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It’s a well known fact that dogs have better hearing and smell than us humans. Scientifically dogs can hear ~4 times better and smell ~10 times better than humans.
However, can their ability to detect things before they happen be fully attributed to their enhanced senses? Or is something else going on?
Dogs have been known throughout history to sense things before they happen, so we did some digging to find out exactly what things they can sense and how.
What Can Dogs Sense Before They Happen?
Presumably, dogs are able to sense things before they happen like natural disasters, storms, pregnancy, illnesses, mood shifts, bad vibes, and an owner’s arrival. This is theorized by their ability to feel barometric pressure, electromagnetic fields, and from their heightened smell & hearing.
It’s Important to note that there is very limited scientific data testing a dog’s ability to sense all of these things before they happen.
In this article you will find:
- 7 things dogs can sense before they happen
- If dogs can truly sense bad people or evil
- If dogs have a sixth sense and what it is
And much more.
7 Things Dog Sense Before They Happen
1. Natural Disaster
It’s thought that due to a dogs heightened sense of smell and sound, a dog is able to pick up on frequencies and smells un-noticeable by us.
This is why we have heard stories throughout humanities history of dogs fleeing areas before natural disasters occur. We even see this type of thing showcased in movies.
Animals will start fleeing areas giving the humans an indication something bad is coming.
Although it’s difficult to scientifically prove that a dog can sense natural disasters, most of us would listen to our dogs if they started to panic or head towards high ground.
Logically it makes sense that if a dog has ~10x our smelling abilities, and ~4x our hearing, they would be able to pick up on subtle vibrations, and smell changes in weather far before us.
It’s also important to note that before natural disasters occur there are noticeable odor and sound changes in the environment. Dogs, unlike humans, would be able to notice these.
For example, when earthquakes occur there are shifts in the tectonic plates beneath the ground that can cause rock crumbling before the effects reach the surface. Scientists theorize that dogs are able to pick up on this activity beneath the surface through their paws which cannot detect.
Adding to a dog’s ability to pick up on natural disasters, a dog would logically be able to pick up on storms as well.
Before a rain or thunderstorm dogs are able to pick up on shifts in the barometric pressure and changes in the electromagnetic fields. This happens even before the rain starts to fall.
Consequently, you may find your dog fearful or anxious in anticipation of a storm coming, even before you realize.
Aside from physical changes a dog can notice when someone is pregnant, dogs can also detect a change in women’s hormones.
In fact, there have been documented reports of dogs predicting the onset of labor in pregnant women. This is indicated by changes in a dog’s behavior the day before or day of onset of labor.
Some women even claim their dogs knew they were pregnant before they even knew!
4. Before You Come home
If you notice your dog is always waiting for you when you get home, your dog may have known in advance you were close.
According to NC State University, there are cues your dog receives to indicate your arrival. This could be the sound of your car pulling into the driveway or the relative time of day.
No, a dog cannot read a clock, but they do understand routines and schedules. So if you come home at the same time everyday they will be able to sense your arrival.
5. Illness Or Medical Conditions
Humans are said to give off faint odors of illness. Not to mention our energy levels and overall spirits are down when feeling really sick.
This can be subtle and unnoticeable for us, but dogs are able to detect something is off.
Many service dogs are tasked with protecting and looking out for people with medical conditions.
Dogs are particularly known for their ability to sense people’s medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, and are even able to respond before people have seizures.
It’s said that some dogs can pick up on blood sugar changes in their humans and even sniff out cancer cells.
In examples of people with diabetes, scientists have discovered dogs are detecting the chemical isoprene found in human breath during a hypoglycemic episode.
When it comes to seizures, It’s unknown how exactly a dog can pick them up, but there are a few theories. One is a dog noticing changes to their human behavior just before or after the episodes.
As time goes on they may just develop better behavior analysis. The second theory is they can pick up on a smell we are unable to identify at this point in time.
6. Mood Shifts
Dogs are experts in body language and picking up on visual cues. Thus, allowing them to predict and respond to our mood shifts.
Whether you are happy, sad, frustrated, or angry they know. Due to their keen eye and understanding of our behavior our dogs may be able to see your shifting moods, even before you have fully realized.
In addition, dogs can pick up on our stress level through smelling our sweat. As your body starts to respond to how you are feeling, there are automated processes that start up.
When stressed heart rate may increase, levels of perspiration increase, and all of these things your dog may pick up on to identify shifts in your mood.
7. An Altercation With An Ill-Intentioned Person
The last thing on our list is the sensing of danger or an ill-intentioned person. As it turns out there are many dog owners with stories where dogs protected them from “bad” people.
There are several reasons why dogs may be able to detect evil people or bad situations. The first is that dogs are able to sniff out chemical changes in pheromones from people that have bad intentions.
If you have ever been angry or mad, you know the rage that can build from within. The theory here is that a person who is aggressive, mean or “bad” by nature has that feeling at all times.
Just as a dog can perceive when something is wrong with you or when you are mad, it is the same way they would be able to detect a bad person.
The brain chemistry changes and pheromones are released from people with bad intentions. A dog can smell this causing them to react in a protective manner.
Another theory is your dog is actually responding to your increased heart rate and anxiety. Furthermore, it could be that they do have a sixth sense and are responding to an intuitive feeling.
All of these are just theories as there is no scientific way to prove this to be factual. Regardless, it’s still pretty cool that a dog can sense these things.
Can Dogs Sense Danger?
Dogs are able to detect danger before it occurs due to their incredible sense of smell and hearing. Their smell and hearing is so good they can pick up on barometric pressure and electromagnetic fields. All natural phenomena have odors and sounds associated with them which dogs can identify.
Can Dogs Sense Bad People, Evil, or Bad Vibes?
Studies suggest dogs are able to detect bad and evil people/situations and respond accordingly. There have been studies that showcase a dog’s ability to determine untrustworthy people and differentiate between someone caring and helpful versus not. Thus, providing evidence they sense bad and evil.
What Is A Dog’s Sixth Sense?
In addition to hearing, smelling, and feeling, dogs detect changes in barometric pressure or electromagnetic fields. According to an Associated Press poll, ⅔ of dog owners think their dog has a sixth sense about weather. Some also believe that dogs have a sixth sense when it comes to humans.
Can Dogs Sense Things That Aren’t There?
There is no evidence to suggest a dog can sense things that are not there. Most theories around dogs sensing things come from using their advanced sense of smell and hearing. Both of which expand beyond human smell and hearing capabilities.
Other posts you might find interesting:
The 5 Reasons Why Dogs Live Less Than Humans
Third-party social evaluations of humans by monkeys and dogs
Do dogs follow behavioral cues from an unreliable human?
5 Surprising Things Your Dog Can Sense
How Does My Dog Always Know When I’m Coming Home?