Considerable Canines

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Cambria McCalla

More stories from Cambria McCalla

Service dog prepared to work. Photo by Service Dogs For Heroes.

Service dog prepared to work. Photo by Service Dogs For Heroes.

In recent years, man’s best friend has acquired some high profile side jobs. Dogs have been incorporated into every aspect of our lives, our hospitals, police force, and military. Studies show that a canine’s 300 million scent receptors have the ability to sniff out cancer. This phenomenon has been mentioned in literary works such as The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, and have made headlines as an increasing number of owners are saved by the noses of their canine companions. According to Medical Today, “Dogs have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell that can detect the odor signatures of various types of cancer. Among others, they can detect colon cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma by sniffing people’s skin, bodily fluids, or breath.”

Cancer Sniffing Dog Identifying Samples

Dogs have worked their way into forms of active duty, including the police force and military. Canines have revolutionized military bomb detection and easily navigate at night due to their tapetum lucidum, allowing them to have “night vision” and adding an extra kick to their already impressive skill set. The typical airport is littered with canine members of the police force to ensure no illegal drugs or contraband are being transported.

Military Dog And Her Officer

Dogs are long-standing members within the common household with 73% of pet owners having at least one dog. The innate bond between owner and pet is strong as ever with research showing that a yawn between human and dog contagious. In fact, a yawn is four times more likely to occur if between pet and owner than between two humans or a dog and random person. The calming sensations felt when petting your puppy is not in your head! In fact, both human and canine blood pressures decrease when petting. This symbiotic relationship explains the dramatic rise in emotional support dogs within high-stress areas such as schools and the workplace. In short, not only are dogs man’s best friends but they protect us from physical and biological threats and are adorable while doing it!

Citations

Akc. “25 Fun and Fascinating Dog Facts – American Kennel Club.” American Kennel Club, 4 Mar. 2016, www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/dog-facts/.

Silva, Joana Cavaco. “Can Dogs Smell Cancer in Humans? Research and Diagnosis.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323620.php.

Gallup, Inc. “Americans and Their Pets.” Gallup.com, 21 Dec. 2006, news.gallup.com/poll/25969/americans-their-pets.aspx.

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