Thursday , 23 November 2017

Can Dogs Detect Pregnancy in People?

Help! I’m 2 months pregnant and since I conceived, my 2 dogs have been acting so strange, I really don’t know what to make of it.

I was put on preventative leave so I stopped working and I’m home all day with my pups.. You would think they would be thrilled, but they have been all out of sorts.

Romeo 5 years old Maltese had him since he was 3 months old, my absolute best buddy, super attached and super well behaved baby boy, started peeing on my couch. I phoned the vet and she said it could be a reaction to the new hormones in my body… If i left the house he would auto-matically pee on the couch. I never crated my dogs and they managed just fine without accidents. They both go on pee pee pads but Romeo usually holds it in for his walks..

I had gotten the couch cleaned professionally and it’s good as new (500$) now to prevent him pee-ing on the couch i put him and lemon both in my guest-room with their pee pee pad tray, blankie, bed, toys, and water.

Lemon (aprox 8 yrs old) rescue dog maltese, also 100% pee pad trained… She was excellent, see the pad, pee and boom no mess… Well ever since i started putting them in the guest room together, which use to be her favorite spot to sleep, REFUSES to even step near the pee pee pad!! It’s like she’s freaked out by it!! I am at loss for what to do!!!

Can dogs tell if we're pregnant?
Can dogs tell if we’re pregnant?


Thanks for writing in with your questions.  First things first, as huge congratulations are in order!  The whole Montreal Dog Blog team would like to extend their warmest wishes and congratulations to you and your family!  Being pregnant can be such an exciting time!  With that being said, it should also be as stress free as possible, though it doesn’t sound as if everyone in your household is very happy at the moment. 

As to whether or not our dogs can detect if we’re pregnant, it is highly likely that they can.  There is no scientific proof that they recognize a pregnancy, but they are aware of the changes that we go through. They can definitely detect the differences in our bodies, the way we carry ourselves, and our body language, our mood shifts, as well as the changes in our hormones, which they definitely absorb via their amazing sense of smell.

Keep in mind how sensory dogs are.  They navigate their lives primarily through their noses, which depending on the breed of dog, can be anywhere from 10,000 to 10,000,000 stronger than ours!  In other words, humans have about 5 million scent glands, compared to a dog, who has anywhere from 125 million to 300 million….which makes them olympic sniffers.  While we would be able to detect one teaspoon of sugar added to our coffee cup, dogs are able to detect that same teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water.  Now imagine how easy it is for them to smell the hormonal changes that we go through while we are pregnant.

Dogs are Olympic Sniffers

While it would make total sense that our dogs would be thrilled that we’re home much more often than usual, (I mean, wouldn’t they love to spend more time with us?) this drastic change in routine can sometimes cause stress in some of our dogs.  It’s not you being home more than usual that is stressful for them, but rather the change in routine that adds to their stress.  There is also the possibility that the changes that you are going through also contributes to the differences in their environment that may also add a certain amount of stress for them. 

When dogs are experiencing stress, it is not uncommon for them to revert with some of their behaviors, even ones where they seemed perfectly proficient before.  Dogs who are totally house broken may have relapses, where they start to make mistakes in the house again.

You say that you’ve had your couch cleaned…but was the company aware that they were treating dog urine?  When cleaning up dog urine, we need to ensure that we are using a product that will actually break down the enzymes in the urine, to completely destroy it.  If not, we risk the chance of basically just covering up the scent….but covering up the scent only perceivable to us.  Remember how much stronger a dog’s sense of smell is compared to ours?  We might be able to smell it or see it, but if the proper products weren’t used, then the dog can most probably still smell it, and is more often than not, just attracted to that very same spot again.

Is that a baby?

You also mention that one of your dogs no longer goes near the pee pee pad that was moved into a room where they used to love to sleep…this can be a number of things, one being that dogs usually don’t like to relieve themselves where they sleep, but more so, they are creatures of comfort, and are very much creatures of habit as well.  Changes in their routine, something as simple as moving a pee pee pad can definitely upset their previously predictable life and routine. 

I would suggest moving the pad into another part of the room, (the farthest away from her water and food dishes as possible) and to encourage her to start using it again by putting a used pee pee pad (one that already has her urine on it) in the area where you’d like to place the new pad.  This will help encourage her to use the new spot. 

Since you cannot supervise them while you go out, I would suggest better management.  Walks before you leave, so they have the chance to void, then perhaps restricting their movement, by either crating them, or using an X-pen, or even baby gating them into the kitchen.  So long as they don’t have access to the couch.

I’d also try to make their new room have more positive experiences for them.  It seems like this new room arrangement has caught them by surprise…and as I mentioned before, change can be quite dramatic for some dogs.  Remember to spend time playing with them in their, to give them their treats in there, perhaps a stuffed Kong or a food puzzle as well.  Try not to use the room as a punishment, or as a place of banishment…as that will only create a larger negative association with the room.

Keeping things smooth and positive will definitely help your dogs adjust to the new changes going on in your household.  I would also suggest getting the dogs ready for the arrival of your new baby as well, in advance, to help the adjustment go even smoother.

Dogs can adapt to pregnancies and babies very well.

Dogs and Storks is an excellent site geared towards helping families with both babies and dogs be as safe as they can possibly be.  Doggone Safe is another amazing resource with a lot of information regarding baby safety around dogs.


Again, congratulations from the whole Montreal Dog Blog team!


Happy Training,


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