Why Doesn’t My Dog Like Me When I’m Pregnant?
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Dogs are very sensitive and observant animals. When their human companion becomes pregnant they realise early on thanks to the subtle change in odor, body shape, mood and behaviour. This may cause your canine to also behave differently than usual.
In this AnimalWised article we're going to explain why your dog doesn't like you when you're pregnant and other odd behaviour your canine companion may be exhibiting during your pregnancy. Continue reading to learn more!
Can dogs sense human pregnancies?
Yes, dogs are very observant animals that can sense their human companion's pregnancy early on due to the subtle change in odor, body shape, behaviour, mood and body language. In fact, it's common for the pregnancy to cause change in the canine's behaviour too.
Once the dog realises the change that is happening in their home, they may react in different ways. While some become more affectionate and protective, others may react by urinating around the house, avoiding you or even ignoring your calls.
The way their behaviour changes will depend on their personality, the physical and emotional changes in their pregnant companion and the overall changes within the household, including other members of the family. Thankfully, most dogs will get used to the new pattern rather quickly and go back to their normal behaviour.
We must simply keep in mind that our dog is part of our family and will react to changes in the household. Whether it's your pregnancy, or changes in your spouse or children, dogs will perceive this and react accordingly. We must be aware of this and make sure their needs are met during all these changes.
Signs your dog knows your pregnant
To further elaborate, here are some signs that your dog already knows you're pregnant:
- Sniffing you curiously, as they can smell any hormonal changes
- Observing your belly bump
- Begins acting overly protective of you
- Follows you everywhere to make sure you're okay
- Increased affection
- Nervousness, such as biting or whining
- Urinating around the house
- Avoiding or ignoring you
Now that we've gone through some ways your dog may change in behaviour, we're going to dive into a couple of these changes they may be exhibiting.
Dog avoiding you since your pregnancy
One way your dog may be reacting to your pregnancy is by avoiding you. This may be due to the fact that they're not sure how to react to the changes or your behaviour so they decide to stay away until they feel more comfortable with this new pattern.
To help your dog adapt quicker to the new situation, make sure that their needs are met. You can also try playing with them or training them through positive reinforcement. This way, they're spending quality time with you and feeling fulfilled by the time and attention you're giving them. You can also try taking them on short walks.
Dog ignoring you since you got pregnant
Another way a dog may react is by ignoring you, even when you call them. Like the other behaviour changes, this is due to the new pattern in the household. They probably still need time to adapt to the new situation.
In this case, you will need to give your dog time to adapt but you must also try to continue to be part of their daily routine as you did before. By maintaining certain elements from the old routine, your dog will adapt faster to the new reality. Make sure they are cared for and overflowed with love and attention per usual. Before you know it, your dog will be back to their normal self!
You may also be interested in our article about why your dog keeps ignoring you.
Dog being over protective since you got pregnant
Many dogs react to their human companion's pregnancy by becoming clingy and over-protective. They will follow you around and give you affection when you seem to be in pain. This is because they can smell the hormonal changes your body is going through. They can also observe how you've changed in body language and mood.
By following you around they are able to make sure you are okay. To help your dog give you some space and know you're okay you can try demonstrating your wellbeing through common body language, such giving them affection, smiling and playing with them. This way they can see that you're feeling well. You can also ask your partner or children to take them for a walk or play with them to keep them busy.
You may also be interested in our article about why dogs are protective of babies.
Dog peeing in the house since you got pregnant
Lastly, many dogs will react to the pregnancy by peeing around the house. This is a bizarre behaviour that will worry many pet companions. One reason why they may be doing this is because they are experiencing nervousness and anxiety which leads them to urinate wherever they are.
You can help them by giving them lots of affection, training them through positive reinforcement and taking them on walks. By keeping them busy and as close as possible to their prior routine, your dog will calm down and realise that things aren't too different. This will help them adapt to the new situation.
Another reason they may be urinating around the house during your pregnancy is because they're marking their territory. This isn't common but it's a possibility as many dogs try to protect their human companion. To encourage them to stop this behaviour, make sure to thoroughly clean where they've urinated and re-train them to go outside.
How to help your dog adapt to the new situation
Each dog will react differently to their human companion's pregnancy. No matter their change in behaviour, they will eventually adapt to the new dynamic and get back to being their old selves. With that being said, there are some things you and your family can do to help your dog adapt quicker. Here are some tips:
- Try to keep their daily routine as similar as possible to before you were pregnant.
- Give them a lot of affection and attention, don't make them feel left out.
- Refresh obedience training through positive reinforcement.
- Give them time to adapt to these new changes, don't ever scold them.
In most cases, dogs will just need a little more attention and time to adapt. However, in extreme cases where the dog is taking a long time to adapt and is exhibiting aggressive behaviour, it's best to work with a canine trainer. You should also take them to the veterinarian for a check up, just to rule out the possibility of a health issue.
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