What Do Dogs Do When They Sense You’re Pregnant?
1. Heightened Protective Instincts
You might notice that your furry companion becomes more protective of you. Dogs have a natural instinct to safeguard their pack members. When they sense your pregnancy, they may perceive you as more vulnerable and thus, increase their protective behaviors. They may follow you more closely around the house, bark more at strangers, or even growl at people they were previously comfortable with.
2. Increased Affection
Your dog might become more affectionate with you during your pregnancy. Dogs are highly empathetic creatures. They can sense the hormonal changes in your body, which may trigger them to show you more affection. You might find your dog cuddling more with you, licking you often, or showing you their belly more frequently.
3. Changes in Behavior
In some cases, dogs might exhibit changes in their behavior. They might become more anxious or restless, particularly as your due date approaches. Some dogs might even show signs of stress, like increased panting, pacing, or changes in appetite.
|Typical Dog Behaviors||Possible Changes During Pregnancy|
|Following you around||More frequent or intense|
|Barking at strangers||More frequent or louder|
|Eating habits||Changes in appetite|
|Playtime||Less energetic, more cautious|
4. Sensing Labor
As your due date approaches, your dog might become more attentive and anxious. Dogs are known to have sensed labor in their human companions before they even realize it themselves. They might try to stay close to you, follow you around more than usual, or even whine or whimper.
5. Adjusting to the New Baby
Once the baby arrives, your dog will likely need time to adjust to the new member of the family. They might be curious, confused, or anxious around the baby at first. It’s important to introduce your baby to your dog gradually and under supervised settings, to ensure both their safety.
|Tips for Introducing Your Dog to Your New Baby|
|Keep initial interactions short and supervised|
|Reward your dog for calm behavior around the baby|
|Maintain your dog’s routine as much as possible|
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can my dog hurt my unborn baby by jumping on me?
While it’s always best to discourage this behavior, especially during pregnancy, it’s relatively unlikely your dog could harm your baby by jumping on your belly.
2. Should I change my dog’s routine when the baby arrives?
Try to maintain your dog’s routine as much as possible to reduce their stress.
3. Can my dog sense my labor before I do?
There are anecdotal reports of dogs showing signs of restlessness or anxiety before their human companion goes into labor, but it’s not a guaranteed sign.
4. How should I introduce my dog to my new baby?
Keep the initial interactions short, calm, and supervised. Reward your dog for calm behavior around the baby.