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Emotional Support Dog During Pregnancy

Having an Emotional Support Dog During Pregnancy

Having a dog as a companion to help live you through troubled times is wonderful.  No wonder people consider them as part of their families. They are known to help people pull through emotionally difficult times. However, a lot of pregnant women are concerned with the potential safety and health risks that pets may pose during this period. 

While some may argue that pets may not be good for your health, several studies and anecdotal evidence says otherwise. Having an emotional support dog during pregnancy proves to be effective. Talk to a pregnant dog lover and you will hear stories that their pet has become more protective, caring, and loving than otherwise indicating that they know their human is pregnant. 

Can a Dog Sense Pregnancy? 

emotional support dog

There is no figment of doubt that dogs are very observant and perhaps more than we give them credit for. Medically speaking, dogs can sense a lot of minute things. Several studies are a testament to the ability of trained dogs in detecting: 

  • Low and high blood sugar levels
  • Narcolepsy through a change in sweat odor. 
  • And even Prostate Cancer. 

More importantly, can they actually sense pregnancy? During pregnancy, the body goes through a lot of changes. Dogs have the ability to pick up on a lot of behavioral and hormonal changes. 

Over a period of 9 months, the pregnant body goes through a lot of hormonal changes. For instance, HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone is produced by the body only during pregnancy. Other such hormones include estrogen, progesterone, human placenta lactogen, oxytocin, and prolactin. 

Theoretically, it is possible to sense these hormones as they cause a shift in natural body scent which your emotional support dog may pick up. Statistically, dogs are reported to smell about 10,000 times better than humans. They have about 220 million olfactory receptors compared to 5 million in humans. 

So, while your emotional support dog may not realize that you are pregnant, a change in your odor can prompt your pet to show different or more attention than usual. 

How Your Emotional Support Dog May React to Your Pregnancy? 

When your dog senses pregnancy, you will notice a change in their behavior towards you. Most become more protective and will try and stay by your side as much as possible. Even as your baby bump increases, their protectiveness towards you may also increase. 

Having an Emotional Support Dog During Pregnancy

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On the other hand, some dogs may have a hard time accepting the change. Don’t be surprised if they become a little rebellious or start acting out of character. This could be because of the changes or you are not giving enough attention and they feel jealous. 

Here’s How You Can Prepare Your ESA for Baby’s Arrival

ESA for pregnancy

Accustom Your Pet to Baby Sounds

Babies can be a handful. They cry and make several other noises which can be a sensory overload for your pet. To help your ESA get used to the sounds, occasionally play a recording of babies and let them get accustomed to them. 

Gradually Decrease the Attention

Especially when you are having your first baby, you need to slowly reduce the attention that you give your pet. The new baby is a lot of work and you will be preoccupied with a lot of things. So, prepare your ESA for the changes beforehand.  

Train ESA to Not Jump on Others

Although emotional support animals do not require any training, you can teach them basic behavioral manners. This will prevent your emotional support dog from getting overly excited when your baby arrives. 

Apply Baby Lotion to the Blanket

Apply baby lotion to the blanket you plan on using for your newborn and allow your pet to get used to the baby scent.  

Leash the Dog When they Meet Your Pet the First Time

For better preparation, leash your dog just in case it gets overly excited. When introducing it to your baby, allow it to investigate the newest addition to your family. Keeping your pet away will only make them more curious. 

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