15 Superpowers That Dogs Really Have

Filed in Dog Health on September 3, 2020

15 Superpowers that Dogs Really HaveAs dog lovers, we already know that dogs are amazing.

They provide us with unconditional love and so much joy in our lives.

But dogs aren’t just the perfect companions; they are capable of doing many incredible things that we humans cannot.

Let’s discover 15 superpowers that dogs really have!

1. Dogs can see in the dark.

Dogs can see in the dark

According to a professor of ophthalmology at UW Madison, dogs are able to see in lighting conditions five times dimmer than what humans are able to see in.

This is because dogs’ eyes have more light-sensitive cells called rods than humans’ eyes do.

Not only that, the dog’s eye also has a structure called a tapetum which reflects light, allowing the retina a second chance to process it.

The tapetum is what makes dogs’ eyes glow in the dark.

2. Dogs can sense the earth’s magnetic field.

Dogs can sense earth's magnetic field

Researchers originally noticed this ability by observing that dogs frequently faced north or south while doing their business.

Recent studies suggest that dogs can also use this sense to help them navigate.

3. Dogs can detect a number of health problems including cancer, malaria, and COVID-19.

Dogs can detect health problems

Dogs’ noses are incredible. In fact, their sense of smell is believed to be between 10,000 and 100,000 times better than ours!

Because of this, they can detect many different health issues with their noses.

There is evidence they can detect cancer, malaria, and COVID-19, and even alert diabetes patients when their blood sugar is low.

4. Dogs can detect seizures before they happen.

Dogs can detect seizures

Also thanks to their keen sense of smell, dogs are able to detect seizures up to 45 minutes before they occur.

Service dogs are trained to alert their owners when they sense an oncoming attack.

This allows seizure patients to take precautions like taking medication or moving to an area where they are less likely to become injured during the seizure.

5. Dogs can smell emotions such as happiness and fear.

Dogs can smell emotions

A study tested dogs’ ability to sense different emotions by having them smell the sweat from both fearful and happy people.

When the dogs smelled the fearful sweat, their heart rates increased and they appeared to be stressed.

When they smelled the happy sweat, they did not show any signs of distress and seemed more interested in approaching the happily sweating stranger.

6. Dogs can reduce stress.

Dogs can reduce stress

Studies have found that spending just 10 minutes with a dog can reduce stress.

In fact, the stress hormone, cortisol, decreases significantly after positive interactions with dogs.

7. Dogs can help reduce symptoms of ADHD in children.

Dogs can reduce ADHD in children

Research has found that dogs have a positive effect on children with ADHD.

In one study, two groups of children received therapy, but only one group had a trained canine assistant present during sessions.

The group with the dog present showed a greater reduction in the severity of ADHD symptoms than the group without a therapy dog.

8. Dogs can sense when a storm is on its way.

Dogs can detect drops in atmospheric pressure

Many people believe dogs can predict bad weather, but dogs don’t actually have such foresight.

Instead, dogs can sense when atmospheric pressure decreases, which always happens before a storm.

Additionally, dogs can hear thunder long before humans can hear it.

My dog will actually shake before a storm almost every time.

9. Dogs can detect explosives.

Dogs can detect explosives

Another amazing thing dogs can do with their noses is find hidden bombs. After 9/11, the demand for bomb dogs grew significantly.

Now, bomb dogs are used by police departments and airports.

They are often employed before large events to ensure safety.

Bomb dogs have also become an incredible asset in wars.

They are currently being used by army units in Iraq and Afghanistan to detect explosive devices.

10. Dogs can hear sounds humans can’t.

Dogs can hear sounds that humans cannot

Compared to us humans, dogs have incredible hearing.

To put things into perspective, human adults can hear frequencies up to about 20,000 Hertz (Hz).

Dogs, on the other hand, can hear between 47,000 to 65,000 Hz. This means they can hear sounds pitched significantly higher than what we’re able to hear.

And it’s not just high-pitched sounds; dogs can also hear much quieter sounds than we can.

Dogs can hear sounds as quiet as -15 decibels (dB).

That’s right, it’s in the negatives! That’s because decibels are based on what humans can and can’t hear, and we cannot hear anything below 0 dB.

11. Dogs can sniff out drugs and other contraband.

Dogs can detect drugs

Called “detection dogs,” these dogs are trained to find drugs, invasive insects, banned produce, and other illegal items.

Detection dogs are often seen at airports, and they are trained to sit, lie-down, or bark when they detect something.

12. The fastest dogs can reach speeds greater than 35 miles per hour.

Dog running on the beach

We all know that dogs are faster than we are, but did you know that the average dog can run 19 mph? That’s pretty fast!

Greyhounds are even more amazing.

Being the quickest of dog breeds, they can keep a consistent speed of 35 to 40 mph for 7 miles.

When it comes to distance running, they are possibly the fastest mammals on land.

13. Some dogs, especially Bloodhounds, can follow scent trails that are over 300 hours old.

Bloodhounds can follow scent trails

This capability makes dogs the perfect candidates for tracking criminals or leading rescue efforts for missing people.

Bloodhounds, in particular, excel at this as scent tracking is instinctual for them.

In fact, Bloodhounds have followed scent trails up to 130 miles long.

14. Dogs can smell things that are underwater.

Dogs can smell underwater

It may seem impossible to smell things that have sunk beneath the water’s surface, but it’s actually not — not for dogs, at least.

Dogs that are used to find things underwater are referred to as cadaver dogs because they are typically searching for dead bodies.

These dogs can accurately detect bodies in water as deep as 50 feet!

15. Dogs can detect objects with their whiskers through changes in air currents.

Dogs can detect air currents

Whiskers act like radar sensors for dogs and are as sensitive as a human’s fingertips.

When air passes by, the sensitive hair vibrates and stimulates the nerves in the hair follicle.

This provides dogs with information about the shape, size, and speed of nearby objects.

Dogs’ close-up vision isn’t so good, so their whiskers help them detect nearby objects that would be difficult to locate with vision alone.

In Summary

Dogs are literally four-legged superheroes!

They help us humans in so many different ways.

From stress reduction to disease identification, dogs truly are a great gift to us all.

Please share this article to spread the word on the amazing superpowers of dogs.

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