As a mother, this author has firsthand experience with pregnancy symptoms and loves to share her research on all aspects of pregnancy.
Dr. Rachel Barrack, Veterinarian & Certified Veterinary Chinese Herbalist
Can Dogs Sense Pregnancy?
Dogs are known for their sense of smell. According to PetMD, humans have about 6 million receptors in their noses; dogs have up to 300 million. They are also very observant and intuitive and know when something is up, so it's hardly surprising that dogs can also detect when women are pregnant. This observant behavior has only improved since we've domesticated dogs and made them a part of our families. There's no scientific evidence to explain how they know that you're pregnant, but here are a few theories.
- Dogs may be able to smell the hormonal changes: Firstly, it's possible that, with their heightened senses, dogs can smell the changes in hormones and pheromones that occur in a pregnant woman's body. These hormonal changes can take place as early as within the first month, which means that a dog could sense your pregnancy before you are even aware of it.
- They may be able to detect emotional and behavioral changes: When you become pregnant, small changes in posture and habits will be apparent to your loyal canine. For example, you may go on shorter walks or tire more quickly. Dogs are also very sensitive to mood changes, so if you are more emotional or anxious, your dog will notice. These are also things that would be noticeable by an observant human!
- They may be able to sense changes in body shape. Your dog will notice your growing belly when they are snuggling up next to you, or they may feel the baby kick once you are further along.
While it's unlikely that your dog knows that in nine months there will be a new addition to the family, they can sense a change.
How Do Dogs Act Around Pregnant Women?
When a dog detects your pregnancy, they might start acting very differently towards you by:
- becoming much more protective of you and your bump.
- following you around everywhere you go.
- sleeping with their head on your belly.
- Becoming jealous of this new rival for your affections!
What If My Dog Starts to Have Behavioral Problems?
As you get further along in your pregnancy, your dog will start to see and smell all over the new things for the baby–crib, stroller, new paint in the baby's room, diapers, etc. The dog might retaliate by chewing up the baby items, peeing in the house, or being uncooperative. Don't worry! These reactions are common since they know that change is coming and are worried this might mean they'll be pushed out of the family or taken to the shelter.
In a small percentage of dogs, they'll become aggressive towards strangers in an attempt to protect you.
How Can I Help My Dog Adjust?
Continue to Give Your Dog Attention and Love
It's important to continue to snuggle with your furry child to ensure that they know they're loved. Be very cognizant of your body language, so that you don't inadvertently give off the vibe that you don't want your dog close. According to animal behaviorist Nikole Gipps, many pregnant women unconsciously put their hands over their growing belly, but this tells your dog to stay away.
If they begin acting stressed or jealous, be sure to continue his routine as closely as possible. If it becomes difficult to walk them with the same regularity, find a friend or family member who can assist.
Start or Reinforce Obedience Training
To prepare for the arrival of a baby, it's important to let your dog know that you're in charge and ensure that they will listen to your commands." If you have a puppy, it might be a good idea to enroll them in puppy classes to get them socialized and to teach them basic commands. If you have an older pup, it's still important to reinforce these rules. A new addition to the family might freak out your dog, but if there's structure in place before the baby's arrival, you'll likely be able to keep them relaxed.
Create a Safe Haven
If you don't already have one, it's important to create a safe space for your pup to go to when they're feeling stressed or tired. Take them over to this little space each day to establish a routine. This will be especially important after the baby is born and the house gets a little more chaotic!
Do a Meet and Greet With Your Dog and New Baby
According to Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, CVA, CVCH of Animal Acupuncture, you should have someone bring home a burp cloth or blanket with the baby's scent before you come home from the hospital so your dog can become acclimated.
Dr. Barrack also adds some rules to enforce when you bring the baby home. "Greet your dog separate from the baby when first arriving home so they don’t inadvertently jump on the baby in their excitement. Also, keep your dog on the leash for the first meet and greet should they need to be reprimanded and offer lots of positive reinforcement and verbal praise. Don’t exclude your dog from your time with the baby as they may then act up to get your attention."
How Can Dogs Sense Things Before You Know?
It is because of these heightened senses that people "employ" guard dogs to protect their property, sniffer dogs to detect drugs and explosives, guide dogs to aid the blind, hearing dogs to accompany the deaf, and search and rescue dogs to play critical roles in various missions.
This increased sensitivity can even seem supernatural—for example, canines seem to predict natural disasters. For instance, there are many accounts of animals (including dogs) acting strangely before a tsunamis in Southern Asia, as if they knew that it was about to happen.
National Geographic says the following:
The belief that wild and domestic animals possess a sixth sense—and know in advance when the earth is going to shake—has been around for centuries. Wildlife experts believe animals' more acute hearing and other senses might enable them to hear or feel the earth's vibration, tipping them off to approaching disaster long before humans realize what's going on.
It has also been reported that dogs are able to detect the subtle changes that occur in the body when cancer is present.
The Benefits of Having a Dog While Pregnant
- They can improve your mood. With your hormones all over the place, there will be some days when you'll need a reason to smile. According to a study done by Frontiers in Psychology, interacting with animals can improve your mood.
- They will offer companionship when things get lonely. Being pregnant can feel lonely at times, especially in your third trimester when you don't want to do anything and are anxious for the baby to arrive. Hanging out with a furry little friend can make things easier. Plus, who doesn't love to have someone to cuddle with?
- Having a dog will help you stay active. On the days when you don't want to move, having your pup stare at you as they wait for a walk can be a great motivator. Collaborative research from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and the University of Liverpool has shown that pregnant women who own dogs are more physically active than those who don’t.
How Do Other People Know I'm Pregnant?
Sometimes other (perceptive) humans may be able to detect that you're pregnant—not from sniffing hormones and pheromones (unless they're unusually talented in this area!), but because of the way you behave.
During those early weeks before the first scan, most people want to keep their pregnancy a secret. However, even if you're not showing during that time, you may unconsciously be giving off signals.
With the massive hormonal changes that are taking place inside your body, it's not surprising that your behaviour and emotions might change. Apart from perhaps turning a bit green and having to throw up a lot, you may experience some of the following behavioural changes:
- An increased sense of well-being and happiness (from the hormonal changes, and probably also from the excitement of being pregnant). This can change your entire personality; a normally serious and fretful person might become light-hearted and optimistic. I know about this change from personal experience, as my newly sunny disposition alerted my (rather observant) boss to my pregnancy!
