Can Dogs Sense Pregnancy Even Before You Know?

Can Dogs Sense Pregnancy Even Before You Know?

Dogs are not only our best buddies who bring immense happiness into our lives but our fur buddies are also blessed with an astounding sense of smell! Their exceptional sense of smell is no surprise, and they are equally good at understanding human behaviour and body language, but there has been some evidence that states that your dog may sense your pregnancy even before you know it! Dogs are adorable creatures and are also well aware of their surroundings and observant about people around them, but can dogs tell if you are pregnant? Well, let us find out more about this!

How Soon Can a Dog Detect That You Are Pregnant?

Well, it is not exactly known how soon dogs can sense pregnancy because we do not know what goes by your pooch’s cute wet nose! Well, your dog may sense changes going on in your body but he may not know the exact reason for the same. And it is natural for your pooch to sense behavioral and physical changes happening in your pregnancy because they are very sensitive in studying subtle changes in movements and behavior. But it may be difficult to establish how they may behave towards your pregnancy. While some may become more affectionate and protective, some may become indifferent and there may be some who may become fearful about the whole situation.

What Gives Dogs the Ability to Sense Pregnancy?

Our pooches may startle us with their adorable gestures on a day-to-day basis, while some of these cute little acts are known to us, there may be some things we may not know about and their knowledge about the changes happening in you during your pregnancy may be one of them. So, what exactly gives it away to your fur buddy about your would-be-mommy status? Well, here are signs your dog knows you’re pregnant or some changes that your dog may notice:

1. Dogs Smell Hormonal Changes

There is no denying that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans. Where humans have around 5 million olfactory receptors in the nasal cavity, dogs have more than 220 million of these receptors that make them way better than us to smell stuff that humans cannot. When a woman gets pregnant, her body goes through various hormonal changes through the course of nine months that include changes in hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, relaxin, oxytocin, human placenta lactogen, etc. These changing hormones change the scent of the body that your pooch can pick up because of their utterly superior smelling ability.

2. Dogs Observe Behavior and Body Language

Apart from noticing changes in your body scent, your fur buddy may also be able to establish emotional and physical changes happening in your body. Dogs are very good in establishing their owner’s emotional and physical state but this may also depend on the fact that for how much time your dog has spent with you to actually understand your moods.

Hormonal production such as HCG may sometimes cause morning sickness and nausea in pregnancy that may make you throw up, feel uneasy, and experience other associated symptoms. When your pooch senses that you are not feeling well, he may stick by your side to comfort and soothe you. Again fluctuating estrogen and progesterone may lead to moodiness and fatigue that may sometimes lead to changes in your dog’s walk or other day-to-day routines, and all these sudden changes may make your dog wonder!

3. Dogs Might Hear Fetal Heartbeats As Well

If think whether or not your dog can hear the fetal heartbeat, well, there is no scientific evidence or proof to support the same. But as you transcend into your second and third trimester of pregnancy, the fetal heartbeat becomes more pronounced. If your partner places his head on your tummy, he may actually hear the fetal heartbeat and even you can hear it too if you use instruments like a stethoscope. Knowing the fact that dogs have better hearing power, it is quite likely that dogs may hear the fetal heartbeat too, and know that something is going on inside your body!

How Do Dogs Behave After They Smell the Pregnancy?

If you think what would be your dog’s reaction to pregnancy, well, just like different humans behave differently to a situation, the same may happen in case of dogs too! So, you can expect a change in your dog’s behavior as they smell your pregnancy. Here are some of the behavioral traits that your dog may exhibit:

  • Sometimes your pooch may become overly protective towards you after sensing changes happening in your body. He may not leave your side and stay close to you as your baby bump grows.
  • You can even expect your pooch to behave all erratic and weird as he may not be ready to accept changes happening around him. He may throw tantrums or become rebellious because of the changes in his schedule such as fewer walks, shorter walks, less playtime, etc. In other words, your dog may exude symptoms of jealous behavior.
  • On the other hand, some dogs may exhibit indifference towards the entire situation. You may not notice any changes in his behavior.

The best that you can do is to make your dog feel comfortable about the whole situation. You can do so by giving him time to adjust to the changes and situations. Soon, you may notice your pooch getting comfortable with the entire scenario. However, do not forget to shower your love and care to your fur buddy to help him cope better with the changed scenario.

