For as long as men have been men and women have been women, there has been the dog standing beside them. Proud, protective, loyal and obedient; man and woman’s best friend, the “canis lupus familiaris,” which is Latin for domesticated wolf, just speaks to the nature of these awesome beasts.
Whether they are big or small, long or short, black or white, solid, spotted or striped, they bring so many people comfort and assistance around the world every day. I myself have 2 dogs; A huge 130 pound Black Russian Terrier and a small 20 pound border terrier, and even though the smaller one is outmatched in size by 6 to 1, he never gives up and he never think he could lose a fight. The small ones are not to be underestimated.
Dogs are our best friends; we feed them, shelter them, and give them love. And in return they provide us with companionship, friendship, and even protection. Not only that, but dogs are used for so many different things not only because they're so versatile, but because most of their senses, their smell, hearing, and even their eyesight are very good. Dogs have been used for hunting game, from chasing badgers and foxes to retrieving ducks for hunters; they get used to sniff out drugs, explosives, and other dangerous substances which could harm people including you and your baby.
Dogs literally save lives by protecting people from harmful things; man’s best friend indeed. And what is really amazing is that recently doctors and scientist have begun using dogs to test patients, or at least help confirm whether or not patients have cancer and other such diseases. Dogs can actually smell the disease!
So, we’ve established that dogs are amazing, so it would really be ridiculous to think that a dog couldn’t tell that you're pregnant, even before you know you are. I know it may sound absurd, but dogs can do some amazing things, and smelling your baby before it’s barely started growing is just one of them.
There are also a number of different ways that your dog might react to your pregnancy, they might become protective or on the other hand they could become ultra-sociable and caring, but these things are relatively easy to control, especially if you’ve watched enough Cesaer Milan, The Dog Whisperer. PPSSSSTTT!
Keep on reading to find out just how exactly a dog can sense your pregnancy and the ways they will react to it.
7 Changes in Smell: The Nose Knows
As mentioned before dogs have an excellent sense of smell; they have been used for a very long time in hunting to find prey, humans have been using dogs for their noses for hundred of years. The dog's nose is sensitive to smell, which makes the perfect for jobs where you need t have that keen sense to find danger, people, or prey.
This is why your dog can definitely tell that you’re pregnant. The dog may not necessarily know if or when a new member will be joining the family, but they can sense that something is different in the woman. That excellent sense of smell has gotten very accustomed to your smell; your body odor, your breath, what scents you spray yourself with, and most important of all, your hormones.
All of a sudden your hormones shoot through the roof, you start releasing them into the air like pollen in the spring time, you start sweating like crazy, and all of this plus the ensuing sweat related odor will trigger your dogs sense of smell and let them know something’s up. Your dog may even be able to tell that you’re pregnant before you know yourself; it’s because their sense of smell is hundreds of times more powerful than ours.
A dog can smell you through a door from 10 yards away, so smelling what’s inside of you probably isn’t all that challenging, even if it’s only in the early stages. If only humans had that kind of sense of smell, now that’s a pregnancy test! Imagine the New A&E hit series, “Pregnancy Dogs & The Beverly Hills Wives.” Just imagine what happens when a dog tells them they’re pregnant! That or Maury could save some money by performing the pregnancy tests on his show just by teaching a dog to sit or bark when they smell the unborn baby that has 6 different potential fathers.
Hey, we've all seen Maury, and without him many baby's wouldn't know who their daddy is. This twist with a dog just might make his show a little more entertaining, especially if the women don't even know their pregnant.
6 The Pooch Can Tell You’re Acting Different
While you may not think that something simple like your behaviour will be noticed by your dog, they know. They know your schedule better than you do; they follow you around the house and know what you're doing and why. So something slightly out of the normal is being observed by your canine friend.
You might be wondering how exactly does your dog know that your behavior has changed. It might have began with your morning sickness, or all day sickness as some people call it. The frequency that you wake up and go to sleep are now different times, especially as the pregnancy progresses you can develop some really weird sleeping patterns, mainly sleeping a lot more than before, and this your dog will notice.
This also speaks to your daily routine in general because everything now revolves around the baby; going to the doctors all the time, and all of the different little things you’re doing around the house to prepare for the baby, and even just the general atmosphere in the house; the way that everyone is behaving will alert the dog that something different is happening.