- Hormonal changes can also cause you to become more emotional. You may become more sensitive to sad or happy things. They can also make you feel more stressed or irritable in situations that normally do not affect you.
- From very early on in your pregnancy, you may feel much more tired than normal.
- Hormonal changes when you become pregnant can cause frequent urination, and then your uterus begins to press on your bladder from as early as six to eight weeks of pregnancy. So it's possible that you might have to pop to the toilet quite a lot.
- You might start to get incredibly hungry as if you're eating for two right from the start—even though your baby is still the size of an apple seed.
- Cravings can also start quite early on, and some women crave some very strange things!
- You may have a heightened sense of smell, causing you to react unfavourably to scents. (I couldn't stand the smell of coffee or garlic, previously two of my favourite smells).
- Some women suffer from headaches in early pregnancy, which can make it difficult to concentrate. It's also quite common to become a bit forgetful.
Of course, not every pregnant woman will experience all (or indeed any) of these things, and sometimes these changes may be so subtle that nobody would notice them. But even if somebody did suspect that you were pregnant, they would be unlikely to ask you anyway, as it's difficult to be 100 percent sure. And it would be embarrassing to be wrong! Only dogs (and other animals) seem to show no hesitation in reacting to your pregnancy.
Lucky faus on August 18, 2020:
Hi my name is blerta my boyfriend's dog lays next to my feet what does that mean
Ángel on November 25, 2019:
My sister is pregnant and my dog keeps whining and crying outside my sisters door
Ashley caparla on August 28, 2019:
Cynthia Tabora on August 11, 2019:
My dog suddenly starting to lay on the steps or by my door just like he's protecting me. He also been whining alot at my door wanting attention. Could I be pregnant?
Bronwyn on November 05, 2018:
I think my sisters dog might be picking up on me being pregnant but I'm too scared to take a pregnancy test for me to even know, he's usually sleeping in with my sister when I'm over but he's not leaving my side and cries when he can't find me when I'm sitting or lying down hes cuddling me on my lap or trying to snuggle into me he's always been affectionate at me but never this much so maybe I should but I'm on the implant so I need a doctor to do it not a home pregnancy test and me and my partner recently broke up I wouldn't want to do it alone but I'm personally against abortions unless it's a medical reason
Renee on September 06, 2018:
So here lately every time my dog sniffs me she drools tremendously! I recently just found out I’m pregnant, could that be why?
Moon Daisy on June 13, 2018:
That's really interesting! Such a clever dog, he sounds so gentle and sensitive. It's amazing that his innate skills make him such a good pregnancy detector. Thank you so much for your comment.
Matina on June 04, 2018:
Oh it's so so true!! It totally depends on your dogs personality of course, but my dog (a golden retriever - known for their gentle nature) was acting really strange on my first pregnancy, following me around everywhere I go(sometimes he even cried when i shut the door to use the toilet) he was sniffing every chair or surface I had sat on immediately after I got up...at the time, I had no idea why he was acting like that! Even while the pregnancy was progressing he was super protective of me!! If a stranger stopped to ask me for directions or anything he would act so nervous, whereas before(and after) my pregnancy, he would throw himself at a strangers feet for a tummy rub!!
On my second pregnancy I was well aware what his strange behaviour met, which manifested itself a handful of days after we tried to concieve on my ovulation day... It was only 5-6 days after the ovulation(fertilization date) that he started the exact same patern, and I knew I was pregnant!! I still had to wait another 10 days or so before I could do the early pregnancy test to confirm what my dog had let me know already... I was pregnant again!!
And a couple of years ago, a friend of mine wasn't sure if she was pregnant, was scared to have the pregnancy test in fear of a negative result, so we put my dog on the test. He hadn't seen her for a very long time, and instead of jumping on her with joy, he was instead crawling on the floor near her, extremely excited, but holding himself from jumping with joy, and was crawling all around her, barely touching her shoes!! I told her she was pregnant, and next day she took the test, which of course was possitive!!
Dogs are incrediblE creatures, and it's amazing how in tune they are with us to pick up the smallest changes in us, whether it's us having a bad day or even saving lives like being able to detect some forms of cancer!!
It's just so humbling that despite all this ,technology" that we have wrapped around us, the animals that simply follow their nature, are so much more advanced than we'll ever be..
Jessie on April 18, 2018:
My dog all of a sudden started wanting to sleep on top of me at night he usually lays on the floor underneath the bed or in his cage could this be him trying to tell me im pregnant
Lucas on March 24, 2018:
My dog been laying by my girlfriend stomach the past four days and she been nauseous a little bit and tired here lately so does that mean she pregnant or what does that mean can I get someone in put on this.
Jenna on December 05, 2017:
My dog has recently starting licking up my arms and my stomach over the shirt. Could this be a sign?
Rosetta on September 02, 2017:
My brother's dog use to jump on me and now he won't jump on me. Can that be a sign of being pregnant
Chelsea on September 01, 2017:
My mams dog who I see all the time over the last 3days I've been here will not leave me alone he's a shipoo n he's one but he's never acted like this before he's licking my feet all the time or licking me constantly he will not leave my side if I walk somewhere he follows or he will sit.on my knee and also he keeps staring at me this is not normal for him and I'm starting to worry he's agitated all the time but only around me plz. Help
Bianca willis on July 14, 2017:
Can a dog tell what type of gender of your baby... Because I have a female pitbull in she always want to be around me... Lol and my mother boyfriend says I'm have a boy but I know it's a girl
Moon Daisy (author) from London on April 01, 2017:
Hi Jamiee speight, a dog licking you is usually a sign of affection. Dogs also lick their pups in order to look after them, so maybe your dog is looking after you and your baby.
Jamiee speight on April 01, 2017:
I am pregnant and my dog keep licking my side my back and my belly button what that mean
Moon Daisy (author) from London on March 29, 2014:
Hi kandy, if you're pregnant and the pregnancy test is registering as positive then you will be producing pregnancy hormones. It's possible that dogs can sense these hormones and that this may make them act differently (protectively?) towards you.