Can Dogs Sense Signs of Labor?

We are not sure whether or not dogs know when you’re pregnant or you sense any signs of labor. But as you get closer to your delivery date, your body undergoes changes that may become evident to your pooch too. Many women have agreed that as they were closer to their delivery date, their dogs became more protective of them and would not leave them alone. If you experience any discomfort or any signs of false labor such as Braxton-Hicks contractions, your dog may establish your discomfort and may show his affection and concern.

Again as you approach your delivery date, the changes in your body may change your body scent that your pooch may pick up. If you experience any changes in your dog’s behavior as you get closer to your due date, well, it may be quite possible that you may be entering labor soon.

Dogs are very smart and affectionate animals with a powerful sense of smell. If you are wondering can dogs tell you’re pregnant? Well, they for sure know that something is going on with you. But whether your pooch knows that these changes mean pregnancy, well, that may be hard to tell!

How Can You Get Your Dog Ready for New Arrival?

Now that you know that your dog knows about the arrival of a new family member, it’s time you prepare them for the same.

1. Make Slow Lifestyle Changes

You will definitely have a hard time splitting your time between your dog and the baby. Your dog may resent the baby if they notice that they don’t get enough attention. So, you need to prepare in advance and spend less time with your dog. This does not mean neglecting them, but just enough that they get used to your divided attention.

2. Keep Following Your Dogs Routine

Along with your baby, your dog needs the same care as before. This means sticking to your dog’s daily walks, feeding them at the same time of the day, and grooming them as required.

3. Desensitise Your Dog to Baby Sounds

Crying babies can be very stressful to a dog, as well as very attention-grabbing. Your dog might go overboard, getting in your little one’s face to find the source of the sound or to help.

So, one way to desensitise your dog to this is to play the sound of a crying baby for them to hear before the baby comes home. This way, it won’t be a completely new sound.

4. Train Your Dog

Teach your dog basic manners before they meet your baby. This will keep everyone safe. Instruct them not to jump around while the baby is in your arms.

5. Enrichment Activities

You won’t be able to walk your dog or spend time with them initially after returning from the hospital. If you don’t have anyone to step in and take care of your dog, arrange for enrichment activities, like puzzle toys, lick mats, etc., to keep them occupied.

6. Leash Them While Introducing

Some dogs are very excited to meet the babies but couldn’t realise how to be gentle while greeting them. So, keep them leased to stop them from jumping up, which could hurt the baby.

FAQs

1. Why Do Dogs Lay on Pregnant Women’s Bellies?

One possible reason could be they want to protect you. Alternatively, they may have picked up on your mood, sensed that you are upset or angry, and so want to curl up on your bump to comfort you.

2. Can Dogs Detect Miscarriage?

Now the the question of “can dogs smell pregnancy” is clear, let us tell your that dogs can smell changes in your hormones as well. So, if their pregnant owner has a miscarriage, they will know something is up and show it in their behaviour.

3. Is It Harmful If My Dog Steps on Stomach While Pregnant?

Once your uterus is out of the pelvic area, direct trauma can hurt the baby. Contact your doctor immediately in such a case.

Your dog’s attitude may or may not change during your pregnancy. However, as a pooch mother, you may have to prepare him for the arrival of a new member in the house. Be as loving and as caring towards your pooch and don’t be startled to see your baby and your pooch turning into best buds!

References/Resources:

1. Can Pets Sense Pregnancy?; plannedpethoodinternational.org; https://www.plannedpethoodinternational.org/articles/general/418321-can-pets-sense-pregnancy

2. Owning a dog when you’re pregnant; dogstrust.org.uk; https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/dog-advice/life-with-your-dog/at-home/owning-a-dog-when-pregnant

3. Can Pets Sense Pregnancy?; scarsdaleanimalhospital.org; https://www.scarsdaleanimalhospital.org/articles/general/418321-can-pets-sense-pregnancy

4. Do Dogs Know That You’re Pregnant?; newkidscenter.org; https://www.newkidscenter.org/Can-Dogs-Sense-Pregnancy.html

5. Does Your Dog Know You’re Pregnant?; akc.org; https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/can-dogs-sense-pregnancy/

Also Read:

Can Cats Sense Pregnancy?
Keeping Pets while Pregnant
Is it Safe to Clean Cat Litter Box in Pregnancy

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Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.