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Does Your Dog Know You’re Pregnant?


Welcoming a new member into your family is an exciting time. As a dog owner, you may wonder if your canine companion can sense that you’re expecting. There are so many changes happening in your body during pregnancy, and dogs have an incredible ability to pick up on subtle cues. Even before your pregnancy is obvious to the outside world, it’s likely your pooch has noticed changes in your body and emotional state.

Does your dog know you’re pregnant?

Anecdotally, many dog owners claim that their pets have an uncanny ability to detect pregnancy even before they are aware of it themselves. While scientific research on this topic is limited, it seems that dogs can sense the hormonal changes occurring in a pregnant woman’s body.

A dog’s sense of smell is highly developed. They can detect even the subtlest changes in the scents emanating from their owners. According to What to Expect, “The human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels in your blood, for one, skyrocket from somewhere around 50 mIU/L max in week three of pregnancy to up to 426 mIU/L by week 4 and 288,000 in the last weeks of the first trimester. Estrogen, progesterone and prolactin levels also all rise during pregnancy.”

Some of these hormones can alter a person’s scent. Dogs, who can smell up to 10,000 times better than humans, can pick up on these changes. As a result, their behavior may change.

Will your dog’s behavior change during your pregnancy?

Dogs are intuitive creatures, and they are highly attuned to their owner’s emotions and physical state. During pregnancy, you may notice some behavioral changes in your furry friend. Some dogs become more protective and attentive towards their pregnant owner. They may act as if they are guarding and watching over them. Others may become more clingy or act feel fearful. And another subset of dogs may display signs of anxiety or confusion due to the changes happening in the household.

Because pregnancy often comes with changes in routine, such as reduced exercise or less attention given to the dog. It’s essential to maintain your dog’s regular exercise and playtime routines as much as possible. The consistency will help alleviate any stress or confusion they may be experiencing.

Can your dog tell when you’re going into labor?

Another intriguing aspect of a dog’s ability to sense pregnancy is their potential to detect when a woman is going into labor. Dogs may display unusual behavior or act differently shortly before their owner goes into labor. Some dogs may become restless, pace around, or exhibit increased attention towards their pregnant owner.

While the exact reasons for these behavioral changes are still unclear, it’s likely dogs detect changes in a pregnant woman’s body odor and behavior as labor approaches. Women in labor experience changes in adrenaline, endorphins, oxytocin, and prolactin. Additionally, dogs are sensitive to the physical and emotional changes in their environment. The excitement and anticipation surrounding childbirth may also contribute to their behavior.

Preparing your fur baby for a new baby

Given their keen sense of smell and ability to pick up on subtle changes in their environment, dogs are highly attuned to the hormonal and physical changes occurring during pregnancy.

Every dog is unique, and their responses to pregnancy will vary. Some dogs may become more protective and attentive, while others may exhibit signs of stress or confusion. As a responsible dog owner, it’s crucial to provide your fur baby with stability during your pregnancy. Maintain their routines and ensure they receive the attention and care they need during this transformative time.

Ultimately, the bond between a dog and its owner is special, and the addition of a new family member can further strengthen that bond. So, whether or not your dog understands the concept of pregnancy, their presence and support can bring comfort and joy during this exciting chapter of your life.

Now that you know that your dog can likely tell you’re pregnant, prepare for your new arrival by reading up on how to introduce your pup to your new baby 

ChatGPT assisted in the creation of this article.


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