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What dogs can smell on you

Dogs possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in humans. They smell everything. For instance you walk in and smell chicken soup cooking. A dog walks into the same soup cooking and instead of describing it as chicken soup (if they could speak English) they smell carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper, chicken.. all as separate smells.


    1. Treats

    You can hide a treat, but your dog knows exactly where it's at. Ever hide some treats in a pocket, only to find your dog found it and ate a hole through your jacket to get them? It's not because the dog remembered you put them there. They can sniff it out every time.

    2. Anxiety and stress

    We mostly think of our dogs smelling food or treats. Maybe even the smell of a person or another dog. But dogs can actually smell other parts of human experience, like anxiety or stress. Studies have found that dogs are able to smell changes in human breath and sweat, and with high accuracy identify chemical odors people emit when feeling stressed.

    You know how you feel stressed when someone close to you is stressed?

    Stress and anxiety, better described as alarm by Dr Russ Kennedy in Anxiety RX can become a shared trait with your dog.

    Even more reason to practice letting go of anxiety and stress in your life, right?

    3. Joy

    Like anxiety and stress, dogs can also smell the human experience of joy. Your dog knows when you are happy, and they know when you are happy with them.

    Researchers studying canine-human connections have found dogs can “catch” human emotions, and like children, dogs often look into their owners’ faces for clues about how to react to people and the world around them; a primitive form of empathy known as emotional contagion.

    They also experience the release of oxytocin, one of the feel-good hormones typical of human bonding. Good News Network

    4. Disease

    A seizure alert dog can pick up on a seizure up to 45 minutes before it happens in a human. This same human has no idea it's coming on until it's happened. Pretty amazing.

    There are dogs who have sniffed out medical issues that even doctors weren't aware of. Dogs can pick up on tiny changes in the human body, from a small shift in our hormones to the release of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, released by cancer cells. Researchers and dog trainers are just beginning to understand how dogs do this and how we might put them to work in being our helpers in health care. Tree Hugger

    5. Dogs don't lie

    Dogs pick up on energy and emotion before they pick up anything else. If you want to get a glimpse of what's going on in your own household... take a look at your dog. Even though in their unconditional love kind of way, they show up for you no matter what, realize you've got a mirror that reflects back the good, the bad and the ugly... and yet your dog doesn't judge any of it.

    Practice being present and grateful. Wag more. Bark less.

    You deserve a life well played and so does your dog.

    6. Calming the Chaos

    Want more joy and less stress with your dog as your co-pilot? Join me in Calming the Chaos.

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