Can Dogs Hear an Unborn Baby's Heartbeat?

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Introduction

Dogs have hearing abilities that are far superior than those of humans. This great sense of hearing allows dogs to hear things that humans will never be able to hear. When it comes to dogs being able to hear an unborn baby’s heartbeat, does this great hearing hold up? 

While it is hard to know whether dogs can actually hear an unborn baby’s heartbeat in the womb, it is very obvious that dogs are capable of knowing when a woman is pregnant, but there are many reasons that they might be able to figure this out, and that includes their great sense of smell, too.

Signs Dogs Can Hear Babies in the Womb

It is completely possible that your dog can hear an unborn baby’s heartbeat in the womb. They may also be able to hear your baby cry in the womb, which can start at about 28 weeks. No matter what they are hearing, it is unavoidable that dogs know that there is something going on in the body of a pregnant woman. Dogs are intuitive creatures that can see, smell, and hear changes going on that we may not even notice ourselves. They can see changes in mood, behavior, and body chemistry, to name a few.

In addition to the great hearing ability that dogs possess, they also have a very keen sense of smell. This sense of smell allows them to smell hormonal changes in a pregnant woman’s body. By the time the baby is making noise inside the body, your dog has likely already sniffed out the hormones responsible for pregnancy.

If you notice your dog giving your belly confused looks, they are probably hearing something that you can’t. You will see them tilt their heads and perk their ears up. You may also notice that your baby just stares at your belly a lot, too.

Body Language

If your dog displays the following body language signs, they are probably hearing an unborn baby:
  • Staring
  • Alert
  • Barking
  • Head tilting
  • Whimpering
  • Ears up

Other Signs

Other signs that dogs can hear babies in the womb include:
  • Becoming overly-protective of a pregnant woman
  • Becoming overly affectionate toward the pregnant woman
  • Lying near a pregnant woman at any opportunity

History of Dogs Being Able to Hear Babies in the Womb

Dogs are known for their amazing hearing. Researchers have concluded that this great hearing was passed down from their ancestors—wolves. It has been determined that wolves probably evolved to have a keen sense of hearing to help them better find prey in the wild. 

The main part of a wolf’s diet is small rodents. These small rodents make high-pitched squeals that may be hard to detect from afar. This hearing ability made it possible for wolves to hunt small rodents without scaring them away in the process.

This ability to hear quiet sounds from far away is hard for humans to understand. Dogs actually hear up to four times as well as humans. One reason that dogs can hear more than humans is because they have more muscles in their ears than humans do. While humans have six muscles in their ears, dogs have 18. These muscles give dogs the ability to move their ears in a number of different ways that help amplify sounds. The shape of a dog’s ear also contributes to their hearing abilities. The curved shape helps sound reach the eardrums.

Science Behind Dogs Hearing Babies in the Womb

We mentioned that dogs have better hearing than humans. Humans can hear sound frequencies in the range of 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz. In contrast, dogs can hear sounds in the 40 to 60,000-hertz range. 

This means that humans can hear sounds that are lower in pitch than dogs can, but dogs can hear a wider range of sounds in frequencies much higher than humans can hear. For example, the noise that comes out of a dog whistle generally can’t be detected by humans, but dogs have no problem hearing it because the frequency falls within the range that a dog can pick up.

Doctors believe that dogs have a sense of hearing that is acute enough to hear babies crying in the womb. If dogs can hear a baby cry in the womb, they may also be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat while it is developing. Plus, it is known that babies can hear noises outside of their mother’s body, so it isn’t that far-fetched to believe that dogs can hear babies.

Dealing with Dogs Hearing Babies in the Womb

All dogs will react to a pregnancy differently. While some won’t seem to mind, others will be stressed by the sensory overload that they are facing. It is hard to know how your dog will react, because even dogs that are deemed docile can become extremely agitated by all of the changes going on around them. You need to be prepared to give your dog a little extra attention during this time.

First, you should get your dog some basic training. Even if your dog has already done basic training, a refresher could help you better communicate with your dog throughout the pregnancy. Training also helps jog your dog’s memory of how to behave. It also reminds your dog who is in charge of your household. Basic training can also help curb unwanted behaviors that your dog displays during your pregnancy.

You also need to understand that all these changes can lead to stress and anxiety in your dog. Even the most docile dogs may start to act out due to the stress. You will need to be patient with your dog and make sure that it gets some alone time to relax no matter how hectic your life is as you prepare for the new baby.

Remember that once the baby is born, it is your job to keep it safe. That means that you should never leave your dog alone with the baby, as your dog may attempt to climb, jump, or sit on the baby and cause injuries. You should make sure that your dog is always supervised near the baby and that you restrict access to the baby if you can’t be there.

Introduce the dog to the new baby slowly and allow them to get used to the new sights, smells, and sounds associated with the child. Don’t keep them together for too long at a time, however.

How to Deal with a Dog Hearing Babies in the Womb:

  • Get your dog basic training to prevent injuries to the unborn baby.
  • Let your dog listen to the noises in your belly.