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Would You Let a Dog Smell Your Urine — So You Could Board a Flight?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Most of us have seen (or maybe examined by) scent-detecting dogs at airports. These pooches search for drugs, bombs, and other contraband (like fruit!).

But a study at the University of Pennsylvania’s veterinary school reveals dogs trained to detect COVID-19 in human urine are scoring impressive numbers: a 95% success rate.

“My thought would be screening of people, say, in the airport or people going into a stadium or even people coming back to school,” Dr. Cynthia Otto of Penn Vet told NBC News.

Another study determined dogs can smell COVID-19 in human armpit sweat.

In general, COVID-19 sniffing dogs sound like a great plan — especially because they’re faster and more reliable than what’s available now in terms of detection.

“We wish we had a fast and accurate test on the market, but that’s not the case,” said Dr. Shira Doron, an infectious disease physician and hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center.

Well, it seems we now may have something that’s fast and accurate! (And very cute, too!)

(©iStock.com/Dragos Cojocari)

Would You Provide a Urine Sample to Prove You’re COVID-Free — So You Can Fly?

My first thought is there would need to be a lot of toilets installed at airports for this to work. But barring that, I’d provide a sample if it meant I could get on a plane. And while 95% accuracy is 5% below optimal, it certainly seems better than what’s available right now to medical professionals.

What do you think? Would you let a dog smell your urine so you could fly? Please tell us your thoughts in the below Comments section! (And remember this isn’t a political blog. So don’t get pissy. 😉 )

— Chris

Featured image: ©iStock.com/ChiccoDodiFC

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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6 Comments

  1. You could just pee on the TSA and then let the dog smell them! No, seriously, this was a proof of concept. The next step is to take a t-shirt that Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 subjects have worn all day and see if the positive detection rate (95%) is the same as urine (in this case the dog is targeting on the odor of sweat).

  2. Hello Chris. Historically dogs have been used to detect the scents of certain infections before advanced testing was available. My friend once got called out by a dog for having an APPLE from the plane coming from Vienna into the USA.
    Quite amazing! Our 4 legged friends have amazing qualities. And they don’t stick their noses into politics- which is the dirtiest place of all!
    Why and how do you think the saying dog is mans best friend has endured for so long?
    I absolutely would pee into a vial for an small assurance my flight would have increased safety!
    I do hope this can be used successfully!

  3. Israel did a project where Dogs could pick out the cancer positive tests from peoples cells!!

  4. Novel idea… it’ll be far cheaper than testing. Now, they just have to push their testing accuracy to the 98-99%.

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