Can dogs sense pain?
One amazing thing about dogs is their ability always to be there when we’re feeling a little down.
When you’re sick, you can always count on them for comfort.
It’s like they know you need a little bit of happiness.
But does this come from them sensing your pain? Or is it something else?
Read on to find the answer!
Can Dogs Sense Pain?
The simple answer is yes. See, dogs have an incredible sense of smell that allows them to sense things like their owner in pain. In fact, certain breeds can have up to 40 or 50 times the smell receptors than humans. Crazy, right?
With these smell receptors, a dog’s sense of smell is 100,000 times stronger than a human’s. And they use this to detect little changes in their owner’s body chemistry. So, when you’re feeling low, don’t be surprised by your dog’s need to cuddle.
And pain isn’t the only thing a dog’s intuitive nature allows them to detect about their owners! Read on for other changes our dogs sense within us!
Ever notice your dog’s mood often will mimic your own? Well, their keen sense of intuition allows them to understand what you’re feeling. So, when you’re stressed, they’re stressed. If you’re happy, they’ll be happy.
Honestly, this is what makes a dog the best friend you could ever have; they’re always going to know exactly how you’re feeling, and how to make you feel better.
According to a 2016 study, dogs can understand human emotions by, “extract[ing] and integrat[ing] bimodal sensory emotional information, and discriminat[ing] between positive and negative emotions from both humans and dogs.”
In other words, dogs use their multitude of senses to compile information about your mood. By doing so, it allows them to understand what you’re feeling. This ability also lends itself useful in interactions with other dogs.
Related: 10 Effective Ways to Treat Dog Depression
2. Your Focus
Dogs can use this intuition for other good things, but sometimes they’ll use it for their own gain. They can tell when you’re not paying attention to them. In doing so, they’ll strategically plan on doing bad behaviors when you’re looking away.
For example, let’s say you leave a sandwich on the table and walk away for a minute. Your dog will notice your focus is elsewhere and try to steal your lunch. You know, get a quick extra snack from right under your nose.
Dogs aren’t stupid. They know what they’re doing. So, make sure you keep your next sandwich in a high enough place where they can’t reach. If you don’t, the moment your focus shifts to something else, it will be snack time for your pup.
In the end, don’t underestimate your pup’s ability to use their great intuition for their own means.
Related: Do Dogs Do Things to Get Back at You?
3. Cancer and Other Diseases
I know, we already discussed your dog’s ability to sense when you’re in pain. But, they also have a unique capability to determine if a person is sick. I mean, they can be trained to identify a person who has cancer.
In fact, there have been several studies dedicated to observing a dog’s cancer identifying capabilities. For example, this 2014 study determined that a trained dog could detect cancer cells in a prostate cancer patient’s urine sample 98% of the time.
And it’s not just cancer dogs can detect. This study from 2013 concluded dogs could identify 11 of 12 narcolepsy patients from sweat samples. I wonder, what diseases your pup could sniff out given the proper training?
Related: Food Therapy and Cancer – Give Your Dog an Edge
4. Low Blood Sugar
When dogs sniff people, the results are often embarrassing. But a highly-trained service dog’s nose can save a life! #servicedogs #type1diabetes #canine #diabetes #hyperinsulinism #diabetes #diabetesservicedog #ewabeach #hawaii #madisonvirginia #wheretofindadiabetesservicedog #howtogetadiabetesservicedog #americandiabetesassocation #abilitycorps #abilityjobs
For obvious reasons, a dog being able to detect low blood sugar would be extremely helpful for a diabetic owner. And they’ve been put to use in this capacity around the world.
See, a study in 2016 found that dogs can identify low blood sugar by detecting a chemical called isoprene; this chemical is found in human breath and increases when you have low blood sugar.
Due to this, service dogs have been trained to signal their owners by licking their hands or whining when blood sugar is low. Honestly, it’s a beneficial skill for a dog to have, especially, if their owner is sometimes forgetful.
Due to the various amounts of changes women go through during pregnancy, it’s no surprise your dog might start acting differently. They might become more protective or more seeking of your attention. Check out this neat video that explains how dogs sense pregnancy!
Realistically, the reaction is different for each dog. It will depend on the environment and the temperament of your particular dog. However, there are things you can do to make this transition smoother: pay more attention to them or invest in some training classes.
Overall, it’s about making them feel comfortable about these changes. After all, the changes pregnancy provide are very significant and aren’t the easiest for them to handle. So, it’s essential you make an effort to keep them from feeling uneasy.
Your dog ever growl at another person for absolutely no reason? Well, it ’s because they don’t trust them. In fact, dogs are notorious for being great judges of character.
For example, a study done in Japan tested 34 dogs by having people point to containers where food was hidden. They did this through three rounds of pointing.
In round 1, the pointer would point to the container with the food effectively gaining the dog’s trust. For round 2, a person would point to an empty container. Then, with round 3, they would return to the food container.
Well, the results concluded the dogs didn’t react to the pointing in round 3. They quickly decided the person pointing was deemed untrustworthy. It’s good to know your furry friend got a handle on who’s worth trusting.
Related: How to Earn a Dog’s Trust (Even If They Were Abused or Neglected)
Your Next Move
Dogs pick up on patterns remarkably quick. Their intuition allows them to know when vet visits, baths, or nail clippings are coming. This intuition alerts them and enables them to hide from you.
In these times of high stress, encouragement can go a long way in retrieving them from under the bed. Let’s be honest; you wouldn’t like being shuttled into the car and driving to a place where the poke/proud you with needles either.
So, don’t blame them for hiding under the bed. If your instincts hinted toward something bad happening, you’d avoid it at all costs too.
With all these incredible abilities, it’s no wonder dogs embody the ideal best friend for any person.
What do you think? Can your dogs sense pain and other changes in your body? Share your experiences below!