The Benefits of Dog Ownership During Pregnancy
When that pregnancy test comes up positive, and there’s already a furry friend in the house, the question may well arise – what on earth will we do with a dog and a baby at home? Will they ever get along? Don’t worry, you’re not a bad person for worrying about the possible collision of old dog and new baby. But this article should help to put some of your worries to rest. Having a dog around during pregnancy and beyond can bring endless benefits for the whole family. Why having a dog while you’re pregnant is a great idea – find out below.
Here are 9 reasons to be brave and get ready to welcome your new baby into a dog-loving home.
Your dog will take care of you during your pregnancy
There’s arguably no creature more empathetic than a dog. It doesn’t matter whether it’s male or female – your pet will understand and share your emotions, and will be there to look out for you 24 hours a day.
What’s more, they say that dogs have a special bond with pregnant women, and that they instinctively know how they feel, and how to make them feel good during what can be an emotionally tumultuous time.
And don’t worry – your dog will be able to sense when you’re not feeling 100%, and won’t demand that you play with it. What could be cuter than that?
Your dog will know you’re pregnant before you do
Although there is little scientific proof for this, anecdotal evidence suggests that many dogs are aware that their owners are pregnant before they themselves are.
While this may seem pretty wild, it’s actually not strange at all given that it’s been proven that dogs are also able to detect various diseases – including even cancer – thanks to their super-sensitive sense of smell.
Your dog will know when the baby will be born
Before you start having your last contractions, don’t be surprised if your dog brings your shoes and hospital bag and leaves them at your feet. Your dog is able to sense that the baby is about to come into the world.
The dog won’t leave your side for a minute, and may even emit an empathetic howl (which you will likely be doing too).
You won’t have to deal with things alone
Pregnant women often end up spending a lot of time alone, since for a significant chunk of time they are relatively housebound.
If you already had a dog, or if you decided to get one during your pregnancy, he or she will be your faithful and loyal companion at this point. Your dog will never leave your side – and many people find it a great comfort to have company at such an important stage of life.
Your dog will prepare you for becoming a mother
Having a dog before getting pregnant is great preparation for motherhood. In fact, it’s very common to hear women referring to their pets as their children, or talking about them as if they were their mothers.
Dog ownership is great practice because, just like children, they need attention and are totally dependent on us. All this helps us to understand what it will be like when the new baby enters our lives.
It will be gentle
It doesn’t matter that your dog weighs in at a heft 50 kilos – you’ll notice that, as soon as it becomes obvious that you’re pregnant, it will be careful and gentle around you, since it will be afraid of hurting you.
And if you notice your dog acting like this around you for the first time but haven’t done a pregnancy test, make a visit to the gynecologist – they may well have big news for you.
Your dog will understand your mood swings
It does not matter if you laugh, scream or cry – your dog will understand you. Having an empathetic creature at your side will improve your self-esteem at this delicate time. It will also decrease your chances of suffering the depressive spells that so often accompany pregnancy and early motherhood.
A pregnant woman will inevitably experience many mood swings, which are still little understood. That’s why feeling loved by a person or a pet, despite all the madness and mood swings, is so important for the mental and emotional health of pregnant women.
It will help reduce your stress levels
Being pregnant for the first time can create no end of doubts, which in turn increase your stress levels. Having a dog by your side to give you unconditional love and affection will do wonders to help you relax and get rid of some of that harmful stress.
And when the baby arrives …
When the baby arrives, your pet will be your best caregiver – perhaps even better than you! What’s more, it will be able to perceive changes in your body language when you’re with your baby, and it won’t allow any stranger to approach your little one.
So, are there any better reasons to have a dog while you’re pregnant?