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Medical Detection Dogs training to detect COVID-19

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The Royal Canin Foundation is helping to fund ground-breaking research by the UK charity Medical Detection Dogs, which could play a vital role in preventing further spread of the pandemic in future.

The project will train dogs to sniff out COVID-19 in people, even when they display no symptoms. The specially trained dogs could be deployed to any public space to provide rapid, non-invasive screening for COVID-19 of up to 250 people per hour – to supplement ongoing testing. This would be a valuable early warning system for those that may be unaware that they need to self isolate.

The Medical Detection Dogs research is just one of five projects from around the world that will receive a share of the US $1 million fund from the newly created Royal Canin Foundation this year. The Royal Canin Foundation has three focus areas: the health and welfare of working dogs, pets in support of medical health and pets in support of human mental health. 

Medical Detection Dogs is at the forefront of innovative research into dogs’ ability to detect the smell of human diseases and save lives. The charity is working in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Durham University on the COVID-19 project.

Suzy Roffey, Professional National Sales Manager, said: “At Royal Canin, we believe that pets make our lives better and that is why our purpose is to the Make A Better World for Pets. The Royal Canin Foundation is a fantastic program that enables us to live our purpose by providing funds to projects that support the positive role of pets in human health and welfare. The nomination for Medical Detection Dogs, COVID Research was submitted by Royal Canin Associates and every Associate is given the opportunity to vote for those that they believe should be supported by the Foundation. We were ecstatic that the nomination won the vote and extremely proud of the ongoing work we do in partnership with the organisation.”

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