Do Dogs Know When You Are Pregnant?

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Can dogs sense pregnancy before you know? Dogs are sensitive creatures aware of their human owner’s behaviors and routines. They have strong olfactory senses that play a significant role in its remarkable abilities. Dogs can detect smells 40 times more than humans, and even a minor physiological change in a person can be identified by the dog’s nose (1). However, there is limited reaserch on dogs detecting pregnancy.

The following post lets you know how dogs can identify changes in your body language and behavior when pregnant.

Can Dogs Sense Pregnancy In Humans?

There are no scientific or official studies to prove that dogs can sense human pregnancy. Nevertheless, there are several instances where dog owners have noticed that their dogs could sense when the woman of the house is pregnant long before they notice it themselves. This might be because a woman experiences hormone-related changes (changes in body chemistry) in the early weeks of pregnancy, leading to a distinct body odor that dogs might detect.

Moreover, as pregnancy progresses, the dog may recognize your mood swings, behavioral changes, and subtle movements, too (1). Although there is no research backing this, if you ask any pregnant dog owner or a new mom, they are quite likely to tell you that their dog started to identify these changes way before they did.

How Might Your Dog’s Behavior Change?

It is not known how dogs might react to the realization of their owner’s pregnancy. However, dogs are sensitive to the behavior of their human owners. Therefore, your dog might show a changed behavior when they begin to notice any pregnancy-related behavioral changes in you. You may notice the following behaviors in your dog (1) (2).

  • Being overprotective of the expectant mothers
  • Showing rebellious behavior, such as chewing up on things or sulking
  • Depicting a conflicting attitude and being more demanding
  • Unable to cope with the new changes and schedules

Some dogs may show a difference in behaviors while others may not. However, the best way to help your dog adapt to the new environment is by giving them extra care and affection. This is a great time to prepare your dog for the baby’s arrival. Pet experts suggest that proper training might make it easier for dogs to cope with the new surroundings and become comfortable with the upcoming scenarios.

How To Prepare Your Dog For The Baby’s Arrival?

You may make the dog comfortable with the presence of a new family member and the change in routines through the following ways (3) (4) (5).

  • Begin sensitizing the dog right from pregnancy. For instance, you may train the dog not to sit or jump on your belly. The dog may eventually understand the change in your body and that it is something important.
  • Make sure your dog is up to date on medications and vaccinations. It is essential to protect yourself and your baby from infections that may transmit to humans.
  • Teach your dog commands and skills for obedience in case they are not yet trained. Verbal commands will come in handy when you have both your baby and dog to look after. It will also ensure your dog is gentle with your baby when they arrive.
  • Teach your dog the skill of self-entertainment. You may use toys to do so. This will help you take care of your newborn without interruptions. You may also have a reward system to encourage good behavior.
  • Plan any changes in your dog’s sleeping place way in advance. It will ensure the dog grows used to it by the time the baby arrives.
  • Prepare your dog for the newborn’s presence. You may introduce a doll with a blanket and introduce baby lotion or baby powders to make your dog familiar with the new body scents that will come with the new baby.
  • If your dog is more attached to you, ask your partner or other family members to spend time with the dog as you may have to spare most of your time and attention to your baby. This will also prepare your dog for the changes that come with the newborn.

Dogs are smart and affectionate animals, having an incredible sense of smell and remarkable abilities to detect changes in their surroundings. Though there is limited research-based or scientific evidence to prove that dogs can detect pregnancy, it is not surprising when they observe the body language cues and behavioral changes related to pregnancy. Be sure to spend time with your pet to prepare them for your baby’s arrival. This way, it will be easier for you and your dog to cope with the overwhelming changes that come with the little one’s arrival.

Key Pointers

  • Although some claim that dogs can identify pregnancy before detection, not much scientific evidence exists.
  • Dogs may have identified the pregnancy due to their sensitivity toward their owner’s mood swings.
  • Since adding a new member may alter the dog’s schedule and life, prepare your dog by using the tips in this post.


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Vidya Tadapatri

Vidya did her post-graduation in Biotechnology from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Her interest in scientific research and writing made her pursue a career in writing, in which she now has over four years of experience. She has done certified biotechnology-related training programs under renowned organizations such as Centre For Cellular & Molecular Biology and Department of Biotechnology. Vidya writes health-based articles... more