The period-type bleed that you're talking about was possibly implantation bleeding, caused by the egg burrowing into your womb. This is completely normal for some women. Sometimes a woman will also continue to have very light periods for a few months into her pregnancy. This is usually normal, but any bleeding in pregnancy should be checked with your doctor, just to be sure.
I wish you good luck for the rest of your pregnancy, and hope that your dog looks after you.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on March 29, 2014:
17 andnervous, sorry to hear that you're scared about your situation. First of all, (and I don't mean to be hurtful in any way), but are you sure that you're pregnant? It's not usually possible to know for sure that you're pregnant just a week after unprotected sex. If your cycle is 28 days, then it usually takes around 14 days for pregnancy tests to pick up enough of the birth hormone to register as positive.
If you are pregnant, then I wish you lots of luck with whatever you decide to do. You haven't said whether you've decided to keep your baby, and I know that it must be stressful to be a pregnant teenager, especially if your family isn't behind you or if they don't know yet. I don't know your situation, but hope that you have someone sympathetic that you can talk to.
If you're afraid of the actual birth then please don't worry. Firstly, you have a long way to go before you get there, and worrying now won't make for a healthy pregnancy. Try to be as relaxed as you can. Secondly, although labour is painful, billions and trillions of women have done this before. (And often they go on to do it again!) When it comes to labour there are lots of things you can do to control the pain, there are drugs of course, and I found that pregnancy hypnotherapy made my labour really enjoyable for the most part. (It teaches you to see the pains as positive and relax through them, so you really don't notice them so much).
Anyway, this is probably getting much to far ahead if you're still in the early stages. And if you've decided not to keep your baby then I apologise for maybe not being very sensitive. I'm just trying to second-guess what your fears may be about and trying to help you not be so terrified.
A wise person once told me to "know always that you are a strong person, and you can cope with whatever life throws your way".
I noticed that you post is four weeks old now, so I hope that if you've told your family by now, then their reaction wasn't too harsh. If it was, then it's possible that it will mellow once they've got over the initial shock. My friend who was a young mother had this experience. Even though her parents were furious at first and didn't talk to her for a while, when it came down to it nothing would stand in the way of them being a part of their grand-daughter's life, and now they completely dote on her and really can't imagine life without her. Sorry, this, again assumes that you're keeping your baby.
More than anything I hope you get the chance to decide for yourself what you do.
I hope this scary time turns out well for you. You're young, and I'm sure you have a great life ahead of you whatever happens. I hope your pets also continue to give you great comfort whatever happens, and that they're taking good care of you. :)
kandy on March 28, 2014:
Just been reading this article on when a dog smells you and can sense that you are pg how can this be possible when I just had a small period and finished them two days ago
17 andnervous on February 25, 2014:
I'm terrified! I'm only 17 and I'm about a week pregnant! But, it's nice to know that my cat and dog love me(my cat used to hate me), (my dog was always attached to my sister). My dog now sits outside my door, whining until I let him in my room! My cat will also scratch at my door!
Moon Daisy (author) from London on February 21, 2014:
I hope he's right too 28 girl from st lucia!
And thanks for your comment.
28 girl from st lucia on February 21, 2014:
I am not sure yet but my dog is acting strange lately it follows me every where now .it even want to lie on me when ever I sit tht wasn't like him .I urinate a lot at night .I feel a lot tired during the day .I have been sporting lightly.I feel a lot depress and a lot of head ache .can't stand my bf now .I am not sur but I would be so so over joyed to be pregnant god alone knows how much I want tht .I have one daughter and she is 13 and I have been trying since then.I hope my puppy is right on his actions.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on December 30, 2013:
Thanks for your comment. I was wondering what the outcome was? Did you turn out to be pregnant, or is your dog just very affectionate? Hope you're doing well.
17 girl from the south on November 21, 2013:
Idk if I am pregnAnt or not but my dog always wants to lay beside me with her head on my belly or lay on my belly so idk if that's a sign
Tracy on November 12, 2012:
I have a similar story. When visiting a friend with Greyhounds, one of their females, who was familiar with me, would not leave my side the entire time I was there. I couldn't even go to the bathroom without her stuck to my leg. Two days later I found out I was three weeks pregnant!
sydneyrae on March 19, 2012:
I am 35 weeks pregnant and everytime someone comes over to my house and tries to touch my stomach, my dog snaps at them. He never had a problem with anyone touching me or anything before I became pregnant. He doesn't seem to mind them being near me because he only does it if they try to touch me. Could this be because I'm pregnant or could it be a different reason?
babykoop24 on March 11, 2012:
I just found out that I am five Weeks pregnant. I have a wolf/black lab/ malamute mix and a chowchow/German Sheppard. the chow is my husbands dog, normally she hates me she is only four months old, my dog is normally inseperable anytime I go anywhere in my house he is by my side. Now she has to cuddle on the bed or she tears things up. Her and my dog (1 yr old wolf mix) are very well behaved, kennel trained and potty trained just awesome dogs. He doesn't want much to do with me unless I have treats, and he has started going in the house again! She lays at my feet, on my lap. I really think they know, in my apartment our walls are very thin and they heard our neighbors go into their house. They we're so set on making sure it wasn't someone coming in to our home that they were howling (he taught her) at the door. Once I let them out they went crazy barking around the house looking for someone.
Seth on January 31, 2012:
My wife recently gave birth to our third child. When she was having contractions, the dog would lay her head on my wife's belly. During each contraction, the dog would start panting heavily until each contraction was over. It's almost like she was preparing herself for labor. We thought it was really neat how in-tune she was during the process.
Dena on January 29, 2012:
My dog totally knows I'm pregnant! She lays at my belly wenever I sit down or lay down, she has to smell someone before they touch me or my belly or she gets very mad and she follows me everywhere I go as if to make sure I'm ok 24/7! I know she will be a great companion to my daughter :)
Moon Daisy (author) from London on January 27, 2012:
Thanks for reading my hub lylah, and for commenting. That's very interesting! I don't know much about the nueva ring, or how reliable it is. I'd love to know the result of your pregnancy test, (only if you would like to share it of course). Either way, I hope you get the result that you want, and I wish you the best of luck.
lylah21 on January 27, 2012:
I have been on the nueva ring for a while now. I got my dog back in Nov. She is now 3 months old. And for the past few weeks she is literally stuck up my butt. I go to do dishes and she lays right at my feet. I take a shower and she is trying to crawl in with me. I go to the bathroom and she is sitting at my feet. I walk around the house cleaning she follows me. I sit on the couch and she has to be curled up on me. When we fi to bed she has to be right against me. I haven't got a preg test so Idk if I could be preg or not but I got the idea to Google it and I found this ad. It helped me a lot. Maybe I do need to find out if I could be or not.
