Scientists have found that dogs can recognize human stress by smell

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Scientists have found that dogs can recognize human stress by smell

As the experts say, their study sheds more light on our relationship with dogs and may improve the training of assistance dogs in recognizing people suffering from anxiety and PTSD.

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Dogs don't just use their nose to find leftover food on the counter. In fact, their nose is capable of detecting quite important information, such as family member recognition, predator identification, object recognition, orientation in the area, and, of course, foraging, writes Discover Magazine.

However, as shown A new study by scientists suggests that, thanks to their sense of smell, dogs can also tell when people are stressed based on the smells we produce. According to experts, their study sheds more light on our relationship with dogs and could improve the training of assistance dogs in recognizing people suffering from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“This study shows that dogs can distinguish between human breath and sweat before and after a stressful situation. This finding tells us that an acute negative psychological response to stress changes the odor of our breath/sweat and that dogs are able to detect this change,” they said. specialists.

Scientists have found that dogs can recognize human stress by smell

Scientists have found that dogs can recognize human stress by smell

In a broad sense, stress is a physiological and psychological reaction caused by a difficult situation that we think we are not able to overcome.

Scientists do not know of another animal species more closely associated with human society than dogs, whose domestication began 33,000 years ago. And as research shows, this close bond between dogs and humans helps with a variety of psychological conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and panic attacks.

In this particular study, the researchers wanted to know if dogs can detect stress odors. In the experiment, the dogs had to distinguish between the odor samples of both stressed and relaxed humans, as well as completely pure placebo controls.

Scientists have found that dogs can recognize human stress by smell

Scientists have found that dogs can recognize human stress by smell

The first group of people performed an arithmetic task, and then the scientists measured their heart rate and blood pressure. After the experts brought dogs in, they were able to correctly select stress samples in 94% of cases.

“This percentage was higher than expected. While the study shows that dogs can smell stress, it also shows a close connection between humans and our favorite four-legged,” the scientists concluded.