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1. Their sense of smell is at least 40x better than ours
The area of cells in the brain that detect different smells is around 40 times larger in dogs than humans. This means that your dog can pick up on way more smells than we ever could. This is why dogs are often used to sniff out people, drugs and even money!
In fact, a number of our own hero hounds were awarded PDSA medals for their noses! Arms and explosives search dog Buster (pictured above) was awarded his PDSA Dickin Medal in 2003 for his remarkable service in Iraq – he located a large amount of weapons and explosives linked to an extremist group, saving the lives of many civilians and service personnel.
. Some have such good noses they can sniff out medical problems
Yup, medical detection dogs are a thing. Because their sense of smell is so great, some dogs can be trained to sniff out medical conditions. They are used to diagnose a particular condition or to alert their owners if they need more medication. Some are even being trained to sniff out Covid-19!
One of these incredible dogs is Medical Detection Dog Pal (pictured above), who was awarded the PDSA Order of Merit. Pal played a vital role in diabetic owner Claire’s life by alerting her of changes in her blood sugar. If not caught in time, these changes could have killed her. 3. Dogs can sniff at the same time as breathing
Dogs rely a lot on their sense of smell to find food, potential dangers, and friends, so needless to say they sniff a lot. Their noses are designed so smells can stay in their nose while air can move in and out of their lungs at the same time, which means they can breathe freely and still work out what that smell is!