It is now confirmed that dogs can detect when people are dying or grieving by body language cues and smells. Dogs also know how to comfort people by sniffing out cancers and will instinctively comfort people not only when those people are facing death, but also at other difficult times like depression or job loss. Soldiers with PTSD are often comforted by dogs.
Have you experienced a dog instinctively knowing if someone is very ill, dying or otherwise struggling and what did that dog do?
Jessica Vogelsang is a veterinarian, the director of Paws into Grace in Southern California and author of All Dogs go to Kevin: Everything Three Dogs Taught Me (that I didn’t learn in veterinary school).