Can Dogs Sense a Baby in the Womb?

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Introduction

Pregnancy comes with a lot of changes, and your dog is likely to notice these changes, too. While dogs aren’t known for their ability to understand human pregnancy, they do seem to notice when a woman is pregnant. In fact, you have probably noticed the way a dog’s behavior changes around a pregnant woman. 

Dogs tend to be very protective of pregnant women, and also extremely affectionate toward them. But, why do dogs behave this way? How do dogs know when a woman is pregnant? That’s what we are here to find out. So, let’s figure out how dogs know that women are pregnant!

Signs Dogs Can Sense Babies in the Womb

Many pregnant women report that their dogs start to act differently when they are pregnant. While dogs don’t actually understand what is happening when a woman is pregnant, it is clear that they know that something is going on. Dogs can see changes in a pregnant woman’s posture, body language, appearance, mood, and body chemistry. Dogs have such an amazing sense of smell that they can even smell the hormonal changes happening in a pregnant woman’s body.

One of the first things that dogs will notice is the change in schedule that often happens when a woman gets pregnant. Maybe daily walks get less and less frequent, or you leave later than normal in the mornings due to doctors’ appointments. They might also notice that you are spending more time resting. Plus, they may notice all kinds of new items being brought into their home for the baby.

Many dogs also seem to become more affectionate and protective of pregnant women. While we don’t know the reason for this, it seems like dogs can sense that there is something important going on. Dogs may even become aggressive toward people they know if they believe that their pregnant owner is in danger. This aggression may even be toward the husband or other immediate family members.

Body Language

When your dog is being protective of a pregnant woman, you may notice the following body language signs:
  • Growling
  • Alert
  • Barking
  • Back hair on edge
  • Snapping
  • Stalking

Other Signs

Signs that your dog can sense a baby in the womb include:
  • Becoming overly-protective of a pregnant woman
  • Taking an interest in baby items brought into the house
  • Lying near a pregnant woman at any opportunity

History of Dogs Being Able to Sense Babies in the Womb

For thousands of years, dogs have lived with humans. So, for thousands of years, dogs have been around pregnant women. Throughout this time, dogs have given humans all kinds of clues to tell us that they know that there is something different about a pregnant woman. While they don’t necessarily know what it means when a woman is pregnant, they can definitely tell that something is going on, and they may act differently because of it.

Many dogs also become extremely protective of and affectionate toward their pregnant owner. Dogs with pregnant owners may become aggressively protective, and even stand between their owner and any perceived threat. These perceived threats can be family members that the dog is familiar with, including the husband or other children, so it is important that you monitor your dog’s behavior to ensure that nobody gets injured.

You need to remember that your dog has feelings, and that some of the changes that are made around your household when you are pregnant may negatively impact your dog’s feelings. Watch your dog to see how their behavior changes and get them help if it becomes something that you can’t manage. A trainer may be able to help channel your dog’s energy into something more positive.

Science Behind Dogs Sensing Babies in the Womb

Dogs have an amazing sense of smell that humans don’t quite understand. Since people can’t smell hormones, we have no idea what dogs actually smell, but they can smell the hormones associated with pregnancy, and these smells may cause your dog to have some kind of reaction. Dogs will also notice physical changes in a woman that is pregnant, such as her growing belly.

Even though your dog doesn’t really understand what is going on with a pregnant woman’s body, they clearly know that something is happening. The fact that dogs can even sense these changes tell us that they know more about their surroundings than we used to believe.

Dealing with Dogs Sensing Babies in the Womb

Not all dogs will handle their owner’s pregnancy in the same way, which means that you may have a dog that really seems upset and bothered or one that doesn’t seem to care. It really all depends on how your dog reacts to the sensory overload that they are probably feeling when you become pregnant and all these changes start to occur. You need to understand that your dog needs your calmness and patience during this time.

You need to be sure to monitor your dog’s attitude during your pregnancy. If you notice unwanted behaviors, you may need to step in to make positive changes for your dog. You may notice that your dog has started chewing on things that you have brought into the house for the new baby, and that could be due to anxiety that they are having about all the recent changes. Dogs are also more likely to start urinating in the house if they are anxious.

If your dog starts displaying these kinds of behaviors, you should consider contacting an animal trainer for help. For dogs who need additional help, you may even want to consider an animal behaviorist. A behaviorist should be able to help you determine a solution for your dog.

Regardless of how your dog acts during your pregnancy, what happens after the baby is born is extremely important. It is very important that you never leave your dog alone with the baby, and you should introduce your dog to the baby slowly. Babies are fragile, and it is very easy for a baby to be injured by a dog—especially a large dog. 

Even nice dogs can hurt a baby unintentionally, so it is best if you just avoid having a problem by never leaving them alone together. Over time, your dog will learn to accept all the new changes and be less likely to cause a problem with the baby.

How to Deal with a Dog Sensing Pregnancy:

  • Never allow your dog to become aggressive toward others.
  • Get your dog training before the baby comes.
  • Never leave your dog alone with the baby after it is born.