Can dogs sense pregnancy?

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Dogs are undoubtedly among the most unique creatures: they have an excellent sense of smell (there are about 6 million receptors on their noses), great intuition and unbelievable power of observation.

Some dog owners truly believe that their canines have the sixth sense.  

Otherwise, how else can you explain that there are examples of dogs who were able to diagnose their owners’ disease or predict natural disasters?

Therefore, it is not surprising that dogs work in police, rescue services and help blind people to navigate. 

They are also able to notice if the behavior of their owners changed and to comfort them when they are sick.

That is why one of the most common questions about dog’s extraordinary capacities whether they are also able to sense pregnancy?

Most scientists would answer ‘no’ because there is no scientific evidence. However, there are a lot of dog owners who noticed the changes in their dogs’ behavior after they got pregnant, and here are some theories explaining it.

Dogs may smell hormonal changes in a woman’s body

Since canines have an excellent sense of smell, it is quite possible that they are able to smell hormonal changes and the pheromones produced by the human body during pregnancy. 

Such changes begin quite early – during the first weeks of pregnancy – so you should not be surprised that your dog is aware of your changes long before you notice them.

Dogs are able to detect behavioral and emotional changes

As it has been noted above already, dogs are very talented observers, so if the behavior or mood of their owners changes even a little bit, they will notice it.

A different posture and new habits might become apparent to your loyal four-legged companion. For example, pregnant women usually become less active, get tired easier, go on shorter walks and refuse to exercise.

Also, very often women during pregnancy get more emotional, anxious and have mood swings do not go unnoticed for dogs.

Dogs notice physiological body changes

In later pregnancy dogs will definitely see a growing belly and might also feel the baby kicks from inside.

If you  are thinking about getting pregnant or you already are, then you should be ready that the behavior of your dog might change.

Quite often canines start acting differently and unusually towards their owners at this period of time by:

Becoming very protective towards their owners and their bumps

Following their owners everywhere

Trying to put their heads on the belly of their pregnant owner

Becoming jealous and even aggressive by feeling that an inevitable competitor for their owner’s attention is coming. 

Therefore, some dogs start barking for no reason or demonstrate their uncooperative behavior. Unfortunately, such a negative reaction might force a woman to give up a canine to someone else.

How to help your dog to adjust?

When a baby is born the life of both an owner and a dog is changed completely. Dogs are often feel jealous and abandoned, since all the owner’s attention is being given to the new member of a family. 

Therefore, one of the main tasks for a woman during her pregnancy is to prepare her dog for changes and help the canine to adjust.

Here are some useful recommendations that pregnant women should follow to keep close and trustful relationships with her pet:

Make sure that you give enough love

Most women become very consciousness and protective when they are pregnant, so they are afraid to let their pets get too close.

Unfortunately, it is one of the biggest mistakes because dogs will start feeling unloved.  It is important for a woman to understand this and not to lose a connection with her furry friend.

As it has been mentioned above, dogs love to put their heads on a belly, so it is ok to let them do that.

Create a safe place for your puppy

Your dog needs to have her own safe place, where she can go when she is tired or stressed.

You should take your canine to her space every day, preferable after a regular walk, in order to establish a routine.

Organize a meet and greet for your dog and a baby

Experts highly recommend to ask your family member to bring a blanket or a burp cloth with a baby smell home before your arrival from the hospital.

This will help your furry friend to get acclimated faster. 

What are the benefits of having a dog when you are pregnant?

Sometimes pregnancy might become a difficult and a stressful period for a dog and an owner. But actually there are many benefits for a woman to have a four-legged companion during pregnancy.

Some of these are:

·       Dogs improve your mood

During pregnancy the hormones of a woman might be unbalanced:  there are mood swings, emotional outbursts, and physical discomfort.

At times like this, animal therapy and interaction with pets can be the best remedy. 

It has been discovered by psychologists that communication with a canine helps a pregnant woman to improve her mood and stabilize the emotional condition.

·       Dogs are always ready to offer companionship

Pregnant women feel anxious and lonely sometimes, especially in the third trimester, when it is getting more and more difficult to carry out a daily routine.

Interacting with a furry companion might help to make everything easier. Moreover, your four-legged friend is always ready to support and cuddle with you.

·       Dogs encourage to remain active

There are some days when you do not want to move at all, especially at the beginning or at the later stage of the pregnancy. 

However, if you have your dog, you have to remain active and walk at least once a day.

According to the research conducted by the WALTHAM Center for Pet Nutrition at the University of Liverpool, pregnant women with dogs are generally more active than those who do not, and feel much better and healthier physically.

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