Dogs are able to smell when a person is stressed, because the physiological processes associated with the acute psychological stress response produce changes in human breathing and sweating that are taken up by these animals.
Researchers from Queen’s University in the United Kingdom have concluded that dogs are able to detect these physical cues with an accuracy of 93.75 percent, and today they publish the results of their work in the journal Science. one more.
Because of dogs’ exceptional sense of smell, their close history of domestication with humans, and their use to support human psychological conditions such as anxiety, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), researchers wondered whether dogs Can sense chemical signals to respond to the psychological states of their owners; He concluded yes.
To do this, they collected breath and sweat samples from non-smokers who had not recently eaten or drank before and after a fast-paced arithmetic task, and some objective physiological measures, such as heart rate. Or check stress levels by blood pressure.
Those who showed more stress with those tasks experienced an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, and dogs—different breeds and mixes of breeds—were able to distinguish samples from those that showed this. during the test.
The authors, after confirming how dogs detect odors associated with stressful situations, have emphasized that this finding, in addition to delving into the relationship between humans and dogs, is important for training dogs. There may be important applications that are able to help people with anxiety or post-traumatic stress. disorders.