Human pregnancy involves many hormonal changes. These hormone changes can be detected by dogs. How dogs react to those hormonal changes varies, but some dogs become aggressive. Keep reading to learn how being pregnant makes your dog act aggressive.
How Dogs Can Smell Pregnancy
Dogs can smell up to 10,000 times more than humans. They have 220 million olfactory receptors in their nasal cavity. Humans only have 5 million.
Due to dogs’ extraordinary ability to smell, many of them can tell when a human is pregnant because of the changes in hormone levels. The following are the hormone levels that increase during pregnancy.
Human pregnancy produces a hormone called the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG). hCG nourishes the fertilized egg.
Human Placenta Lactogen
Human placenta lactogen provides a baby with nutrients and gets the body ready for breastfeeding.
Estrogen helps keep the baby growing and thriving inside the womb.
Progesterone thickens the uterine lining for implementation.
Relaxin relaxes the area around the pelvic bone for delivery.
Oxytocin stretches the cervix and is responsible for preparing the nipples to produce milk.
The above hormone levels don’t smell themselves, but they cause changes in the body that give off a scent. For instance, sweat may start to smell differently.
How Dogs Can Sense Pregnancy
In addition to possibly smelling their owner is pregnant, dogs can also sense there’s a change on the horizon. This is simply due to the change in daily routine.
For instance, if a pregnant owner usually goes to work for 8 hours a day and is suddenly home, that’s a change a dog will notice. It doesn’t necessarily mean the dog knows there is a new baby coming but just knows something is different.
Another way dogs can sense pregnancy is from the visible physical changes of their owner. A dog may not know what pregnancy means, but he/she will likely know there’s something happening.
Some people believe dogs have a sixth sense. This means that they may intuitively know there’s something happening, which causes them to act aggressively.
Why Some Dogs Become Aggressive with Their Pregnant Owners
It is not uncommon for dogs to display changes in behavior during their owner’s pregnancy. These changes can include increased protectiveness, anxiety, or aggression. There are several reasons why a dog may become aggressive toward its pregnant owner.
One reason could be jealousy or insecurity. The dog may feel threatened by the attention and care the owner is giving to the unborn child and become aggressive as a way to assert dominance or protect their place in the family.
It is also possible that the dog is simply reacting to the stress and anxiety of the pregnant woman. Pregnancy can be a physically and emotionally demanding experience, and a dog may pick up on and react to the stress of its owner.
If a dog is displaying aggressive behavior towards its pregnant owner, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible.
What to Do About an Aggressive Dog During Pregnancy
If a dog is displaying aggressive behavior towards its pregnant owner, it is important to address the issue as soon as possible to ensure the safety of both the pregnant woman and the dog.
Here are some steps you can take to manage an aggressive dog during pregnancy:
- Seek professional help. Consult a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer for guidance on how to manage the behavior. They will be able to assess the situation and provide recommendations on how to address the aggression.
- Keep a distance. If possible, try to keep a safe distance from the dog and avoid direct contact until the behavior can be addressed.
- Limit access. If necessary, limit the dog’s access to the pregnant woman or have someone else care for the dog until the behavior can be addressed.
- Manage stress. Try to identify and manage any stressors that may be contributing to the dog’s aggressive behavior. This could include changes in routine, unfamiliar environments, or other sources of stress.
- Use positive reinforcement. Use positive reinforcement training to teach the dog appropriate behaviors and reward good behavior. This can help to change the dog’s behavior and strengthen the bond between the dog and the pregnant woman.
- Consider medication. In some cases, medication may be necessary to manage the dog’s aggression. Consult a veterinarian for guidance on whether medication is appropriate for your dog and the specific situation.
It is important to remember that aggression in dogs is often a sign of fear, anxiety, or discomfort, and should be addressed in a calm and controlled manner. It is never appropriate to use physical force or punishment to try to correct aggressive behavior.
CBD for dogs is another option to help with anxiety and aggression in dogs. You can learn more by reading:
What Happens When Baby Arrives
Since your dog is acting aggressively, you’re probably wondering what will happen when your baby arrives.
Some dogs return to their normal selves when the pregnancy is over and the baby is home. Other dogs need some time to get used to the new family member.
It’s always a good idea to take precautions when it comes to protecting yourself and your new baby. If you feel as though your dog may be a threat, be sure to have someone else care for your pup until the aggression subsides. If there isn’t anyone that can help, you may want to consider using a dog walker, dog sitter, or dog daycare to help limit the time you’re with your furry friend just until things settle down.
Unfortunately, some families can’t keep their dog after having a baby. Rehoming is an option, but the decision doesn’t come easily.
It’s always better to keep your dog, but of course, if that dog is dangerous, rehoming is the best alternative. Learn more about that by reading the following articles: