Can dogs sense pregnancy?

As we all know, dogs are empathetic creatures with an incredible sense of smell and fantastic hearing. They read body language and can detect subtle changes in their environment. With that in mind, it makes sense that dogs are aware of the hormone changes that happen to women during pregnancy. So, when it comes to pregnancy, does a dog know?

Does my dog sense I am pregnant, and how? 

There are no scientific studies that prove dogs can sense pregnancy. However, the anecdotal evidence is clear; dogs certainly notice a change when their owner is expecting a baby.

Compared with the approximately 6 million scent receptors we humans have, dogs have a staggering 300 million! This allows them to distinguish between 30 000 and 100 000 types of smell. They can pick up on chemical changes leading to epileptic seizures, insulin levels, cancer and menstrual cycles, and in recent news, are also learning to detect COVID19. So, noticing when hormone levels change is probably easy for them; it is unknown whether dogs know if the change is actually due to pregnancy.

As the pregnancy progresses, dogs may also be able to hear the baby’s movement in the womb. They are also pretty good at sensing behavioural and mood changes and the subtle differences in a woman’s movement.

Put all this together, and your dog will definitely know something is up!

Will my dog’s behaviour change during my pregnancy? 

Most pregnant women report they see changes in their dog when they are pregnant. Some dogs become more protective, and you may notice they stay close by. Others become more affectionate. For nervous dogs, they may become more fearful of the potential changes on the horizon.

Some owners report their dog seems completely indifferent to their pregnancy!

Bear in mind; if you are pregnant, you will need to prepare your dog for the birth of your baby. But that’s a whole other subject!

With an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.