CMCsMommy on January 22, 2012:
I have a Golden and I am thinking that she knows the gender of the baby I am having. With my son, she was very calm, always laying her head on my belly. this go around she wants nothing to do with me. she stays back in her room until my husband gets home.
Jason on January 17, 2012:
Do you suppose the pit bull that ripped its owner to pieces out in California last summer knew she was pregnant? There is absolutely no way to ascertain whether or not a dog can detect pregnancy. This is all supposition based on nothing more than the wishful thinking of dog freaks.
sassyb89 on January 14, 2012:
My gorgeous black lab is really protective of me and my bump too protective really when ever someone comes to my house he growls and barks at them my partner cant sit next to me without our dog bieting him i dont kno what to do coz our dog has been with us since me and my partner got together (3years) its putting alot of strain on our relationship coz if i shut the dog ib the kitchen he destroys it chews the doors and coupboards he wobt leave me alone he crys all nite if his not in same room as me and my house is trashed when i get home from work i dont wanna loose my dog but i dont wanna keep going on like this he is house trained but since i fell pregnant (now 17weeks) his changed a lot someone please give me advice xx
not strange on January 06, 2012:
we have 5 dogs and i am 5 months pregnant. there has been no change in the dogs reaction and they don't know i am pregnant. I think people look into it too much!!
sheaa(: on December 22, 2011:
Hi I have a lil pomeranion she is a lap dog very spoiled shes used to bein around my two dogs and my brothers dog yes she growled sometimes but iv had a feeling im pregnant id b nearly 2 weeks and today she started layin on my tummy and when the other to dogs come near me she bites them.. So I believe im pregnant
Courtney on December 04, 2011:
My pitbull also became overly affectionate. He's always been extremely loving and protective of us, but I have noticed changes. He NEVER leaves my side, even when I am going to the bathroom, he doesn't want to go outside unless I go too, and he sleeps literally smushed up against me now. Gotta love the pups!! Although, my lab isn't acting any differently...but then again, we always thought he might be kind of "special." :)
hendry masuku on November 30, 2011:
im very much happy about the topic as it helps me and my family to know things as fast. dogs are my favorite pet
Tina on November 26, 2011:
I believe animals do have a 6th sense. When I was pregnant my Shep/Lab mix dog, became very protective of me. He does not like other dogs near me or for me to pay attention to other dogs not even my other Shep/Akita mix dog. He always had to be near me and even after I had my son, he has become even more protective. He will not let my hubby walk into a room that I am in without barking/growling at him. Now I am having dog issues with him.
Jenn on November 22, 2011:
I'm currently 36 almost 37 weeks pregnant. I noticed a couple months ago that my little chihuahua seemed to be clingier than she usually is. I wasn't sure if it was because of the baby or something different. Now that I've read this, it makes sense. My dog has always slept in my bed with me but had the occasional nights where she wanted to stay in the living room with the other dogs BUT now she absolutely has to sleep with me right by my stomach.
Jamie on November 10, 2011:
My best friend's dogs noticed as soon as they saw me when I was pregnant. She even says they can detect gender, as they are calm and quiet and gentle around the belly if it is a girl, and are jumping, and sniffing around the belly if it was a boy. Way before I found out what I was having, both dogs would always crawl in my lap and lay there, being very gentle and very quiet, even if they were barking as loud as they could before I got to her door. Turns out I really am having a girl! So, maybe she was right!
Rachel on November 09, 2011:
My dog doddie knew I was pregnant before I did, she would come up and gently nibble my belly and nudge my arm, the bigger I got the more she would nibble on my belly. After my son was born she would always come up and nudge my elbow when I was holding him like she wanted me to drop him. Needless to say it took a couple years before she liked him and now they are inseparable.
Lisa on November 07, 2011:
Hi we have a boxer dog... He's a beautiful boy and I guess we spoil him a lot!! When I was first pregnant he wouldn't leave my side and I didn't even know that I was pregnant... I'm 8 and a half weeks now and the last week and half he has hardly come near me... He will follow my partner around again!! I'm worried that there is something wrong with my pregnancy or it's just my dog being jealous!!
All American Mom on November 01, 2011:
We have three children already - 15, 13 and 12. I just had the feeling I was pregnant on day one since we didn't have any protection. That afternoon our 3 year old cat napped with me, curled up against my belly. That night, she slept there again. She is not a lap cat and always sleeps on chairs or the sofa or in her basket. I have yet to get tested but have all the signs - frequent toilet trips, starving all the time, a full/pressure feeling in my lower belly, cry at the drop of a hat, and otherwise feel WONDERFUL! I would only be 1 1/2 weeks now, about 3 1/2 weeks by the way the Dr's determine your due date. I thought I was crazy to think Kitty could know THAT day!! We'll soon find out.
Tessia on October 28, 2011:
Hub u are amazing. U actually take the time to respond to each n every person that write you. N your advice was really helpful. Thank you
AbbyGirl on October 27, 2011:
My boys are grown and Abby has passed by my (she)keplie cross couldn't get her head out of my crotch when i was sitting down in my first trimester ONLY of both pregnanices..She knew i was pregnant FOR sure as never did it when i wasn't pregnant. AFter first trimester she would just sniff my belly and nudge it.. She was telling me she knew and somehow bonding??? When those boys came out she was such a mum to them. She Adored them. BEST dog EVER. Even as an old lady she tried to play with their shoelaces like she had when they were little, So gentle. Bless. x
jessie on October 24, 2011:
My dog usually sleeps in our bed now she don't. She also don't want nothing to do with me. Is that a reaction dogs usually have when their owner is pregnant
Ana on October 15, 2011:
I always knew animals could sense pregnancy.I kind of had a feeling that I was 3wks ago but in the meantime my 6month puppy was acting out truly using the bathroom in the cage,barking and just completely ignoring my commands.So I decided send her to my friends house until I was able to get myself together.Well this week she came back after I found out I was 5wks along but the sweetest dog ever.She wants to sit on my stomach,lick my face,get her stomach rub extremely strange from my hyper yorkie that left.I had to question my friend and ask what did she do to her lol.
