Dogs have a new superpower: Sniffing out PTSD flashbacks from human breath before they strike!

A new study reveals that dogs can smell post-traumatic stress disorder from human breath before they happen.

Dogs don’t just sniff out the last meal you ate, they can also smell post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) flashbacks before they hit!

recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Allergy revealed that scientists from Dalhousie University in Canada trained 25 dogs to sniff a person’s breath while they were recalling traumatic memories.

To arrive at such a conclusion, the researchers collected multiple breath samples from participants to compare times when they were calm versus when they were deep in their trauma. Turns out, everyone has a unique “scent profile” of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that’s detectable in breath and sweat.

Two of the dogs in the study nailed it. They detected stress-related VOCs on participants’ face masks with up to 90% accuracy, revealing dogs’ impressive sniffing skills.

While dogs are already trained to help people with PTSD, this study paves the way to more effective PTSD management in humans, according to the researchers.

“PTSD service dogs are already trained to assist people during episodes of distress,” stated Laura Kiiroja, the main author of the study from the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in a New York Post report.

“However, dogs are currently trained to respond to behavioral and physical cues. Our study showed that at least some dogs can also detect these episodes via breath,” she pointed out.