5 Medical Conditions Dogs Can Detect In Humans

Dogs are well-known for their sense of smell. With approximately 220 million scent receptors, dogs can detect certain odors and countless scents. Cases have been recorded of dogs who have sniffed out medical conditions that even doctors were not aware of. Dogs can pick up on tiny changes in the human body, researchers and dog trainers have started to comprehend this better and are looking for ways on help mankind in health care. Here are some of the conditions dogs can smell.

Medical Conditions Dogs Can Detect In Humans


dog detect cancer
Dogs have been able to sniff out multiple types of cancer including breast cancer, skin cancer and bladder cancer. Stories have been shared by some pet owners of how their dogs were obsessed with certain parts of their bodies, only to discover during medical checkups that the dog was actually sensing cancer.
Canada Free Press wrote of an instance that occurred 28 years ago where a dog kept sniffing at a mole on the owner’s thigh, ignoring other moles in her body. One day the dog tried to bite and remove the mole, something that made her visit the hospital and have her condition checked. Successful diagnosis confirmed a malignant melanoma.
In 2006, 5 dogs were taught on how to detect cancer based on breath samples. When put to test, the dogs were able to detect breast cancer with 88% accuracy and lung cancer with 99% accuracy, across all four stages of the diseases. Researchers haven’t identified exactly what chemical compounds of the different types of cancers the dogs are sensing to alert to the existence of the disease.


Narcolepsy is a brain disorder that affects the ability to control sleep-wake cycles. Persons with this disorder fall asleep suddenly even when they are busy doing something.
Luis Dominguez-Ortega’s 2013 study found that two trained dogs detected 11 out of 12 narcolepsy patients using sweat samples. This was proof that the dogs can detect a certain distinct scent of the disorder.
The dogs are able to sense an upcoming attack five minutes before it happens, allowing the victims to prepare and get to safety in time.


Some dogs are talented in sniffing out signs that a migraine is on the way, saving the sufferer several hours of intense pain. This allows the patient to take preventive medication in good time. Here is a study conducted by Psychology Today.

Low blood sugar 

Dogs are increasingly helping diabetic patients know when the blood sugar level is dropping or spiking. The 2016 Diabetes Care study found that the dogs have the ability to detect isoprene, a natural chemical regularly found in human breath that rises significantly during episode of low blood sugar. Even though human beings are unable to sense the chemical, dogs are sensitive to it.

Fear and stress 

dogs can sense fear and stress
I guess you grew up subscribing to the belief dogs can smell fear, well it is an accurate notion. Dogs are able to smell the release of Adrenalin and cortisol, hormones our body release to respond to stressful situations. Even if you do not show it on the outward, dogs know when you are in fear and stressed.
Why is this important to you? Well, your dog can help prevent panic attacks and other episodes related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Please get yourself a pet dog if you don’t have one.
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