Hogs are fascinating, and their remarkable sense of smell is no small part of why that is.

These domesticated pigs are highly intelligent and socially complex animals that have been bred for thousands of years for their delicious meat, versatile hide, and, believe it or not, their sharp sense of smell (one of the sharpest among domesticated animals).

This often leads people to wonder just how good a hog’s sense of smell is, or how capable these animals are at picking up our scent. So

Can Hogs Smell Humans?

Yes, hogs are perfectly capable of smelling human scent. Hogs have one of the most acute senses of smell out of all domesticated animals.

As such, they are perfectly able to detect and ascertain a very wide range of smells, odors, and aromas, including, of course, the smell of humans.

A hog’s olfactory system is highly specialized, with a surprisingly large number of scent receptors located along their sizable snouts. This feature is the result of evolutionary pressure and gives hogs the ability to easily find food, avoid potential dangers (such as human hunters), and navigate their surroundings.

As a result, a hogs nose can detect the unique combination of volatile organic compounds released by human sweat, and other bodily fluids such as urine, etc. They can also easily detect the aroma of human-made products such as soap, deodorant, and perfumes. This means that hogs can follow human scent trails for a surprisingly large number of miles, and they can detect human presence from a distance of several hundred yards.

This incredible ability means that if you plan to be around hogs, you should be aware of their sensitivity to your smell and take precautions to avoid disturbing or unnecessarily alarming them.

How Good Is A Hogs Sense Of Smell?

How Good Is A Hog’s Sense Of Smell?

A hog’s sense of smell is so good, that they can detect odors that are just not detectable to humans, and they are able to identify and distinguish between different odors with truly remarkable accuracy.

Hogs have an extraordinary ability to detect and track scent trails, and their sense of smell is highly developed. They can detect odors that are not detectable by humans, and they can distinguish between different scents with remarkable accuracy. This makes them highly effective at finding food, detecting predators, and identifying other hogs.

Here are a few examples that illustrate just how sophisticated a hog’s good sense of smell is

How Humans Use A The Hog’s Incredible Sense Of Smell

Bomb/Drug Sniffing

Hogs have been trained to detect illegal drugs and residue from hidden explosives, and due to their exceptional sense of smell, they have enjoyed a great degree of success.

These materials, which are almost always undetectable by the human sense of smell, represent a clear and present danger to the public interest, and, as such, law enforcement and military security personnel greatly value hogs for their sense of smell alone.

Truffle Hunting

Hogs have been an integral part of truffle hunting for centuries.

These expensive, highly prized mushrooms grow underground, typically next to the roots of oak, hazel, and beech trees. And one of their most characteristic qualities is their strong and distinctive scent, which hogs coincidentally find irresistible.

Hogs are used to “hunt” for truffles because thanks to their incredible sense of smell they can detect the scent of truffles that are buried several inches underground and completely hidden from sight.

a pig sniffing for truffles

Detecting Medical Conditions

Hogs have been used to detect certain medical conditions in humans, with some degree of success.

Some human diseases, such as cancer, produce certain chemical byproducts that can be detected via smell. For example, bladder cancer produces a change in the normal smell of the patient’s urine. While this change remains undetectable to humans, hogs can detect the difference thanks to their strong sense of smell.

Locating Invasive Species

Invasive species, like the destructive Japanese Beetle, often leave a scent trail in the wild. Animals with a highly developed sense of smell, like dogs and hogs, can detect and locate the source of these smells, thus allowing scientists and researchers to track the source and extent of the infestation.

Overall, hogs have a highly developed and surprisingly sophisticated sense of smell that is far more capable than any of the human senses.

So, in case you are wondering whether a hog can smell you, the answer is yes, they can. They can smell you so well that they can do so from hundreds of yards away and once they pick up your scent, they can track it for a long time.