A dog’s ability to pick up on changes to their surroundings make them some of the most intuitive animals on the planet, and it’s also one of the reasons they make great pets. Dogs are also gifted with the ability to detect physiological changes in humans, such as oncoming seizures in people with epilepsy. But one of the most common questions people ask about dogs is if they can sense pregnancy in humans.
Keep reading to learn more about our furry friends’ incredible sensory abilities and how they are able to tell if a woman is pregnant.
Have you ever had the feeling that your dog senses something that you can’t, such as bad weather? There isn’t much that can get past your pooch, and that’s because of their innate ability to detect the smallest changes to their environment – including biological changes in their owners.
Your dog knows your quirks and habits very well. After all, they’ve probably spent their entire life with you. Not only is your canine friend great at reading human body language, but they can also pick up on physiological changes. In fact, there are several reported incidents of dogs detecting cancer, epileptic fits and yes, even pregnancy. So, how does your dog know that a woman is pregnant? It starts with the way a woman smells.
Pregnant Women Smell Different
A dog’s nose is their way of identifying and putting together the pieces of their world, and every time they encounter something interesting, they must smell it. Sniffing everything is part of a dog’s daily routine. As a dog owner, you’ve probably come to expect your pooch to conduct a thorough investigation on you when you walk through the door. When dogs smell their owners, it’s a confirmation that this human belongs to them and nothing is amiss.
When a woman becomes pregnant, however, her body chemistry changes and her distinct odor will be a new smell to her dog. This odor change isn’t something that humans can smell; however, dogs are highly attuned to their human’s odor, so they pick up on even the smallest change to their scent. A dog must experience quite the surprise and confusion when they notice that their owner no longer smells the same!
Dogs Notice Changes to a Woman’s Body
Humans aren’t the only ones who notice the changes in a pregnant woman’s shape. Dogs can pick up on it, too. Indeed, dogs notice when a pregnant woman’s weight changes because it affects the way she walks. If a dog owner suddenly has difficulty standing or moves slower than she used to, it signals to the dog that some physical changes have taken place. Dogs will also pick up on the differences in a pregnant woman’s body language, which they also use to interpret mood changes.
Dogs Pick Up on Mood and Behavior Changes
Dogs can already sense when their owner is sad, angry or happy, and they respond accordingly with sorrowful expressions or a wagging tail. Women may experience mood swings or other mood changes during pregnancy. Because dogs are keenly aware of emotional changes, they can easily intuit the change in their owners. Moreover, dogs that are sensitive to emotional ups and downs will take their behavioral cues from their owners, who in turn might notice similar mood shifts in their pups.
Behavior Changes in Dogs
Pregnancy is a big adjustment for the woman and everyone in her home, including her loyal pup. If something new is happening, you can be sure that your dog knows something is up. This also means a sensitive dog can develop some behavioral changes of their own.
A dog’s personality may lead to favorable reactions such as an increase in affection or a development of a deeper sense of needing to protect the pregnant woman. However, dogs can interpret pregnancy in a different way and might react unfavorably, including behaviors such as:
- Urinating or defecating in the house
- Destroying items meant for the new baby
- Becoming easily agitated and aggressive (e.g., growling, baring teeth and uncooperative behavior)
Dog owners can rest assured that their pup’s behavior will return to normal after an adjustment period. If you notice your dog is having a prolonged period of difficulty adapting to the pregnancy changes, they might benefit from the help of a professional trainer. The important thing to keep in mind is that your dog has a personality just like any other member of the family, and they respond to big news in different ways.
Dogs are sensitive to a woman’s pregnancy, and it can take time to make them feel comfortable with the changes, as well as prepare them for the biggest change of all – a new baby.
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