It will be most apparent to the pooch if you designate a room for the baby and you don't allow the dog into that room anymore. Doing this might increase your dog's anxiety though. Try to be inclusive with your dog throughout your pregnancy, this will make it easier on you and your dog when you finally bring baby home from the hospital.
Now, I’m not saying that the pooch is going to notice all of the little things, like your over-consumption of pickles and Oreos, but he will notice a general difference in the atmosphere of the house; I’m sure you will be able to feel it too!
5 Dogs Aren’t Blind
It is a well known fact that dogs are quite observational, not only do they have a great sense of smell but their eyesight isn’t half bad either. Plus, dogs rely on their observation skills to stay alive and to function. A guard dog observes his surroundings and sees where he is, and who and what he must protect. A hunting dog must be able to identify his prey through vision in order to make the kill; a great sense of smell is helpful, but it's rather useless with a good pair of peepers to match.
Even though your significant other might not tell you, “No Hunny, you haven’t gained a single pound," just like your husband or partner can see that the pregnancy is making you gain weight, your dog can also see it. Your dog knows you and your size, so as your baby grows and you gain weight, they'll see how heavy and big you're becoming. Although they might not be able to quantify it in a numerical sense, they still know--they just do.
You’re drivers license may not have your proper weight on it so the whole world won’t know how much you actually weigh, but your puppy dog knows your dirty little secret. To be blunt, they can tell when you start putting on pounds just from the slight differences in your posture and your gait, even the way you walk is another way your dog can tell that somethings different with you.
They can tell if you walk slower or faster, if you waddle or crawl, if your strides are longer or shorter, and they can tell if you’re hunched over-- “Woof, like, you look shorter and rounder all of a sudden, woof. Got a treat? Bacon?? Woof.”
4 Change in Family Hierarchy
One other thing that might alert the dog that something is changing or that something is different--mainly that you are pregnant--is that he might sense a change in the social hierarchy of the household as you are getting ready to welcome a new member into your house. Don’t forget, they are still dogs and dogs operate in a pack fashion; it is based on a hierarchy not a democracy.
For mothers who already have kids out there, it’s kind of like your relationship with them; they don’t get a choice or an opportunity to vote, so when they sense a chance in the power ladder to take over and increase their status in the hierarchy,then dogs will try to get more attention and status. It’s kind of like a shark in a sense, if it smells blood it will go for it.
This could manifest itself in one of two ways. Either the dog might sense that you, the mother is vulnerable at this time because you can’t move as fast or breath as well--everything is generally harder for you, and as I said before, the dog knows that. If the dog is bold enough, which many dogs are, then they might take advantage of that and become more bossy and protective. Dogs really are the ultimate opportunists.
Or it could manifest itself in a second way, mainly the dog respecting the man or the husband more because they see the man asserting his dominance and authority in his general character and attitude, and becoming more of a man. Although a man's testosterone level decreases after he has children, the protective way he acts around his pregnant wife and children will be sign enough to the pooch that the winds of change are coming. This can cause the dog to be more needy for affection.
Dogs Can Sense Your Mood Change
It’s kind of sad, but 9 times out of 10--who are we kidding--10 times out of 10, your dog will be a better judge of your mood than your partner. Men, am I right! There is absolutely no fooling your dog when it comes down to your mood.
The difference between a man and a dog is that if you tell a man you’re fine or OK enough times, then he might just believe you, but not your dog. There’s no fooling your dog with the smile and “I’m fine," they can tell. They can tell because your different moods will manifest in your body causing you to act in certain ways.
When you get angry, sad, or upset in general your heart beat rises and you get hotter, the dog can sense that. And when you’re calm and happy, the dog can sense that too. Plus, the dog's sense of smell comes in knowing what mood you're in too, different moods will make you give off slightly different hormones and chemical odors, therefore you smell minutely different, undetectable to you but not to pooch.
All of this being said a dog can’t exactly tell that you’re pregnant per say, but they can tell that you’re mood has changed significantly--or changes significantly, all the time, always, in any direction. That’s just how the whole pregnancy hormones and mood swing thing works. Your dog may not know that that’s HOW it works, but he knows THAT it works.
