When I discovered the news that I would be expecting my first child I immediately informed my husband and I told another member of our family: our ‘dog girl” Charli. She’ll soon become a big sister in spring and, as my belly gets bigger I wonder whether she is able to sense my pregnancy. Do they hear their little sister’s heartbeat? Do I smell different? Are they worried about all the naps I’m currently taking? What about my bizarre food cravings?
Animals rapidly become integral to our daily lives as well as our hearts, which is why it’s common to be interested in how they perceive our behavior. We spoke to vets to learn how dogs respond to parents who are expecting and what that means.
Do dogs sense pregnancy in Humans?
Although there aren’t any studies conducted by an official body on whether dogs detect pregnancy in humans, however, evidence from anecdotes suggests that this is very likely as per Jenna Olsen, DVM, veterinarian advisor to Paws. It is primarily due to a dog’s inherent characteristic of being an animal. According to Olsen a dog’s ability to smell anything from 1000 to 1000 times as good as a human’s.
“Given this keen sense of smell, dogs are able to detect the presence of bombs, drugs, and various diseases,” she continues. “The limitation to this however is how dogs are able to recognize these scents and react to them is a learned or trained behavior.”
What does this have to do with having a baby? If a woman is pregnant with a baby, her hormones alter dramatically. Particularly, the body makes Human chorionic Gonadotropin known as HCG. It is exclusively during pregnancy. Additionally, the levels of progesterone, estrogen, and oxytocin increase in the course of pregnancy, and Olsen suggests that dogs might be able to detect these changes in the owners. However, if they aren’t trained to recognize the significance of these changes, there’s the chance that dogs don’t know what these changes in hormones indicate.
The pups are also creatures’ habits, and there’s an opportunity for them to notice when you’re in the bathroom during the first trimester or lying on the couch in the second. They’re also in tune with your moods. So even if you’re screaming at commercials, they’ll most likely notice something’s wrong.
How early can a dog sense pregnancy?
As there aren’t official studies on the relationship between pups and pregnancy It’s difficult to determine precisely when your furry friend might notice a change. There is the possibility that they will know that something is wrong before you have the positive pregnancy test, says Cherice Roth DVM Chief Veterinary Officer at Fuzzy. She explains that there’s no precise date when dogs are able to detect hormone-related changes in human pregnancy, however, there are important hormonal changes that start in the second week following fertilization.
“There is anecdotal evidence of dog owners being aware of changes in behavior prior to the owners even recognizing the pregnancies,” she continues. “As the pregnancy progresses hormones like prolactin, progesterone, and relaxin can influence changes in physical appearance and can also trigger subtle changes in a scent that dogs are able to sense.”
How will your dog’s behavior change If You or Your Pet’s Partner Are Expecting?
Take note of your puppy throughout your pregnancy You may observe some subtle changes in their behavior. While we’re not able to attribute all of it to the little bundle of joy inside your belly. However, it’s delightful to know that they are already watching out for their future sibling. The following article outlines the way your puppy’s attitude could change throughout the pregnancy.
They might become more clingy towards the mother.
Has your puppy been attached to your hips from the beginning of the pregnancy? There’s a reason behind that. Because dogs are able to observe the emotional and physical state of their owners Olsen states that these changes are evident and can make some dogs want to be a comforter for their owners since they may appear to lack more attention.
They may be more protective of the mother.
It could be the hormones or the physical process of pregnant women developing new attitudes towards their expanding bellies, Olsen says some pups might develop a greater sense of security for their owners.
“With the growth of their baby bumps, most women are more likely to shield their stomachs from being slapped on or to place their hands on their stomach often. Certain dogs can detect this and, in turn, they will recognize that there’s something important to guard inside,” she adds.
They could become more curious.
Although cats are usually well-known for their curiosity, however, dogs can be just as interested. As new items arrive at your house for your baby — furniture equipment such as a crib, or new clothing–your pet might be keen to check the new items out, says Warren Eckstein, the pet expert trainer, trainer, and animal communication expert. “It’s recommended to introduce your dog to the various new things and sounds that are made by a newborn and the various smells,” he says. “You might consider purchasing an animal doll to get the dog used to the changes.”
They might be upset or stressed.
Pups are used to a routine that they follow similar to how we humans do. They love the morning bathroom break, stroll and breakfast. They love the afternoon game. When your baby’s birth disrupts everything, it can cause confusion and anger, Eckstein says. If you can maintain your dog’s routine the same. Give some extra attention because your dog may be experiencing anxiety too.
“Many people are unaware of the impact stress can have on our dogs. The most effective way to reduce anxiety is by keeping your pet happy during this time,” he suggests. “Talk with them about the pregnancy; allow ample time to adjust to the changes. If you make the transitions enjoyable and boost dogs’ brain stimulation at this moment you will be able to reduce the anxiety.”
They could be more caring.
If your favorite friend is more affectionate than they have ever been, they might show you all the love they believe you deserve in the course of your pregnancy. It’s a situation Katy Nelson, DVM, an experienced senior vet at Chewy was through in both of her pregnancies. Although her pet, Papa, was always doing his best, he was taking the affection to the extreme when they were expecting.
“He would want to be next to me all the time and would rest his head on my expanding belly whenever he could. When the children arrived and he was just as kind and patient with them as he was with me. always been for me.” says the mother. “When I got pregnant two times, I did a pregnancy test as he placed her head against my stomach that day as he hadn’t since 2.5 years. It was negative that day and two weeks after that, I found out I was pregnant. He definitely knew before I did.”
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