Can pets sense you’re ill?

Have you ever noticed how your pets seem to stick around you and try and comfort you when you are sick? Whether it’s a small cold, fever, or something more serious, your pet always seems to know and ready to shower you with face licks. But how exactly do they know this? Is it your changed behaviour or something else that clues them in?

Dogs, for instance, have an unbelievable sense of smell. Depending on their breed, dogs have anywhere from 125 to 300 million scent receptors. Compare this to humans who have only 5 million scent receptors and you’ll understand why they can detect so much so easily. We are all well aware of how they also have an acute and accurate level of awareness of the types of energy surrounding them. That is why they can detect many types of illnesses including epileptic seizures and even certain types of cancer.

According to some theories, the modern dog’s ancestral grey wolf’s pack survival depended upon the necessity to know which member of the pack was sick. That is also probably how they got this uncanny superpower.

This sense of smell and awareness is not just limited to dogs. Your cats, too, have the ability to detect ailments and diseases. They have an acute sense of smell and have the ability to sniff out a chemical change in the body caused by a disease. Plus, both dogs and cats can sense change mood and behaviour that affects a person’s daily routine.

Don’t believe us? Well, there is an actual story of a cat called Oscar, that resides at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in Rhode Island in the United States. The cat gained fame by apparently predicting the deaths of twenty-five residents of the home. The cat who is generally quite aloof, was all of a sudden seen curling up affectionately against certain elderly humans, who then passed away shortly afterwards.

With dogs, research has shown that they can recognize our facial expressions. An experiment recommended by VCA Hospitals will prove this. You can try it out as well. Sit facing your dog and break out a huge smile. Your dog will probably relax his ears and wag his tail. Next make a frown and furrow your brow. Your dog will likely respond to this stern look by backing up a bit and looking guilty.

The next time you or someone in your family falls sick, make a note of how your pets behave around them, and you’ll see the difference!

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