COVID Sniffing Dogs To Accompany Metallica and Black Keys On Tour

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
A pack of dogs trained to sniff out COVID variants helps musicians stay safe while touring – proving once again, that dogs really are a man’s best friend.

Thanks to their powerful noses, canines can sniff out anything from bombs to diseases, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that there are specially trained dogs whose sole job is to detect COVID infection in people. By relying on their sense of smell, COVID detection dogs can identify biomarkers associated with the coronavirus and alert their handlers if a person they sniffed out is positive. And at an impressive 97.5% accuracy rate, too, according to a double-blind study conducted at Florida International University. It’s easy to see why their unique skills come in super handy these days – who wouldn’t prefer being sniffed by a doggo to a stick up their nose?

A pack of these super sniffing doggos is to accompany Metallica and Black key on tour to help keep musicians and their crew safe – they are tasked with screening the crew that travels with the artist, and any local worker at each venue that assists with load-in and load-out of the show, or in other words, anyone with access to the backstage. Of course, it’s not all work and no play for these canines – the dogs stay in luxury hotels and sometimes even get to ride on the tour bus, living that rock n roll lifestyle when they’re not sniffing out COVID. Add to that the fact that their services can cost as much as $5,000 per day for an individual event, and you’ve got yourself some prized pooches.

But how does it work? COVID sniffing dogs can screen up to 200 people each hour, and they detect the virus by sniffing hands or feet, as the sweat glands located in these body parts can alert them to the presence of the virus in the body. Once the dogs sniff out an infection, they’d sit in front of that person. However, new COVID variants bring new challenges, and it’s the same in this line of canine work. Omicron is more contained in the bronchial tube than it is in the lungs (which would then lead to sweat glands), so instead of sniffing hands and feet, these dogs are now sniffing used masks to ascertain if someone is infected with COVID.

With their high accuracy rate and irresistible charm, it doesn’t take much to see why COVID sniffing dogs could become more and more commonly used at events – these skillful canines have already worked with NASCAR and NBA’s Miami Heat, which employed the dogs to screen fans when games resumed at the FTX Arena. Keeping people safe – one sniff at a time!

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

More by Angela Vuckovic