Well, it's not so much that your doggo knows that there is a human forming in the womb. Their behavior changes are more likely due to their innate abilities to sniff out hormonal changes.
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Signs Your Dog Senses Your Pregnancy
There are countless stories of an owner becoming pregnant and her normally docile and relaxed dog immediately becoming protective towards her in her new state. In these cases, protective pups often guard their pregnant owner when unfamiliar humans or animals are around.
They might growl or even snap at these "potential threats" as well. Other signs your pup can sense a baby in your belly might include them just showing much more interest in your belly. They might sniff around it, lick it, or paw at it when they sense the changes in your womb.
Most of the time, these behaviors are temporary. Accounts of these occurring usually involve the pups going completely back to normal as they welcome their newborn sibling into their pack.
- Ears back
- Paw raised
- Aggressive behavior
- Paying attention to the woman's belly
History of Dogs Sensing Pregnancy
Although there are no studies that date back to this time, there certainly are word-of-mouth and written stories that include accounts of pups sensing pregnancy and becoming more protective.
The most common thread among these stories is the fact that pups become more protective of their owners when they sense a pregnancy. The fact that this is the most commonly found trait among these stories means that doggos must innately know that these changes and this state of pregnancy makes women more vulnerable and in need of protection. And because a pup's owner is part of their pack family, they kick their protectiveness into overdrive, and this has been happening for thousands of years. How fascinating!
Science Behind Dogs Sensing Pregnancies
When women become pregnant, these hormonal changes are usually noticeable to them because it's happening to their bodies. However, our furry, little friends are sensing these changes right along with us! Along with hormonal changes, doggos notice the other changes that come along with pregnancy, too. Examples of this are behavioral and mood changes, physical changes in our body shape and language, and change in our body odor.
Along with being able to sniff out their new brother or sister, your pup may also be able to hear your fetus in the womb. This is because, on top of having better sniffers, they also have a much better hearing ability than us. We humans can hear up to 20,000 cycles per second, whereas our furry best friends can hear sound waves to 65,000 cycles per sound. Babies begin to cry in the womb around the 28th week of pregnancy, and since our pups are so in tune with our bodies and have such good ears, it is very possible that they can hear it!
Getting Your Dog Baby-Ready
Pups really are the best friends in the world. And when you're pregnant and welcoming a new baby into the household, there are some steps you can take to make sure your pup is the best brother or sister to your new child.
First, get yourself and your pupper familiar with obedience training. Being able to use simple commands like sit, lay down, or wait, can be tremendously helpful when you're tackling this huge life change. Your favorite command might just be "settle," so they can be as calm as possible around the newborn. Their instinct is quite the opposite of "settle" because they are going to be just so excited to get to know your baby, so learning this command can really come in handy.
Starting the use of boundaries during your pregnancy can get your pup used to them before your tiny little human arrives. Things like making sure they don't jump on humans or the furniture can help prevent an accident with your newborn and pup. If your pup is noisy and loves to bark and yelp their little head off, teaching them a "quiet" command might be helpful so as to avoid them waking up your little baby in the coming months.
Our doggos love a routine, so if you know how that routine will change once your baby is born, it might be smart to get your pup used to it ahead of time. This might include their feeding schedule, bathroom trips, walks and play time. And lastly, avoid trying to overcompensate ahead of time by giving your pup extra love before the new member of your pack arrives. Although this is very difficult, you'll just make it harder for your pup to transition to a little less attention once your baby is born.
Safety Tips for Helping Your Dog During Your Pregnancy:
Allow them to gently sniff your belly.
Introduce the new routine before the baby arrives.
Brush up on your pup's training.