Alexis on October 09, 2011:
I just found out I was pregnant today! My pitbull puppy has been acting odd, too .. She follows me around constantly and always looks for my approval before she does anything .. She sleeps in the bed with me or by the foot of the bed .. I love my Vanilla Bean (my puppy), I hope she is as attentive to my lil' bean that's growing inside of me ;p
heatheranne79 on October 07, 2011:
I actually know this firsthand as well. My 6-year-old pit bull, who isn't normally cuddly, became very attached shortly after I became pregnant. After about 3 months she started drinking out of our toilets - she'd never done this before! The midwife said that it was the change in hormones that made the toilet water smell good to her!!! I delivered stillborn, after my son passed away in my womb at 23 weeks. Her attitude changed the day before I had found out that he had died! She acted depressed and would whine at me. When I came home she wouldn't stop smelling me or leaving my side, as if something was different. The first time the toilets were cleaned after I delivered, she began to completely ignore the toilet water again!
Carolina on October 06, 2011:
i absolutely love all this comments and experience examples :) thank you Moon Daisy . i have two black labs one girl and one boy sister and brother .they are only 4months old fixing to be 5 soon. one of my labs Chloe has been acting different towards me she is usually more attached to my boyfriend because that's her dad that's her owner and my Sammy is mine her brother . both of us show them love but our dogs know that each have different owners. well Chloe has started to sleep next to me now for the past four days and she gets on my lap and moves her brother out of the way . she has NEVER done that at all. now everytime my boyfriend comes home from work he tries to give me a kiss and she comes and gets between us :) now my question is can a 4month old pup tell if a person is pregnant??? ive read all this comments and all the dogs are older . but what about a 4month puppy???
KittyKat on October 05, 2011:
I am currently 5 weeks pregnant and found out less than a week ago. Around the time I found out my dog has quit laying on the bed besides me and has started laying on the side of the bed where I lay. He also used to nudge me to pet him constantly but quit doing that and will just sniff my skin. He was an abandoned dog and has always been very jealous of other dogs around either my husband or me. It will be interesting to see how his behavior changes over the next few months.
kelly on October 02, 2011:
a friends dog lately has been sniffing my crutch and then trying to hump me. i'm guessing she knows that i am pregnant coz i am obviously giving off a different smell than usual. i'm 37 weeks pregnant. would this be the case or is it something else. we are all puzzled why she is doing this and i was quite interested why?
Moon Daisy (author) from London on September 22, 2011:
Ashmoore, I don't know for sure, but he probably senses something. I'm not sure how a puppy would react to a human pregnancy, given that he's a baby himself. It sure would be interesting to observe! Good luck with your pregnancy.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on September 22, 2011:
That's lovely, luvmyaussie. Great observations. It's lovely that he was so sensitive to your granddaughter, and that he is a sensitive doggy. He sounds very caring.
luvmyaussie on September 21, 2011:
My aussie would lay beside my granddaughter when she had
seizures. He also will try to lick a burn or a cut or any hurt. He also doesn't like anyone to play fight he gets very upset. I think dogs are like humans, some are more sensitve than others, they have their own special ways just like we do.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on September 19, 2011:
Aw, that's a lovely comment star, about how she'll always be your baby! That's interesting to know that some dogs go back to acting like a puppy. Enjoy both your babies, and thanks for reading my hub. :)
star on September 19, 2011:
i have had my beautiful dog star 7yr shes 14yrs now and has always been well behaved.i am now 24 weeks pregnant and over the past 5 weeks when shes alone shes started to mess in the house chew my new kitchen,she chewed through live wires and i think shes had electric shock!i have read about seperation anxiety and tried the suggestions on that but nothings working.my midwife said some dogs go back to acting like a pup.my mum has to puppysit her now while i go to work.think im going to buy a double buggy!she will always be my baby
AshMoore on September 18, 2011:
We got our puppy while I was pregnant and he has been with us the entire pregnancy. Do you think he knows we are having a baby? He has never been around me when I was not pregnant.
jamiesweeney from Philadelphia, PA on September 08, 2011:
Wow. I couldn't believe dogs are smart like this. Great information.
Sandra on August 27, 2011:
I am 12 weeks pregnant and my dog has become increasingly protective of me in the past weeks, especially the last few days. She growls and barks at the neighbors, that she knows and at the door when people pass by. This is slightly unusual behavior for her. She is normally cuddly and protective but just is showing more pronounced protectiveness. I have just been reassuring her by interacting with the neighbors with her by my side and she calms right down and is happy waggy and kissy with them in seconds, just like normal :)
I wish I still had my other loving dog who passed away last month. He was the same age as my surviving dog and LOVED babies and kids. I was looking forward to enjoying him with my own :(
Doris on August 11, 2011:
I took a pregnancy test, n it came out negative... That was a month ago.... I have a pitbull she's been acting weird around.... When I go to sleep she lays down in ma stomach, my pitbull was acting different around me. Always next to me. Wanting more love always sitting right beside. I found this werid that she was showing so much love towards me. Like she has always been a very loving dog but never to this extreme. So I decided to google it. And found this. I found your blog very helpful. Thank you :) its like she proctecting it.... Lol.... I wish thatshe could b right bout that.... Thankz
Destini on July 07, 2011:
I am 10 weeks pregnant and my pomeranian is now attached to my hip it seems. When we are on the couch she is either in my lap beside me or sitting upright (guard position) at my feet. Then when im in bed if my boyfriend enters the room she starts growling at him (which she never did before). This hub is very interesting and informitve. I also like how you set the paragraphs to smoothly go along.
Paige :) on June 01, 2011:
When I was only 7 weeks pregnant my pitbull was acting different around me. Wanting more love, always sitting right beside. Thank you :)
Sarah on May 02, 2011:
Im almost 7week's pregnant and in the past two days both my little dog's have been super sookie and been lying on top of my tummy and want to be close to me.
I think they must know im pregnant maybe now my hcg has risen quite high they are able to detect this...