Rover knows something is different with you because of your significant mood changes. You used to have one type of mood all the time, and now you have another. Everyone else can tell and the dog isn’t excluded from being one of them.
3 Dogs Can Hear It
Everyone knows that dogs have great hearing; they can tell who you are just from your breathing and the sounds of your foot falls when you walk. And when you come home in your car, they can tell it’s you because of the way your car sounds. Dogs are very cool like that.
As you enter the later stages of pregnancy, especially as the babies organs start to develop and function, the dog can hear it, especially the heartbeat. Remember a dog’s ears are somewhat like a stethoscope, their ears really do work that well. DOGS HEAR EVERYTHING!!!
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. A dog responding to external stimuli and barking can cause the fetus to cry. And guess what, your dog can hear the baby crying in utero! How cool is that?!
You might find that as your baby grows and your dog is cuddling next to you, that they put their ear next to your belly, almost as if they are trying to hear the baby in your belly. Although it's hard to quantify how much your dog can actually hear going on in your body, they definitely know that something's up with you.
Even if you're not sure how much or what exactly your dog can hear going on inside your belly, their extra cuddles and attention can be soothing, especially if you're a first time mom and feeling a little nervous about the whole pregnancy process. You can use your already existent dog as animal therapy. Let them cuddle with you and enjoy the time you have with them. If you've already started buying baby toys, you might want to familiarize the dog with the new sights and sounds so they are old hat when the baby comes.
2 The Ways Your Dog Might React to Your Pregnancy
One way in which your dog could react to your pregnancy, is that he has managed to decipher using all of his senses and brain power and is by becoming highly protective of the pregnant mother. The reason for this is because dogs are very loyal and protective in general. Many dogs will willingly die for their master.
As well dogs are known to be very sociable and nurturing; ever heard of Romulus and Remus? The two boys who were abandoned and then raised by a pack of wild wolves? Well if you haven’t you should, it’s a great read. Dogs who are already protective may become overly protective of the pregnant mother,or the baby if it has already been born.
Many people report their dogs barking and growling at anybody trying to get close to the mother or the baby. The dog feels an increased need to protect the baby and the mother, because it knows that the pregnant mother, as well as the baby, are very vulnerable and cannot readily protect themselves. There’s a reason they call them man’s best friend, and it’s because they are loyal beyond a doubt. Not that they will become raging monsters or ware wolves or anything like that, and if he does then there might have been some signs before.
As mentioned before dogs are very affectionate, they love to be petted and receive attention, but they also love to give love and attention. And some dogs, most really, if they realize that you need it, they will give it to you. That’s why many women say that when they are pregnant, or have a newly born child in the house, their dogs will become much more affectionate and clingy.
Some dogs may not act as crazy as they usually do, by not pulling or tugging or barking all the time, because they realize that it would stress you out. And some dogs show this reaction in another way, mainly by being clingy and not leaving the side of the pregnant mother. Now that’s dedication and loyalty.
1 Ways to Comfort, Control, and Calm The Dog Down
One way to include your dog in your pregnancy so that they won't have any adverse reactions to your pregnancy, is to try and keep to the same routine as you had before your pregnancy. It might be hard, but it's one way to help your dog feel comforted and calm, if you do this, then they likely won't really notice that anything is up and thus not have any weird reactions.
Make sure to pay attention to your dog, keep doing all the things that you usually do with him, go for regular walks, play with them, and give their regular grooming and brushing sessions, and if you’re not feeling up for it then have someone else do it, preferably someone that the dog already knows, because if the dog doesn’t already know the person then he might not like that either and give the handler a hard time.
Show love to your dog, maybe spoil him a little bit. The reason to spoil your dog during pregnancy, if you don’t already spoil the living daylights out of them like I do, is because the dogs most likely get less attention while you’re pregnant. They get less love and they realize that you are more focused on other things. That’s why it’s important to give them some good treats every now and then.
They are just dogs, they’re not the smartest things ever, so a little bit of good food or a nice belly rub will go a long way in making them feel loved and comfortable. And if your dog is really misbehaving that badly, then you might want to call Caesar Milan, that Dog Whisperer guy, he might be able to help.