Which diseases can a dog learn to detect? Here is the list!

diseases dogs can detect
Dogs can detect many diseases. ©DanaTentis, Pixabay

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell. Scientists believe that they are able to detect serious diseases faster than conventional testing.

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The canine sense of smell is unique and impressive. Dogs work in a wide variety of highly professional jobs (like drug-searching or bomb-squad) due to this uncanny ability. Over the years, experts proved that dogs can also detect when a person has a disease like Diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. Here you have the explanation.

Diseases that dogs can detect!

Here you have a list of the most serious diseases that a dog can detect with his sense of smell.


Recently, a team of experts showed that dogs can tell from sniffing someone’s socks whether they had malaria. Impressive isn’t it? But true! After several months of training, a Labrador could tell if a child had the disease or not.

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Likewise, dogs can detect if the blood sugar levels of diabetics are dangerously high or low. Furthermore, a charity called Hypo Hounds is training dogs to smell body changes on their owner’s breath or sweat. Pets detect it faster than a glucose monitor.

Prostate cancer

Back in 2015, a team of Italian researchers trained two German shepherds to detect chemicals associated with prostate cancer in urine. The dogs had a 90% rate of success. This was a major success since the standard PSA blood test is not reliable enough on screen.

Breast cancer

Buckinghamshire healthcare NHS trains dogs to detect breast cancer from a woman’s breath. If fully accomplished, it would mean a huge breakthrough since women over 50 are screened only once every three years due to the side effects of the exposure to radiation.

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Parkinson’s disease

A team of scientists at Manchester University are training dogs to detect Parkinson’s disease before symptoms emerge! This hypothesis is inspired by the work of a human ‘super-sniffer’ who detected changes in people’s odour six years before getting the disease.

Read also: 5 dog breeds that get along with cats

My name is Daniel Gala. I live in Edmonton, Canada. I am a home-based journalist. Even though writing is what I do for a living, it is one of my truest hobbies right next to reading books from my favourite authors (John Grisham, Dan Brown, J.K Rowling), and taking pictures of my surroundings. I am a dog lover since I was 5 years old when I got my first puppy: the cutest husky in the whole earth called Shani.