DOGS

Does the dog understand if we are sick? A study reveals this

Our faithful friends dogs may have an extraordinary ability: to understand when we are sick.

According to Dr Mary Burch, animal behaviourist and director of the AKC Family Dog programme, dogs possess exceptional abilities that could allow them to detect chemical changes in the human body caused by illness.

A study has revealed interesting details about this extraordinary canine ability, which we explore in this photogallery, to explain how dogs can understand the health status of their human companions and how this can have significant implications in the medical and veterinary fields.

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Does the dog understand if we are sick? A study reveals this
Our faithful friends dogs may have an extraordinary ability: to understand when we are sick. According to Dr Mary Burch, animal behaviourist and director of the AKC Family Dog programme, dogs possess exceptional abilities that could allow them to detect chemical changes in the human body caused by illness. A study has revealed interesting details about this extraordinary canine ability, which we explore in this photogallery, to explain how dogs can understand the health status of their human companions and how this can have significant implications in the medical and veterinary fields.
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Human emotions
Dogs have the ability to read human emotions, to understand the mood by listening to the tone of voice. In addition, dogs are able to match the tone of voice to the facial expression, so that they have a very clear idea of our state of mind. In this way, dogs can deduce implicit information from human emotional expressions, as reported in a study published on springer.com.
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Body language and changes in routine
Dogs can understand body language and changes in routine. In fact, the dog learns every step of its owner's daily routine, and if this changes, the dog notices: if, for example, the owner stays in bed during the afternoon, and is not used to doing so, then it is highly likely that the dog senses that something is wrong.
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Smell
Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell, to the extent that they are able to 'sniff out' the smell of illness: the human body gives off odours that are fairly easy for a dog to detect. Dogs are familiar with their owner's smell, and if this changes as a result of an illness, they are very likely to be able to detect it. For example, dogs are able to detect if their diabetic owner's blood glucose levels are low, and this is possible due to changes in volatile organic compounds in their owner's exhaled breath.
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Solidarity and love
Dogs are not only able to recognise if their owner is ill, but solidarity also makes these wonderful animals try to comfort him or her. In some situations it is a spontaneous gesture, in other situations dogs do this because they are used to receiving rewards and rewards in exchange for cuddles and attention. In any case, it is fortunate that dogs exist.
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