SKYLEE MCGRAVY on January 14, 2011:
Hi there, I am a dog whisperer and I have a pack of four dogs that live inside with me and my husband. Two are labradors, one is a Corgi/Yorkie X and one is a shepherd/pit bull X. I am eight weeks pregnant and starting about a month ago all of them have been battling each other for my attention. Even to the point that they will all cram themselves up on the couch with me and leave my husband all alone on the love seat. He just laughs. It is quite hilarious actually. My chocolate lab has been acting a little ggofy lately by jumping aaround and pawing all the time which is not normal and my black lab is all about licking me everywhere, which she never did before. My little corgi/yorkie has to be closest to me to the point where he will try and sit on my face if that is the only available seat. hahahaha Understand that they are all very well behaved as this is what I do for a living and am around them pretty much all day everyday. But the changes are quite interesting and very amusing!!!!
One must remember that dogs communicate and observe with energy. Just as we as humans use our senses in life, canines are ninety percent energy so it is not far fetched to belive that they can sense changes and shifts in human energy. If you ever watch a mama and her babies, you will notice that she never has to bark at them or get excited ot angry. She is always calm and collected and her bubs just seem to know what she wants them to do.
Energy energy energy
Good luck all!!
sykko on December 29, 2010:
Well I have been suspecting I was pregnant for a while, but have yet to get a HPT BFP... Well yesterday I went to a friend's house whose 3 dogs always bark/growl and try to bite me. I sat on the couch and they all 3 piled on my lap and absolutely REFUSED to move! (That's like 150 lbs of dogs!) Someone actually had to physically pick them up so that I could leave! I immediately knew what was the what and am so excited to test again.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on December 19, 2010:
That is very fascinating, what a turnaround! It's really sweet the way he reacted and seemed to be protective of you and your stomach.
Thanks for commenting, I find that really interesting. And congratulations on your pregnancy, I hope it goes really smoothly. :)
Kayci on December 18, 2010:
I know I'm very late to this, but I googled dog's behavior toward pregnant women because of something that just happened, stumbled on this hub, and I thought I'd add to the conversation:
I just found out I'm pregnant (only 4 weeks), and yesterday I went to my sister's house for the first time in a month. Her dog has always hated me and tries to bite me whenever I'm at their home. But yesterday, for the first time, he came running to me with his tail wagging. He sat next to me the entire time I was there with his head close to my stomach and whined loudly when I left. I haven't told my sister yet that I'm pregnant, and she was really confused as to why he was acting so sweet toward me for once. I think she'll be fascinated when I tell her why!
Moon Daisy (author) from London on September 17, 2010:
I'm not an expert in animal behaviour, I wrote this hub because I was interested in this ability of dogs to sense pregnancy. But I am guessing that when they sense this change it could result in any kind of unusual behaviour, all animals are different, and some might not know how to react!
It's possible that this might be a reaction to him sensing that something's up. I guess you know by now whether or not you are pregnant. It would be interesting to know whether your suspicion (and that of your dog?!) was correct.
Kaitlyn on August 12, 2010:
have you ever seen a dog that hasn't changed so much as to become more lovey dovey but instead is constantally smelling towards the pelvic region and trying to hump you? im not a hundred percent that im preganant but everything is leaning towards it. thanks
Moon Daisy (author) from London on June 11, 2010:
Thanks for the comment Sam. yes, when you consider how sensitive dogs are to our feelings, it's believable that they can also sense that little bit more. Bentley sounds lovely. :)
Sam on June 10, 2010:
I don`t actually have experience with pregnancy as I am only 16. Although i can completely beleive dogs can detect pregnancy. Any time i was up set or sad about anything, my dog, Bentley, would come by and try to help. As if saying `I care, let me listen` and things like that.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on June 09, 2010:
Wow, thanks for all these real-life examples! I love reading about them. Just shows how truly amazing dogs are, and we shouldn't underestimate what they know.
Diane Inside on May 10, 2010:
I could see a dog knowing that someone is pregnant, when I had my dog Cassie, she always seemed to know when one of us was sick, or hurt. When my husbands back would act up she would always become more subdued as if she knew her exciteable behavior was not a good idea. This is a great hub. Thanks.
the pink umbrella from the darkened forest deep within me. on April 21, 2010:
my boyfriends dog followed me around the whole time i was pregnant, and slept next to me. she never left my side, and when she was called to go out to potty, she stared at me until i went with her. love that dog. And when the baby was born, she backed off, but was the only one more interested in me than in the baby.
borge_009 from Philippines on April 12, 2010:
Wow. Its so amazing what dogs can do. Thanks for sharing this. I did not know that they do.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on March 20, 2010:
Dog Lover, yes, wouldn't that be amazing if they could talk and we knew what they were thinking? It would have made sense if you had been pregnant when your dog's behaviour started to change. They are very intuitive creatures, and can react in different ways to someone's pregnancy. Thanks for stopping by.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on March 15, 2010:
Thanks a lot for your comment nresch. Wow, that's an amazing story. It's great to hear of real-life experiences of dogs knowing that you're pregnant. How wonderful that she realised you were pregnant before you did! And what a lovely, caring dog she sounds. :)
beck on February 20, 2010:
Yes! My dog has always slept either at the foot of my bed or beside the bed then he all of a sudan started sleeping right up against me. We also have a routine of going to the local dog park everyday. Usually he darts out of the car as soon as we get there but he stayed right next to me and didn't want to play with the other dogs- that was just socking! Now I know that I am 16 weeks pregnant and decided to do some research on this and found this site. It is great!
Julie on February 10, 2010:
I am 25 weeks pregnant and my german shorthaired pointer (usually a very well behaved dog) has in the last few weeks started peeing on the floor every time we leave the house. The only thing we can think is that it is somehow related to my pregnancy. Im not sure if its just something she senses and is reacting to or, as Im expecting twins and told not to exercise, if its a result of less walks and frisbee throwing for her. Although its winter, and winter always means a little less exercise for her and shes usually more restless w/o enough exercise but shes never peed on the floor before and definitely not everyday. I hope we can figure it out soon, with twins in my belly Im getting to the point where I cant bend over and scrub the floor anymore!
Moon Daisy (author) from London on February 08, 2010:
Wow Beatriz, I'm glad I could help to shed some light on your dog's behaviour! Strange that he's then attaching to your husband, but he's obviously getting jealous of something when he kisses you, and showing some changes in the way that he acts.
