PRESS ESC TO CLOSE
 

Researchers Find Dogs Can Sniff Out the Coronavirus 94 Percent of the Time

Share

Dogs may serve a very important role in the current COVID-19 crisis.

Researchers in Germany trained dogs are able to sniff out the coronavirus infection 94 percent of the time, according to their study at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover.

The team borrowed eight dogs from Germany’s Armed Forces and trained them to distinguish the difference in saliva from people who are healthy and those who are infected with the virus. The sample size was more than 1,000 people.

Related: Coronavirus: How to Safely Go On a Walk With Your Dog

“We think that the dogs are able to detect a specific smell of the metabolic changes that occur in those patients,” Maren von Koeckritz-Blickwede, a professor at the university, who conducted the study, said in a YouTube video about the project, noting that the metabolic process of those who become infected with the virus completely changes.

The potential ability to sniff out COVID-19 is promising, but shouldn’t be surprising. Dogs’ noses are much stronger than ours. They have 300 million olfactory receptor cells, compared to our 5 million, making their nose 60 times stronger than ours. Because of this, dogs have been used to detect a number of conditions and diseases in people, including cancer, diabetes and even human feces in water.

The next step after this pilot study is to train the dogs to differentiate between the COVID-19 virus and other diseases, such as the flu.

Related: How Dogs Are Comforting Us During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The hope is that dogs may be able to detect those infected with COVID-19 in large public places, like airports, while also assisting laboratory testing facilities.

The study was published in BMC Infectious Diseases.

By Andrea Huspeni

Andrea Huspeni is the founder and CEO of This Dog's Life. Her mission it to help dogs live a happier, healthier and longer life. When she isn't working, she spends time with her two dogs, Lola and Milo. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

All You Need

Shop now
Loading component ...
Here's the Correct Way to Use Dry Shampoo on Your Dog, According to a Vet

Here's the Correct Way to Use Dry Shampoo on Your Dog, According to a Vet

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover: Research Casts Doubt on Stereotypes About Dog Breeds

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover: Research Casts Doubt on Stereotypes About Dog Breeds

4 Ways to Stop Your Dog From Having Itchy Skin

4 Ways to Stop Your Dog From Having Itchy Skin

Spring Cleaning: 9 Non-Toxic Dog Stain and Odor Cleaners That Get the Job Done

Spring Cleaning: 9 Non-Toxic Dog Stain and Odor Cleaners That Get the Job Done