Dogs Can Sniff Out Stress From Their Owners’ Breath and Sweat

breath and sweat

Dogs are known stress relievers. After a long hard day, spending some time with your little dog proves to make one feel a lot better and light. It was recently discovered that dogs can smell stress in our breath and sweat.

Can these furry creatures get any better?

The Study

Acute stress alters the chemical composition of human breath and sweat. In the latest study, researchers took samples of human participants’ sweat and breath taken before and after they completed a challenging mathematical task.

36 human volunteers were given a task to count from 9000 backward out loud in units of 17, for three minutes. They took samples from the volunteers before and after solving the task and presented to the Dogs. According to the study published in the scientific article PLOS One, the dogs were able to recognize the before and after samples with 90% accuracy.

“While it is likely that in a real-life context dogs are picking up on our stress from a variety of context cues, we have shown using a laboratory study that there is a confirmed odor component that is likely contributing to dogs’ ability to sense when we feel stressed,”  said Animal Psychologist, Clara Wilson.

The dogs trained with a clicker-and-kibble method to indicate the sample in which they can sniff out stress. The study shows how strong of a sense of smell dogs possess and the way human bodies alter themselves in various situations.

Such studies prove how and why dogs are preferred for emotional support and therapy as they truly understand and detect human emotions better than any other animal. A dog can not only understand your psychological state through your behavior but also can provide companionship and relief.

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