Skip to content

Dogs Can Smell Stress In Humans: Study Finds

    Dogs Can Smell Stress In Humans

    Mental Health News

    Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast, the UK, provided insights into how dogs can smell stress in humans. The study is published in PLOS ONE.

    The Study

    The research team collected samples of breath and sweat from non-smokers. For the study, the participants completed a fast-paced arithmetic task and self-reported stress levels, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.

    Four trained dogs of different breeds and breed mixes were asked to sniff out and match the respective participant’s stress samples and relaxed samples in a sample line-up.

    The Findings: Dogs can smell people’s stress

    The results revealed that dogs can smell when we’re stressed or understand when we are under conditions of acute psychological stress. The authors are enthusiastic that this aspect of human-dog relationship could have applications in the training of human stress, anxiety, and PTSD service dogs which could be roped in to provide better mental health care.

    The authors added: “This study demonstrates that dogs can discriminate between the breath and sweat taken from humans before and after a stress-inducing task. This finding tells us that an acute, negative, psychological stress response alters the odor profile of our breath/sweat, and that dogs are able to detect this change in odor.

    To Know More You May Refer To

    Wilson, C., Campbell, K., Petzel, Z., & Reeve, C. (2022). Dogs can discriminate between human baseline and psychological stress condition odours. PloS one17(9), e0274143. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0274143