A belated congratulations on your pregnancy, and I hope that everything is going well and continues to go well. :)
Moon Daisy (author) from London on February 08, 2010:
Thanks Daphne. I'd heard bits and pieces over the years about how animals can sense things that we can't, but then when I was researching this hub I learnt a lot more! They are much more perceptive than we are. Or maybe we just don't know how to tap into these kinds of abilities, or we've lost the necessary skills over the years...
Moon Daisy (author) from London on February 08, 2010:
Thanks for your comment clidoctor.
And thanks too snehal. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was an interesting subject, and I learnt lots from writing this hub. Dogs (and other animals too) are amazingly perceptive!
MinPin Heaven from London UK on January 09, 2010:
I think my dog knew that I was pregnant, he kepts sleeping on my belly, thank god he was only a small one. He had his ear right on my belly, I think he enjoyed listening to the baby's heart beat. Thanks, it was a nice ready. Linda at www.minpinheaven.com
dog lover on January 07, 2010:
my dog started showing what humans may call being overprotective and/or aggression. I was very concerned as this never happened. It was towards other dogs that came close to me or our other puppy. I started this back in Nov.....now that i found out that i am pregnant, and found out that i could have become pregnant around the same time that i saw my dogs behavior change, it makes me think that maybe she knew what was up! I wish she could talk for a couple seconds
nresch on December 16, 2009:
When I had my first baby my yellow lab (who is always happy-go-lucky) would always come and greet me by smelling my stomach and pressing her nose into my abs. At first I didn't understand at all and found her actions odd. Then a couple days later I took the pregnancy test and discovered I was indeed pregnant (4weeks too). I've always attested my dog knew I was pregnant before I did. Then when I was sick and put on bedrest, she was always by my side, lying next to me. She never left me alone. It was a great comfort since my hubby had to leave me home alone to go to work near the end of my pregnancy. Now my little girl is 2 and both her and the dog are the best of pals. Dogs are amazing creatures.
Beatriz on December 15, 2009:
Hello,I google and found this article. I am 7 weeks pregnant and when I am home alone he is always by my side, protecting me and always next to me. However when my hubby gets home, he is attached to him and ignores me.
If he kisses me or touches me he becames very verbal and starts barking for his attention!
Just found it odd and googled and found this interesting article. Thanks!
Daphne Blair from Canada on December 12, 2009:
Hi Moon Daisy, thanks for the follow! I have never heard of this article before. But anyway it's great. I never thought that animals could help know if your pregnant. I have been helping people get pregnant too. Thank you very much.
snehal welde on December 06, 2009:
very informative and well written ....Loved reading it .I always thought that somehow dogs knew about pregnancies but this is the first time i have read about it.great hub
ciidoctor on December 04, 2009:
Moon Daisy (author) from London on November 10, 2009:
Yes, animals are amazing, they know so much more than we think they do! Thanks for your comment, and for reading my hub.
Nelson Chow from Malaysia on November 09, 2009:
dogs can detect pregnancy? Hmm... never know. Interesting. Thx
Moon Daisy (author) from London on November 07, 2009:
Thanks for your comment Actingperson, it's really nice to hear of some first hand experience! It's very interesting that he changed his behaviour completely like that, and how lovely of him to be so intuitive and gentle.
Actingperson from Southern England on November 07, 2009:
I have first hand experience of this. My dog was great with me when pregnant as I was very ill, but I always felt he was aware of what was happening, as his behaviour changed around me. He was gentle and a lot calmer, when ususally he was a bit manic and really excitable. Thanks for the confirmation.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on October 25, 2009:
Thanks a lot for your nice comments sexy jonty.
ileaca25, congratulations on your baby! I love boxer dogs, they are so mischievous and have such lovely faces. I'm glad your dog noticed your baby, lol! And I hope they're becoming good friends. Thanks for stopping by.
ileaca25 from miami on October 18, 2009:
Hi I am new hubber,this article remind when I gave birth my son (4 months ago).I have a 2 year old Boxer and as soon as we came back from the hopital with our baby,this dog was smelling me and looking at me with this unique face like saying -There's something different in you!-Dogs know a lot!!
Sexy jonty from India on September 08, 2009:
Very well written hub .....
very much informative ......
Thank you very much for your great hub, for good advice, good wishes and support. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.
Moon Daisy (author) from London on September 30, 2008:
Thanks for your comment sharonsarah!
sharonsarah on September 29, 2008:
Great hub. Thanks for sharing.
By the end of your dog's second trimester, their belly will get bigger. Around this time (by day 40), their nipples will begin to get darker and larger, too. As your pet's due date gets closer, their breasts will enlarge, and a little milky fluid may trickle out.
Your vet may ask you to come back at the start of the third trimester (around day 45) if they want to take X-rays of your dog's belly. This can be used instead of an ultrasound to check on the bone structure of growing puppies. It's one way to figure out how many puppies will be in your dog's litter.
As more time passes, your dog's pregnant belly will become larger, and it may sway gently beneath them as they walk.
During the last 2 weeks of pregnancy, you may see and feel the growing puppies moving inside your dog's belly. Your vet may want to see your pet one final time. Sometimes vets take X-rays during this visit to find out how many puppies are on the way and make sure they are not too big to pass through the birth canal. If they have gotten too big, the vet will schedule a c-section.
You'll learn what to expect when your dog is giving birth to their puppies (called whelping) and who to call if there is an emergency. You'll also find out how to care for newborn puppies.
Eldredge, D. Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, Howell Book House, 2007.
American Kennel Club: “AKC Breeder: Timing Is Everything: Breeding Strategies and the Estrous Cycle.”
American Kennel Club: “A Guide to Breeding Your Dog.”
Michigan State University Veterinary Medical Center: “Care and Feeding for Your Pregnant or Nursing Dog.”
1 Ways to Comfort, Control, and Calm The Dog Down
One way to include your dog in your pregnancy so that they won't have any adverse reactions to your pregnancy, is to try and keep to the same routine as you had before your pregnancy. It might be hard, but it's one way to help your dog feel comforted and calm, if you do this, then they likely won't really notice that anything is up and thus not have any weird reactions.
Make sure to pay attention to your dog, keep doing all the things that you usually do with him, go for regular walks, play with them, and give their regular grooming and brushing sessions, and if you’re not feeling up for it then have someone else do it, preferably someone that the dog already knows, because if the dog doesn’t already know the person then he might not like that either and give the handler a hard time.
