aware of the incredible talents of Dogs to sniff out such things as explosive, weapons, drugs, lost people and their “enemies,” the feline. There is just something special about their sniffers that cannot compare to us as a human. A dog has a sense of smell anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times more sensitive than that of any person. This is due to their 300 million olfactory receptors in their nasal passages compared to a human’s six million. This is just a minor factor that contributes to the remarkable snouts of the canine species.

Dogs are known to have saved numerous lives through military employment, law enforcement and laboratory medical research, all due to their extraordinary canine noses. With this exceptional talent, recent studies show that dogs all over the world can detect medical conditions in humans like the six listed below.


Dogs working as part of the non-profit In Situ Foundation can sense cancer in its very early stages through saliva, expelled breath and human urine with more accuracy than some of the more modern equipment. Research shows that more than 50 dogs trained at the organization by their trainer Dina Zaphiris have the ability to sense multiple types of cancer.


Scientists have not yet determined how a dog can sense the onset of a seizure and there is controversy regarding this fact. Since it is hard to identify a specific marker or scent for a seizure, dogs are taught how to help during or after a seizure attack. The thought is that dogs appear to pick up a scent that is brought on by body chemistry change or behavioral changes related to a seizure.


Dogs have the keen ability to detect spikes and drops in a person’s blood sugar level. Researchers determine that a canine’s ability to sense a hypoglycemic episode is found in a person’s breath that escalates when blood sugar plummets. Detecting a diabetic episode early on is crucial. Diabetes service dogs are taught to retrieve a sugar source during a case of hypoglycemia.


Narcolepsy is a brain disorder that can be potentially dangerous, possibly affecting the wake-sleep cycles in a person. A human can fall asleep at any time, walking up and down stairs, crossing the street and in other trying situations. A dog can detect a biochemical change in an odor emitted when a person is going to experience narcolepsy up to five minutes prior to the attack. They are trained to stand protectively over their human when an incident occurs in public.


A migraine can be a debilitating condition for many sufferers and a study reported in Psychology Today states that a dog can alert a person of an impending headache an hour or two in advance.

This is due to their ability to keenly sense serotonin spikes in the blood.

Stress & Anxiety

Any dog owner and animal lover can probably attest to a dog’s ability to read the owners emotions. They can detect fear through body chemical changes and surging hormones including cortisol and adrenalin in response to stress. This is especially useful for dogs trained with humans suffering from PTSD or Autism.

Dogs are quite resourceful in helping humans through various medical issues and conditions, due to their incredible sense of smell. As man’s best friend, a dog really can exemplify its inner sense of unconditional love and loyalty in multiple situations.