Several times now I have been told my dogs can hear little Shelby's cry and heartbeat while in utero. With four dogs in the house, two who’ve taken to acting a bit differently towards me (which is totally expected) I started wondering if there were any validity to these claims.
I mean it shouldn’t come as any surprise that dogs would be more sensitive to such sounds as they're known to have the ability to sense on-coming heart attacks, seizures or even sniff out cancer. Heck, they can even sense weather changes before they occur, so hearing a baby while in the womb doesn't seem like that far fetched of an idea.
Although puppies are born deaf and don't gain the ability to hear until they are roughly 21 days old, when hearing does develop, they can hear a sound at 4 times the distance compared to humans. Not to mention they have eighteen muscles in their ears that allow them to really hone in on a sound or noise, but hearing a baby in the womb?
So, I did a little research.
Dogs can hear sounds within ultrasound range which equates to sound waves between 50,000 to 65,000 cycles per second. Humans can hear, at maximum, 20,000 cycles per second; considerably less than our furry canine companions. So what does this mean? Well, it's believed babies start to cry in the womb at around 28 weeks, and those cries are in fact loud enough for your dog to hear as they fall between 50,000 to 65,000 cycles per second. However, a fetal heart-beat does NOT fall within that range and therefore it's unlikely your pup will pick up on the sound of babies little ticker, at least not until they're born.
Dogs are smart, so even though they can't hear baby's heart- beat they can smell hormonal changes in mom. They may even pick-up on changes in body language, posture, mannerisms, or certainly mood changes. Simple things like caressing your tummy can be enough to tip your dog off to the idea that something is amiss. These changes in mannerisms may even result in a more protective dog, or a dog who spends more time on the opposite end of the couch.
So while you're preparing your heart and home for your new little bundle, don't forget to prepare your pup, too. A dog who feels forgotten could make a transitional period that much more difficult.
If you're looking for a great at home fetal Doppler that doesn't break the bank, but provides a nice clear sound of your baby's ticker, try this one!
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With over 10 years of experience through ownership and rescue work, I hope to share my knowledge and insight to happier, healthier fur kids. Have a question, feel free to ask!