Many people wonder: can dogs smell death? Surely most of us have heard that urban legend about dogs approaching a sick or dying person and staying with them for hours before they pass away. These are definitely dog things that for some people can not be explained.
It must also be said that the question is complex. However, the short answer is that, under certain circumstances, dogs can sense death. Some people think this is because dogs have a supernatural sense that allows them to sense positive and negative forces. Many people are even convinced that dogs can see spirits.
Is it true that dogs can smell death?
When people wonder if dogs can smell death, it is important to consider their nose. That is, a dog’s sense of smell is incredible, and thanks to their olfactory cortex, dogs can detect subtle differences in people’s body chemistry.
This means that, with their acute sense of smell, combined with their ability to detect changes in air composition, dogs can predict natural disasters as well as changes in our body composition. Just keep in mind that a dog’s nose is up to forty times more powerful and sensitive than ours.
In other words, it sounds logical that dogs can smell or sense when something is wrong with a person or another animal.
How do you know if your dog smells death?
While dogs may not have the gift or ability to sense death to the extent, or for the reasons many of us believe, the reality is that dogs have their senses heightened. This can help them not only to smell or sense an approaching natural death. It can also warn them of natural disasters and other casualties that could potentially cause death.
This can certainly be attributed to dogs’ incredible sense of smell, as well as their ability to hear better than humans. Therefore, it is possible that your dog will show some signals when it detects immediate danger, illness, or imminent death.
It is obviously very important to know what signals to look out for if your dog is trying to warn you. For example, if your dog senses illness or death in a person, or even in another dog, he will certainly pay more attention to that person or animal. You will notice that your dog sniffs and licks very often, in an attempt to heal that person or animal.
On the other hand, dog howling can also be a sign that your dog senses death. You can expect your dog to bark, howl, and vocalize, trying to get your attention to what he knows. Consequently, you should pay attention to your pet’s additional affection and melancholic behavior.
The body language of a dog that smells death.
Here are some signs that dogs can smell death, which they demonstrate through their body language:
- Droopy ears
- Dilated pupils
There are also other signs your dog may be giving you to warn you that something is wrong. For example, you may show inconsolable behavior, stay by your side all the time, or obsessively try to get your attention.
Dogs and death, a relationship centuries old.
It is said that tombs in ancient Egypt were guarded by Anubis, a jackal-headed guardian who was in charge of protecting the dead. In addition, in Persia, a dog was often placed next to the door of dying people, as a protection mechanism against evil spirits.
The Greeks also believed that, because dogs can sense death long before people, they were the perfect protectors of souls. In Mexico, for example, the Xoloitzcuintli was the dog that guided the Aztecs to the underworld or Mictlan.
Science explains why dogs can smell death.
Science has determined the reason why dogs can sense death, which depends greatly on their ability to smell. It so happens that dogs have around 300 million olfactory senses in their nose, compared to the 6 million found in a human’s nose.
Not only that, but dogs are also able to smell subtle changes in the air. This explains why, when a natural disaster is looming, dogs become very restless. They can also detect changes in our body composition.
Basically, this is why many people consider that dogs can predict death. However, it is not so much that dogs know what is happening, but rather that changes in their sense of smell cause them to worry.