Dogs are incredible creatures so it’s no shock you might be wondering “Does my dog know I’m pregnant?” The answer is simple! Dogs are really good at smelling things.
Why are dogs so good at smelling things?
But why do dogs have such good noses?
Simply put – it helps dogs to survive. Dogs noses are adapted to be excellent at sniffing out things. This allows them to find mates, avoid predators, find food, and locate their young from distances far greater than what we can.
One of the ways your dogs nose does this is by separating air. Part of it goes into the receptors while the rest of the air is for breathing. Certain breeds, like scent hounds, have evolved in a way that disturbs the ground less when sniffing. That way more of the scent will stay on the ground and your dog will be able to track it easier.
Your dog also has a vomeronasal organ. What does this organ do? It allows your dog to detect pheromones by other dogs. But what’s even cooler is your dog can smell separately with each nostril. Like how humans see differently with each eye and then combine the images together. Dogs will take two different scent profiles and combine them into one. This makes them excellent at pinpointing where a specific smell is coming from.
Does my dog really know I’m pregnant?
In reality, probably not. Dogs knowing that humans are pregnant is something we perceive. Pregnancy produces loads of hormones that are going to give off different smells. This will make you smell different. This different smell is what your dog is focusing on.
Dogs can understand smells but in most cases, they don’t. Dogs recognize a different smell, it smells interesting, and they want to investigate.
But my dog is more protective of me when I’m pregnant?
Again, this is something we perceive. There’s no scientific evidence to back up this claim.
What we do know is dogs mimic our behavior. Even when you’re not pregnant. If you’re on high alert there’s a good chance your dog will pick up on this and also be on high alert. This is what we tend to associate with dogs being more protective during pregnancy.
Dogs pick up on the slightest change in routine or environmental changes. A good example of this is when you’re preparing for the baby. When you’re preparing for a baby there’s going to be a lot of household changes. These changes might be stressful to everybody in the household. Your dog is going to pick up on this and possibly be more clingy. Thing clingyness can be perceived as being more protective.
Should I do anything to make my pregnancy easier for my dog?
Adding a new human to the family is one of the most difficult things for pets. There are a lot of things about pregnancy that you can’t avoid. Doctors appointments, rearranging of rooms, and the new things coming into the house. These things can stress out your dog.
But the most stressful thing will be when you go into labor. We recommend having plans for a pet sitter for when you go into labor.
Imagine if everybody in your house suddenly disappeared for a few days. Sure, your neighbor came over to help you out but they didn’t understand how to do things proper. By making plans with Wet Noses Pet Sitting you can worry about one less thing. Our pet sitters will make sure your dog, or any of your pets, stick to their routine. This ensures minimal stress for your pets.
Tips to introduce a new baby to your dog
Your dog might not understand you’re pregnant, but there are ways to make introducing a new baby to your dog easier.
- Let your dog sniff the areas where baby will be spending most of their time. This allows your dog to get used to the smell the new items coming in.
- Start any new rule changes before baby arrives. Example: If your dog is not going to be allowed in the nursery. Start keeping them out of nursery before there’s a new person in the house.
- Work on basic training. Babies drop lots of things. Most of these things you don’t want your dog picking up. Reinforcing your dogs basic commands can help with this. If your dog needs help there are many wonderful trainers who are thrilled to train your dog. It’s amazing how quickly dogs can learn!
Your dog is really good at smelling things. This makes it easy for your dog to detect hormonal changes during pregnancy. Not the pregnancy itself. Same goes for your dog acting more protective of you during pregnancy. Your dog isn’t being more protective of you because you’re pregnant. Your dog is reacting to the changes in their environment and mimicking your behavior.
If you’re expecting it’s best to prepare your dog for baby before baby arrives. This can include household rule changes, and getting a refresher training course for your dog. We also recommend having a pet sitter on call for when you go into labor. You’ll know your dog is being taken care of by a professional for as long as you need our services.