Is there a better thing than a dog and a child growing up together? That is if you can handle the logistics of having a puppy when you’re dealing with a little human…
If you had a dog before you got the bun, things are probably much easier: you already have a routine, you know the ups and downs of owning a dog, you don’t get stressed easily, and you probably know how to organize every corner in the home to keep everything and everyone happy and engaged.
You may have noticed your dog is closer to you during your pregnancy, right? Many claim that dogs know when you are expecting, just like they can notice first that a fire is nearby.
So, is that really the case? Do dogs know what’s going on when you’re having a baby? Well… Kind of.
Does Your Dog Know You’re Pregnant Before You Do?
We all know that dogs can notice changes in body language, environment, and behavior – simply said, when something is new or unusual – they will notice it.
After all, dogs are experts when it comes to reading body language, that’s how they communicate, by reading our movement.
Dogs also have very powerful noses that can actually help them find a missing person, or to detect something – they can smell up to 100,000 times better than humans do.
Their brains may evolve over time due to human presence, but their powerful smell endured the same.
Dog’s sense is super sensitive – in fact, they don’t have one but two senses of smell, with each having a different purpose.
One smell picks up on important things, such as food odors, while the other smell (known as Jacobson’s organ or vomeronasal organ) can sense pheromones.
Pheromones are responsible for sending transmit signals to other dogs. They help them to detect when a dog is ready to mate and even potentially another dog’s health.
Thanks to this strong sense of smell, dogs have been shown to detect various cancer in humans, including prostate, colorectal, ovarian, and melanoma cancers.
Sometimes they can do this by sniffing human breath – accuracy on this unusual method? 100%! Some can even detect low blood sugar levels in people.
When they feel they will usually alert owners by whining or licking their hands.
Some dogs are so sensitive and so well-trained, that they can notify a person when there is a seizure about to happen.
Did you know that there are few dogs that can sense gluten in food, even if there are the smallest particles?
So, Do Dogs Know When You’re Pregnant?
In a way, yes – dogs know when you are pregnant.
Dogs are capable of detecting things that are different. Therefore, they might know that there is something inside you, but they probably have no idea what it is – at that point they cannot understand what is it.
They probably realize what was inside once the baby is out. Some dogs can know that their owners are pregnant before they even know themselves.
Here is how dogs can detect pregnancy.
Change In Body Language
Dogs are heavily dependent on reading the human body. Body language is what keeps them engaged and easier to understand humans.
So, when something changes in human body language, no matter how small the change might be, they will notice it.
For example, pregnant women move and behave differently. They might walk differently, have trouble do some things a certain way, which your dog may pick up on.
Dogs are also extremely sensitive to mood swings and pregnant women go through various hormonal effects, which affect their behavior. So, when you are sad, or grumpy (and that keeps on repeating) your Fido might notice it.
Change In Odour
Dogs are sensitive to smells around them. In fact, when a woman is pregnant it comes to a slight change in the smell which dogs can easily and very often detect.
The human body is a perfect machine and any body-related change cannot go unnoticed to a dog’s super nose.
When pregnant, women’s body chemistry changes and hormones tend to become more intense.
Since dogs have a much better and stronger sense of smell opposite to humans, they tend to pick up on the tiniest of changes in odor.
Dogs are creatures of routine. They love having an order, doing things at specific daytime, and so on.
You have probably noticed how your routine changes once you got a dog, and there is a good reason for that.
Once you get a dog you need to provide morning walks, meals, change the water in the bowl, organize your day in such a manner that you can provide two more extra walks, get a dog sitter when needed, and so on…
Doing this all is much easier when you have a certain routine and do things in a specific order.
Now, when you are pregnant you might experience morning sickness, which will affect your morning routine, and your canine will pick up on it. Moreover, your canine may even feel a little off balance when something changes.
You may also be sleeping longer or waking up late at night. Plus, as you approach your due date, you will be spending more time at home, which will be unusual for your canine.
Can Dogs Hear The Baby?
Simply said, yes. As the fetus grows and develops organs, dogs can hear the baby in some percent, thanks to their hearing capabilities.
They can hear that something is going on inside your tummy.
A dog’s hearing range is comparable to that of an ultrasound which is 50,000-60,000 cycles. A human’s hearing is only 20,000 cycles.
Your Dog Will Change Once You Are Pregnant
The changes that a pregnant woman is going through will affect everyone inside the home. This means that your dog might change as well.
Once your dog realizes what’s happening, he may react differently, and some behavioral changes might be possible.
This may vary depending on the dog’s personality, as well as on the physical and emotional changes of the pregnant woman.
Your dog may experience some of the following behaviors:
- Strong urge to protect the pregnant woman
- Refusing to leave mama and the baby
- Frequent barking
- Refusing to follow commands, even the basic commands
- Urinating around the house
- Chewing new items or chewing furniture
Over time, dogs do get customers with changes and learn how to cope with everything new and different, but it will take time. However, some dogs do have a hard time returning to normal behavior.
They simply have a hard time adjusting to the new situations, to new changes brought on by pregnancy. This is why preparation is crucial if you want to avoid any of these behaviors.
Plus, never forget that dogs are sensitive begins and they need to feel that energy of safe harbor, so maintain love and support, and your dog will return it to you.
Introducing Your Dog to Your New Baby
Once your baby, or babies, arrive it’s important to think about canine-baby introduction.
Your Fido will love your baby no matter what, but it’s up to you and your partner to make that introduction go as smoothly as possible.
In this phase, it’s crucial to provide your dog the much-needed space, both mental and physical: this is the best way to let your dog adjust to a new baby.
Don’t forget to have treats on hand and reward your dog every time he behaves properly around the baby.
No matter how old the dog might be, he will never refuse a few favorite treats. Last, but not least, it’s important to understand that many dogs need an adjustment period just like humans do, to accept new and different.
Here are some tips on what you can do while expecting regarding safe baby-dog introduction:
- While expecting you should start doing your research on how to introduce dogs to babies safely. This is an important step, but it’s only a starting point.
- Ask other dog owners how they did this transition. They will have beneficial advice and tips that you might miss in books. Sure, books and any other sources are great and useful, but sometimes you may get ‘the; tip from someone who went from what you are about to go through.
- Stay calm. No matter how much worried you might be worried about this encounter, you need to stay calm, because dogs can feel your pheromones. If you promote fear, he will think that you are in danger and might try to protect you.
- Before you have them two, or more, in the same room, start with small steps. Introduce a piece of baby’s cloth to your dog, and let him take it in for a few minutes, and then let him meet the baby.
The Bottom Line
Being pregnant and after having a baby can be an extremely emotional phase for everyone inside the household, including dogs.
Dogs can feel any mood change and any new behavioral change, including the slightest change in body language.
Knowing how sensitive your dog is, you should do your best to make the baby transition as smooth as possible.
Stick to the routine as much as you can, provide treats as usual, and don’t forget to show your dog how much you care about him or how much you love him.
Your Fido will notice that something unusual is happening, but it is up to you to keep things running as smooth as possible.