Can dogs sense pregnancy?
As we already know, dogs are incredibly sensitive creatures with a great sense of smell and fantastic hearing. They can read body language and detect subtle changes within their environment. Bearing that in mind, it makes sense dogs are aware of hormone changes that happen during pregnancy. So, when it comes to pregnancy, does a dog know?
Does my dog sense I am pregnant, and how?
While no scientific studies have been undertaken to prove dogs can sense pregnancy, anecdotal evidence shows that dogs certainly notice the change when their owner is expecting a baby.
Compared with approximately 6 million scent receptors humans have, dogs have a staggering 300 million. They can tell the difference between 30 000 and 100 000 types of smell. They pick up on chemical changes leading to epileptic seizures, menstrual cycles, cancer, and insulin levels and recently learned to detect COVID19. It seems crazy to think they wouldn’t be able to smell pregnancy hormone levels when they change, but whether they realise if the smell is due to pregnancy is unknown.
As pregnancy progresses, dogs may be able to hear the baby’s movement in the womb too. They are also pretty good at sensing mood and behavioural changes and the subtle differences in how a woman moves.
Put all this together, and your dog will know something is different with their owner!
Will my dog’s behaviour change during my pregnancy?
Most pregnant women report changes in their dog once they become pregnant. Some dogs are more protective, and they stay close by with a heightened awareness of potential threats. Others become more affectionate towards their owner. If a dog tends to be nervous, they may become more fearful of any possible changes on the horizon. Some owners report their dog seems utterly indifferent to their pregnancy!
Bear in mind; if you are pregnant, you will need to prepare your dog for the birth of your baby. But that’s a whole other subject!