Your dog is part of the family, but do they know when the pack is about to grow in size? In other words, can a dog sense pregnancy in humans? Let’s find out.
There’s not much research out there proving that dogs can sense pregnancy in humans, but a few theories and anecdotes are worth exploring.
The internet is awash with tales of dogs who’ve sniffed out a bun in the oven, with many owners noticing a change in their pet’s behavior. For instance, four-legged friends often become more protective or clingy around newly pregnant women.
And if you’ve experienced this first-hand, it’s natural to wonder, “does my dog know I’m pregnant?”
So, do they?!
In this article: 📝
- Can dogs sense early pregnancy?
- Pets and pregnancy: what else could your dog notice?
- Your dog and pregnancy – it’s not always cuddles and kisses
Can dogs sense early pregnancy?
If they can, it’s because your dog’s nose knows — or so the theory goes. Dogs are blessed with an incredible sense of smell that’s up to 100,000 times better than ours.
This sensitive schnozz could, in theory, pick up on your changing pheromones (the chemical smells that communicate certain biological information, like being ready to mate — or being pregnant). And that means dogs could sense early pregnancy simply by smelling something different in the air.
What causes the change in pheromones during a pregnancy?
During pregnancy, you start releasing all sorts of hormones to prepare your body — the first of which is the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG). You might be familiar with hCG; it’s what you’re testing for when you pee on a stick (POAS).
Some of the others are:
- Estrogen: This contributes to a healthy pregnancy.
- Progesterone: This thickens the uterine lining, ready for an egg to be implanted.
- Oxytocin: This helps stretch your cervix and encourages the production of milk.
- Relaxin: This loosens the area around your pelvic bones ahead of delivery.
As your body chemistry changes over the course of nine months, your natural odor may change too, and your loyal companion could take notice. This might encourage them to alter their behavior around you.
Pets and pregnancy: what else could your dog notice?
Dogs are known to be very in tune with their surroundings and the emotional state of their humans – so they might pick up on changes to both your mood and physical appearance as your pregnancy progresses.
If that pregnancy waddle has you walking a bit slower, or you’re simply beat after a long day carrying your bump around, your dog could become a bit less boisterous and a bit more cuddly to keep your spirits up.
Meanwhile, another theory that’s a little out there (but we’re totally here for) is that dogs, with their super-amazing sense of hearing, can hear your baby’s heartbeat in the womb. This hasn’t been scientifically proven, but we’re choosing to believe it because, how cool is that?
Your dog and pregnancy – it’s not always cuddles and kisses
You may have heard the stories of dogs being more protective, affectionate, or simply wanting to lay closer to a mama-to-be. So sweet.
On the other hand, some pooches can become more mischievous and unruly, chewing on furniture and peeing indoors, even if they’re housebroken. It’s almost as if they know change is coming.
Of course, every dog is different, and dog behavior and pregnancy can be difficult to predict. However your pup reacts, just make sure you’re giving them extra love and attention when you can to help them adjust.
Hopefully, in the end, they’ll take to their new job as a big, furry sibling with flying colors — giving you the chance to line up those adorable baby/doggy photoshoots you’ve been dreaming about.
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