However, a dog's intuition goes beyond their nose and training. Some people say they have a sixth sense – sometimes they feel things BEFORE they even happen. Psychics? Maybe. Let's take a look at a few of the things that our dogs can sense before they even happen.
The oldest records of dogs warning us of seismic activities date back from Ancient Greece, when dogs started to flee the city of Helike just hours before a terrible earthquake took place. More recent records include pet dogs in China beginning to act restless before earthquakes occur.
How is this possible? Some scientists argue that dogs' hearing is so sensitive that they can actually hear movement under ground before we feel it. Others believe they are much more sensitive to the vibrations than we are, and therefore feel the movement before it becomes apparent to us.
Whatever the reason, if you live in a highly seismic area and your dog starts to act strange, be aware he may be trying to tell you something!
You may not know a storm is headed your way – but your dog will! Large storms can create electromagnetic fields that dogs can sense long before the storm reaches you. With their extremely sensitive sense of hearing and smell, dogs can also hear thunder and detect the presence of rain from miles away!
If your dog seems tense and you see the sky turning stormy, be prepared! Some dogs are terrified of thunder.
A human's natural scent changes slightly when they are suffering from a disease, such as cancer or diabetes. Since dogs have a sense of smell 40 times superior to ours, they are able to detect these smells which are otherwise imperceptible to humans. For this reason, some dogs are trained as medical detection dogs. They are able to help doctors accurately diagnose their patients long before any medical test would.
But even dogs who haven't been trained specifically for this purpose are able to expose illnesses in their humans. For instance, Charlie the Staffie detected breast cancer in her owner and caught it early enough that her human was able to get treatment and be cured! Sierra the Husky was also able to detect cancer in her human's body on 4 separate occasions – every time revealing the disease before the doctors did themselves!
If your dog starts to smell you in a specific area time and time again, don’t waste any time and go see a doctor immediately!
4. Epileptic seizures
Again, this has to do with dogs' highly developed sense of smell. When humans suffer from epileptic seizures, they release specific odour molecules (both during and prior to an attack), which can be detected by dogs up to 45 minutes before a seizure occurs.
Some service dogs are trained for this specific purpose, and will warn their owners (and the people around them) of an upcoming seizure in time for them to get to safety or to medicate.
There have been hundreds of stories of dogs staying by their pregnant humans' side, and especially during the 48 hours preceding a birth. This again has to do with odour changes due to the body's hormonal shifts. But of course, it could also be that dogs are so close to their humans that they can sense emotional changes too.
In any case, if you're heavily pregnant and your dog won’t leave you alone, take the hint!
Dogs are certainly our everyday superheroes – we are so grateful we have them by our sides!