“Can Dogs Sense Pregnancy?” And Other Questions A Mom-To-Be Has For Her Dog
Can dogs sense pregnancy? According to many dog moms, the answer is yes! In some cases, a dog knew that Mom was pregnant before she did! Although it may seem like your canine has a sixth sense, they actually just possess a finely-tuned set of five.
If you’re expecting for the first time, the chances are that you’ll have some questions about how to prepare your pooch for the other baby in your life. Can your dog still sleep in the bed? Why is Doggo eating all the baby’s toys? Keep reading to find out!
Can Dogs Sense Pregnancy?
Yes. When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes a series of changes which a dog may recognize before you do. Pheromones change the chemistry of sweat, and a pregnant woman will suddenly smell different to her dog.
A dog’s senses are also fine-tuned to recognize body language and behaviour. The family pet takes in far more information about their humans than even they might realize! From keeping track of your mood to recognizing your usual body language — your dog may be the first to notice if something changes!
Of course, later on in the pregnancy, a dog will start to notice other changes as well. The most obvious is a change in body shape, but expect Fido to also notice the smell of fresh paint in the nursery and new toys or purchases for the baby. Some dogs can be distressed by these changes. They may start to nibble on toys meant for the baby, or start causing mischief around the house. Other dogs may become more protective of mom and stick by her side even more than usual.
Preparing Your Dog For A Baby Infographic
We created this infographic to provide an easy guide to introducing your dog to a new baby.
If you’re pregnant, you can begin to start preparing your dog for life with a baby.
Implement New Rules Now
Will your dog be banned from the bed after the baby arrives? Do you want your dog to stay out of the nursery? Start implementing these rules now, so your dog doesn’t feel resentful once the baby arrives.
Don’t Overcompensate Affection Before Your Due Date
Don’t overindulge your dog before your due date, only to ignore them after the baby is born. Treat your dog as you usually would, and make sure to continue to spend “quality time” with Muttley after the baby arrives. Walking the dog and the baby at the same time is a great way to soothe a restless tot while adjusting your dog to the new addition to the family.
Before the baby is born, practice stroller walks by walking an empty stroller with your dog. You can work out any behavioral kinks that rear up ahead of time.
If your dog has any bad habits that you never got around to correcting, now is the time to work on them. Invest in a dog trainer to refresh your dog’s training, and make sure that your dog listens and responds to commands.
Deal With Doggy Anxiety Now
Is your dog skittish? Do thunderstorms or fireworks mean howling and trembling under the bed? If you have an anxious dog who hates noise, you need to start preparing your dog for the noise of a newborn baby. Granted, nobody wants to get a head start on listening to a crying baby, but the last thing you’re going to want is a howling baby and a howling dog.
Prepare your dog by playing sounds of a newborn baby crying, and pet/praise your dog while the baby audio is playing. When the audio stops, ignore your dog for half an hour. Eventually, your dog will come to associate crying with good things, rather than the end of the world.
If your dog reacts badly to the sound of a crying baby, you can try using treats in the beginning. Don’t rely on treats alone — otherwise, Pooches may expect one every time your child cries, which is not the desired outcome.
Familiarize Your Dog With Baby Smells
Start wearing baby lotion, or use baby shampoo in lieu of your regular products to begin familiarizing your dog with the strange smell of a brand new human. Let your dog smell the baby carrier, stroller, and bassinet ahead of time.
Dogs And Babies
Once there’s a baby in the house, you’ll still need to work on training your dog to accommodate the newest addition to the household. Keep it in mind that your dog may get jealous — after all, they used to be the baby of the house.
It’s important to continue to show your dog ample affection, and never use harsh punishment to deter your dog from bad behavior. All associations around the baby should be positive, never negative. Here are some tips to adjust your fur-baby to the nakey baby.
Use baby gates to separate the dog and the baby if you need to.
Never leave your baby alone with the dog, no matter how well-behaved your pup is. Affectionate behaviors, like “moving” the baby around with their mouths or “herding” the baby, are well-intentioned on behalf of your dog, but could lead to an injury or accident.
Make sure you have a safe space, like a crate or a room, where your dog can go to escape the baby if they wish to.
Avoid face-to-face contact between your baby and the dog.
Your dog needs routine, even in the chaos. Try and keep their feeding and walking schedule the same after the baby is born.
Do you have any tips for raising a baby with a fur-baby? Share your stories in the comments!