Can Dogs Sense Babies?

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Introduction

We all know that dogs are both stronger and weaker in some of their senses than humans are. For example, dogs are known for great hearing, but they have weaker vision. While dogs may not be able to see very well, they somehow seem to sense when women are carrying babies. Pregnant women have reported that their dogs act differently than they did before they became pregnant.

How are dogs able to sense the fact that women are pregnant? What alerts them to the pregnancy? Is it the way a pregnant woman looks, smells, acts, or what? Let’s find out just how dogs are able to tell that a woman is pregnant.

Signs Dogs Can Sense Babies

Dogs are very intuitive. For some reason, they are good at determining when something has changed, and one of the changes they are good at sensing is pregnancy. While dogs aren’t known for great eyesight, most of them aren’t blind. 

Dogs can see the changes happening in a woman’s body as a baby develops. As the stomach grows, the dog will notice that the woman looks different. Also, daily routines often change, and dogs will take notice, especially if their routine has also changed. They can even see changes in a woman’s mood, posture, behavior, and body language.

In addition to being able to see changes, dogs also have a very keen sense of smell that can even smell hormones. Hormones that are in a pregnant woman’s body are different than those of a woman who isn’t pregnant, so this change in smell may alert your dog to the fact that something is different.

Your dog may also notice that you are bringing new things into your home. When you are setting up a nursery and bringing in baby clothes, toys, and nursery items, all of these new items will clue your dog into the fact that something is different.

Dogs may also become more aggressive when their owner is pregnant, because they are trying to protect the pregnant woman. It is important that you know how to spot the signs of your dog being overly protective.

Body Language

When your dog displays the following body language signs, they are trying to be protective:
  • Growling
  • Alert
  • Snapping
  • Stalking
  • Biting

Other Signs

Signs that your dog can sense a baby include:
  • Becoming overly-protective of a pregnant woman
  • Taking interest in baby items brought into the house

History of Dogs and Babies

During the thousands of years that dogs have lived with humans, they have been around babies, children, and pregnant women. Over this time, they may have picked up on small changes in women’s bodies when they become pregnant, so maybe dogs have known when dogs are pregnant for centuries. But, just because dogs know when a woman is pregnant doesn’t mean that they really understand what being pregnant means. Unfortunately, dogs can sense things that they don’t understand.

You have probably noticed that your dog acts differently when you or someone in your household is pregnant. In fact, dogs are often much more protective of a pregnant owner. You may even see your dog protect their pregnant owner from people it is generally fine with, including other family members. Dogs also tend to be more affectionate toward pregnant women.

During your pregnancy, it is important to remember that your dog has feelings, and you need to continue to give your pooch attention and love despite the fact that you have a lot of other things going on in your life. Watch for any behavioral changes that your dog displays. You may need to consider training if it becomes too much to handle.

Science Behind Dogs Sensing Babies

Dogs have a stellar sense of smell, and they can smell hormonal changes in a human’s body. That means that they can smell the hormones associated with pregnancy. These smells can cause them to have a reaction to a pregnant woman. But, in addition to scent, dogs can also see changes occurring in their homes.

A pregnant woman not only looks differently than she did before, but she is probably also doing all kinds of things that clue the dog in. While you are bringing in new things for the baby, your dog sees all of that happening, and picks up on a big change that is occurring.

Dealing with Dogs Sensing Babies

All dogs will react to pregnancy differently. While some dogs won’t seem to care much, others will be frustrated or excited. When a dog is unhappy with the changes taking place, they may start to act out. If your dog starts to display unwanted behaviors, you need to take action. Dogs can be very dangerous when agitated, so as the owner, it is your job to quell these behaviors. Try getting your dog into training classes that give them a place to channel their energy.

During all these changes, it is really important that you are patient and calm when dealing with your dog. It can be hard for them to adjust to the new changes happening in their lives. Understand that they are dealing with sensory overload that they don’t understand, and it can be very hard for them to cope with everything going on around them.

You need to monitor your dog’s mannerisms. You may notice that your dog is urinating around your home or chewing on things that you have brought into the home for the baby. These are signs that your dog is struggling with the changes in your home and needs additional help. If your dog is becoming overly protective or possessive, you may also want to consider getting them a trainer that can help them better cope with all the changes.

Regardless of how your dog behaves during your pregnancy, you need to be cautious when it comes time to introduce them to the new baby. Even the most well-meaning dogs could potentially injure a small, delicate baby. It is important to slowly introduce your dog to the new baby, and you never want to leave your dog alone with the new baby. You need to let them get used to the sights, sounds, and smells associated with the baby, so they are less anxious around the baby and less likely to cause any problems.

How to React to a Dog Sensing Pregnancy:

  • Get your dog the training it needs.
  • Help your dog during your pregnancy.
  • Never leave your dog alone with the baby,