Show love to your dog, maybe spoil him a little bit. The reason to spoil your dog during pregnancy, if you don’t already spoil the living daylights out of them like I do, is because the dogs most likely get less attention while you’re pregnant. They get less love and they realize that you are more focused on other things. That’s why it’s important to give them some good treats every now and then.
They are just dogs, they’re not the smartest things ever, so a little bit of good food or a nice belly rub will go a long way in making them feel loved and comfortable. And if your dog is really misbehaving that badly, then you might want to call Caesar Milan, that Dog Whisperer guy, he might be able to help.
Can Dogs Sense Human Pregnancy?
Dogs have an astounding ability to sense change in the world around them, and that includes when their owner is pregnant. This shouldn’t be surprising. After all, dogs are excellent at reading human body language and behavior, and there is even some evidence that dogs can detect when a person has cancer or is about to have an epileptic fit.
What causes the "pregnancy reaction?"
As you know, the bond between humans and their dogs is astonishingly strong. You’ve probably become accustomed to the all the ways your dog can predict/understand your emotions and desires. So what happens when a dog’s owner becomes pregnant? What is it about her condition that her dog detects?
Here are several factors that may explain how dogs sense when their owner is pregnant.
Change in odor—When a woman becomes pregnant, her body chemistry changes. This, in turn, can cause her distinct odor (an odor her dog knows intimately) to change. Remember, the amazing canine sense of smell can detect even the slightest change in odor. Imagine what a loyal, loving dog must think when the woman of the house suddenly begins to smell different.
Changes in body shape and body language—You don’t have to be as astute an observer as a dog to notice how pregnancy changes the way a woman looks and moves. Dogs can easily notice when his owner has a difficult time standing up, or when she waddles instead of taking big, fast strides. And compared to a human, an acutely observant dog might just notice that his owner is “showing” sooner in her pregnancy.
Changes in mood and behavior—As a dog owner, you've come to realize over the years that your dog can read your moods. He knows when you’re blue (and responds by cheering you up) and he joins in the celebration when you’re bursting with joy. When it comes to moods, you simply cannot fool your dog. So it seems only natural that dogs will sense the mood and behavior changes that the woman of the house undergoes when she is pregnant.
Human change triggers canine change
The changes that occur in a pregnant woman affect everyone in her home. And that includes her steadfast canine companion. Once a sensitive dog realizes that change is happening, he may react with some changes in behavior. Depending on the dog’s personality and the physical and emotional changes of the pregnant woman, the dog may display one or more of these behavioral changes:
- Increased affection for—and protection of—the pregnant woman
- Agitation, growling, barking, and being uncooperative
- Urinating around the house
- Chewing new items brought into the house for the baby
Most dogs will eventually become accustomed to the changes in his pregnant owner and return to a more "normal" behavior pattern. However, some dogs have a difficult time adjusting to the changes brought on by pregnancy. Most of the time, paying more attention to the dog goes a long way toward giving him a needed sense of relief and reassurance. In more extreme cases, though, the dog may benefit from attending classes with a professional trainer.
The important thing to remember is that your dog is a sensitive member of your family, and what affects you, your spouse, and your children, also affects him.
Have you ever wondered what is going on behind those adorable dog eyes, slobbery smile and wet snout? Do you ever ponder the idea that your dog actually understands what you are saying? Well, research shows that your dog really does understand you.
According to USA Today, a new study has found that dogs are able to make eye contact and listen for cues from their owners similar to a infant. You know that cute head tilt that your dog sometimes does when you are talking to him? That head tilt may in fact be a sign that your dog is understanding your facial expressions and cues.
Dogs look at our eye contact and body language to figure out what we want them to do. This study looked at several different dogs behavior after watching two separate videos. In each case the dogs responded almost identical to the infants that were studied along with them. The researcher, Topal, believes dogs pick up these human-like tendencies after generations of bonding with humans.
It is surprising how much a dog can sense just by observing our facial expressions. Here are 5 things that a dog can tell about you.
1. Your dog can sense when you are sad.
Have you ever had that moment where you're about to cry - but suddenly your dog comes over and starts cuddling up next to you? They do this because they can sense something is wrong. Dogs provide comfort during rough times and their unconditional love is inspirational.
2. Your dog knows when you are being unfair.
A study found in the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that when dogs saw you giving more attention to another pet in the house they would become distressed and anxious.
3. A dog can tell when you have a new set of priorities.
For example, when you bring home a new baby your dog will pick up the fact that he or she is not going to get the most attention anymore. This can often lead to depression for your dog and sometimes he or she will even start to resent your baby. To help smooth this process get a Baby Sounds CD to familiarize your dog.
4. Your dog will know when you are mad.
Dogs hate to disappoint and can sense the emotions and body language that comes with an upset "parent". When you are upset with your dog and he gives you those "sweet puppy dog eyes" he knows that you are upset and is hoping to change things. Instead of disciplining your pet, why not count to ten, take a deep pause and then give your dog a treat. Once the tension is gone, grab the Dog Leash and Dog Collar and take your pet for a nice long walk. Odds are that you'll both feel a little better.
5. Dogs sense when you are afraid.
Your dog will pick up on the fact that you are acting frightened. Certain types of dog breeds may react by trying to protect you, while others will probably be just as afraid as you are. But almost all dogs quickly can sense when an owner is feeling afraid or anxious.
Next time you are in public talking to your dog in that baby-like voice don't be self-conscious because your dog knows what you want him or her to do by that tone. He associates that tone with you talking to him. So, when people are giving you weird looks disregard and tell them that your dog really does understand you, and that the scientists believe so too!
If you are bringing a new dog home, there are always new ways to bond with your pet. For new dog owners, we recommend taking a couple minutes to check out the Top 3 Mistakes That New Dog Owners Make. This article can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that can arise.
Feeling very tired is normal in pregnancy, starting early on.
A woman can start feeling unusually fatigued as soon as one week after conceiving.
Why? It's often related to a high level of a hormone called progesterone, although other things -- such as lower levels of blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and a boost in blood production -- can all contribute.
If fatigue is related to pregnancy, it's important to get plenty of rest. Eating foods that are rich in protein and iron can help offset it.