Can dogs detect pregnancy in pregnant women?


Many stories of pregnant women say they have seen their dog’s behavior change early in their pregnancy. Sometimes even before they were aware of their condition. Does this mean that dogs are able to detect pregnancy? If so, how is this possible?

An overdeveloped sense of smell
(Very) observant behaviour
Do dogs understand what pregnancy is all about?
An overdeveloped sense of smell
When we know that dogs have no less than 300 million olfactory receptors (compared to 6 million in humans), the fact that they can sense hormonal changes in pregnant women is not so surprising. Because hormones also have their own scent!

Indeed, from the first month of pregnancy, pregnant women start secreting pregnancy hormones (hCG). It is these famous hormones that are the cause of most of the small pregnancy ailments during the first trimester, including the dreaded nausea.
But pregnancy is also associated with a clear increase in two other hormones: estrogen and progesterone. Similarly, the body produces new hormones: the lactogenic placental hormone (LPH), prolactin and, of course, oxytocin. These are all subtle changes that dogs can sniff out.

Note that these smells can also be perceived in pregnant women that dogs are unfamiliar with. However, “in a woman around them, these hormonal changes may be more visible than in a woman they’ve never met before,” says Kate Mornement at HuffPost.

A (very) observant behavior
But dogs’ exceptional sense of smell is not the only reason why they can detect pregnancy. In fact, it is associated with another element: the hyperattention of our canine friends. Indeed, they are keen observers and are therefore able to detect the slightest emotional or behavioural change in their owners.

Dogs are real sponges from an emotional point of view and are particularly sensitive to mood changes. That’s why they are able to detect even the slightest mood swings in pregnant women.

Dogs are also able to distinguish physical changes in humans. For example, weight gain in pregnant women and changes in the shape of the belly are not beyond their eagle eye.

Do dogs understand what pregnancy is all about?
It’s a fact that most dogs are able to detect pregnancy from the first few days after conception, but do they also know what it entails? Do they know that a baby is growing inside their owner’s belly and that in a few months it will be a big change in their lives?

In reality, it is very difficult to answer this question. Dogs can feel the kicks of the fetus in utero when they lie on their mistress’ belly, for example, but does that mean they understand where the kicks are coming from? Nothing is less certain… But in any case, they feel that a change is taking place.

Some dogs even become more sticky, even more protective towards their human. As if they felt that she was more vulnerable and that they had to be more vigilant towards her.

Good to know: To avoid jealousy from your dog when the baby arrives, continue to pay maximum attention to her. Above all, he must not feel neglected!

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