Can a Dog Know if You're Pregnant?

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Introduction

If you are a dog lover and know how in tune they are with your every mood, you might take notice when they suddenly seem overly-clingy or caring. Dogs can’t speak, but they can sure convey a message with their body language. 

Your pretty Poodle might be trying to tell you something and with growing evidence that canines are able to smell changes in your hormones, it might be worth a trip to your physician. Telling your doctor that your Poodle has been acting strangely may not surprise them, as research shows dogs can detect illness and pregnancy. Your pup may have sensed your body changes and knew you were with child before you did!

Signs a Dog Might Know You are Pregnant

The dog was aware of the major changes already taking place in their pet-mom's body, and as the doctor verified what the dog had diagnosed, the pet-mom, was surprised but elated. Dogs are sniffing machines, with powerful scent receptors that can smell hormones bouncing around in our bodies. In this case, it may have been a surge of estrogen and progesterone, as the pet-mom's body began preparing for her first child.

The pooch was now assuming the role of nanny and with its intuitive senses, was aware the pet-mom was pregnant and so, would not leave her side. When the owner sat on the sofa, her Poodle would place her paw in her guardian's lap and whine. The dog became her shadow and carefully monitored the pet-mom's condition

Prior to the pregnancy, the dog was fine when the pet-mom went out, but now, the neighbors say they hear howling and can hear scratching at the front door. Baby Center tells of a reader whose dog did the same. Her pooch would follow her everywhere and was having issues with separation anxiety. Some pooches can chew up the new baby's toys and become needy at the changes in their pet-mom.

Body Language

Signs that your dog knows you are pregnant include:
  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Chewing
  • Jumping up
  • Scratching
  • Play bowing

Other Signs

More clues that your pup knows you're with child are:
  • Nuzzling their pet-mom's stomach
  • Overly-protective behavior
  • Anxiousness
  • Following their pet-mom everywhere
  • Jealous behavior

History of Dogs Detecting Pregnancy

People tells a sweet dog tale of Apollo, a rescue dog who appeared to sense his pet-mom was pregnant after the family had been trying for some time. One day, Rachael noticed Apollo had laid his nose on her abdomen, which was a bit out of the ordinary, and she was amazed when weeks later she found out she was pregnant. Apollo instantly became protector to both pet-mom and baby.

Throughout history, ancient cultures have used weird and wacky ways to predict pregnancy. In ancient Egypt, women suspecting they might be with child were told to urinate on barley and wheat seeds. If they sprouted, it was a positive test. The ancient Greeks did crazy things with onions and in the 16th century, a physician noted changes in the eyes of pregnant women. There were terrible tests with animals until the advent of the home test kit, back in the 1960’s.

Today, psychics predict a pregnancy - and so does the family pooch. Animals can read our emotions, so, chances are, they picked up on the subtle signs that their companion did not. Their mommy-to-be guardian may have seemed fatigued and needing to go more often to the bathroom. Dogs are great at cues and never miss a beat when it comes to analyzing their favorite people.

The Science of Dogs Detecting Pregnancy

Meet Lucy, a gorgeous, Labrador Retriever/ Irish Water Spaniel cross who flunked Guide Dog school and found her new destiny as a cancer detection dog. Lucy can detect bladder, kidney, and prostate cancer and gets it right 95% of the time! According to CCN, that’s a whole heap better than lab tests.

So how do dogs detect cancer and pregnancy? Through their remarkable sense of smell, dogs can pick up a scent and send the message to their brain. They have a high-tech olfactory system that wipes the floor with ours along with 300 million smell receptors compared to our 5 or 6 million. The part of their brain that does all the analyzing is 40 times larger than a human's. It's canine checkmate in a game of sniffing chess between humans and dogs.

The interesting part is dogs like Lucy have been trained to smell cancer, but there are stories all over the Internet of untrained mutts detecting cancer or knowing their pet-mom was pregnant.

Pooches have a secret weapon in the smelling game and it's possibly why they are in such huge demand as sniffer dogs. This prestigious part of their anatomy is referred to as Jacobson’s organ, discovered by Ludwig Jacobson back in 1813. In this covert chamber, a woofer can take in the scent of pheromones. 

An example is when you see two pups checking out each other’s rear end. Dogs can push their shnozzes in places you might prefer they didn’t, as they pick up data which could tell them if you are pregnant.

Helping Your Dog Through Your Pregnancy

Your pup may be a great support while you are pregnant - but this can change when the new baby comes home. Some woofers can get the green-eyed monster as the new prince or princess grabs the attention. Your clairvoyant pup may have predicted the coming of this child, but now that this baby is firmly entrenched in the nursery, your pup may feel unloved.

The same thing happens to children when a new baby arrives and mommy is too busy with the newborn. If your pup doesn’t know their training ABCs, perhaps your partner could help out by either hiring a dog trainer or taking them to local classes. It’s essential your dog reacts well to vocal cues.

Make sure they know how, to sit, stay, and come, so if things get hectic they will respond positively. Jealousy can be a powerful emotion and if a dog feels the baby has taken their place, they might get snarly and have to be kept away.

Before the baby is born, get your dog accustomed to what’s about to happen. Keep them in the loop and make them feel included. Show your pup the nursery and other things you have for the baby. Dogs are part of the family and need to know they are valued. If it’s done right, your dog could become the baby’s best friend.

Dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell suggests preparing a dog for the new arrival by letting them smell the baby products and a blanket the baby may have been wrapped in at the hospital. Babies cry a lot, so Victoria proposes a CD of the sound be played before baby comes home. By doing positive things with your dog, they should be ready when the baby arrives. If you do nothing to prepare them, your pup could become anxious and act out.

How to React When Your Dog Detects You are Pregnant:

  • Praise your clever dog.
  • Go to the doctor or purchase a pregnancy kit.
  • Prepare your pooch for the baby coming home.
  • Get them accustomed to the scent of your baby and their things.
  • Never leave your baby and dog alone together.
  • Share your story.
  • Be amazed at what else they can do.
  • Read articles about dogs predicting pregnancy.