6 Things You Might Not Have Realized Your Dog Can Sniff Out

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It’s pretty common knowledge that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans – by a lot – but we mostly think of them being able to sniff out things like missing people, dead bodies, hunted animals, and whatever food we’re trying to keep out of their reach on the counter, but what if I told you they can actually find way more than that, armed only with their noses?

I’ve had dogs for decades, now, and I had no idea these 6 things were in their nose’s wheelhouse.

6. Invasive Pythons

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Cooler weather in south Florida brings out the big snakes to thermoregulate! During the summer pythons are found by cruising roads at night and finding them active, but when the temps drop they have to come out to bask in the sun, making these snakes that are normally undetectable by day visible, if you’ve got the eye for it. They’re still incredibly well camouflaged and extremely hard to find, even when out in the open. . . I caught my first python by in 2006, before we had any real idea of how bad the situation was or how big it would become. I remember fighting with people in the reptile community nonstop, no one would believe pythons were even really here, or that they were breeding, or that they were an issue. People would fight me nonstop that the snakes I caught must have been recent releases and they couldn’t possibly breed in Florida 😂 the hubris of the reptile community never ceases to amaze me😂 I just caught these two last week while out with @snakeaholic (who also took this pic of me with my camera) I look forward to getting back out with the next cold snap. . . Pythons are consistently a very controversial topic with a lot of misinformation and lack of education on the subject. I spend the majority of my post's going over the same repetitive questions, so I made a blog to cover all the frequently asked questions such as why are they here, how big do they get, what do they eat, ecological threats, bounty, comparisons to feral cats, how many, can they be eradicated, what happens to ones you catch, can they be rehomed, and more! Link in bio Shirt, hat, and sunglasses by @realsaltlife Pants by @prana #python #florida #everglades #invasivespecies #burmesepython #nonnative #southflorida #invasivepythons

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Burmese pythons are an invasive snake species in the Florida Everglades, and Auburn University’s detection dogs sniff them out 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

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We’re on a countdown to the @bugoff_official event, this Wednesday 25 July from 6.45pm-10pm at London’s @sciencemuseum #SMLates. Did you know there are now sniffer dogs specially trained to detect malaria? Come and pit your own sense of smell against that of malaria-sniffing canines. #snifferdogs #malariadogs #BeMozzieReady #BugOff #LSHTM #ScienceMuseum #Londonevents #BugBodyReady #malaria #mosquitoesbite #malariadetection

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Every viruses has a specific odor, and dogs can be trained to detect different killers inside the human body. Dogs were trained on sniffing out types of viruses in cows but can now do it in humans too – 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.

There are already dogs that can detect viruses like malaria and Ebola, so this isn’t farfetched.

4. Bed Bugs

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@dogbedbugs Shooting by @davidebalducciphotographer 🔝🐶🐾🇧🇷🇮🇹😎 #travelblog #viaggiando #viaggiatore #viaggi #viaggiare #albergo #alberghiero #holiday #travel #travelgram #bedbugs #dogbedbugs #cruiseship #cruiselife #cimicideiletti

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Bed bugs can be hard to find and even harder to get rid of – they’re hard 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

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The Nose Knows… #blacklabs #blacklabsofinstagram #blacklabsquad #searchdogs #searchandrescue #cadaverdogs #labrador #lovinglabrador #thinbluelinefamily #thinblueline #workingdog #blacklabsmatter #blacklabrador #blacklabsofinsta #dogsofinstagram #blacklabsmatter #labradoroftheday #instalab #dogsk9 #elfontheshelf #talkingdog #dogs #searchandrescuedogs #backtheblueofficial #dogs_of_instagram #labradorretriever #labradors

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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.

2. Cancer

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“It may open the door to one day using dogs to detect cancer biomarkers, a less expensive and less invasive option.”⠀ ⠀ https://buff.ly/2X5uFOt⠀ ⠀ #dogs #lungcancer #detectcancer #97%accuracy #biomarkers #lessexpensive #lessinvasive #smell #beagles #highlysensitivetest #cancersniffingdogs #portmoody #portmoodyhealth #shoplocal #suportlocal #naturopathicdoctor #naturopathicmedicine #integrativemedicines ⠀ ⠀ For the full article head to our FB page @PortMoodyHealth

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There are many anecdotal tales of dogs realizing something was wrong with their human, prompting a trip to the doctor, but scientists have confirmed that different types of cancer can produce odors that dogs can catch coming off our bodies.

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

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Just a cool factoid from my forthcoming book, Doctor Dogs! More info in bio.

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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 makes you almost appreciate all of the food they don’t steal when they have the chance.

Which one of these surprised you the most? Tell us in the comments!