How can dogs recognize that they are pets?

Can Dogs Feel Pregnancy?

You can't really talk to your pets (yet), but luckily there are experts who can help us translate dogs and cats.

National Geographic author Catherine Zuckerman asked us a question about her house-clean Coton de Tuléar Zucco.

The pregnant Zuckerman was perplexed when Zucco began to urinate in her daughter's playroom. She wondered if her dog knew she was pregnant.

Carlo Siracusa, a veterinarian and animal behaviorist from the University of Pennsylvania, advised her to see a veterinarian first to rule out any health issues.

If there is no medical cause, it is quite possible that Zucco can feel the hormonal changes that triggered Zuckerman's pregnancy and behave accordingly differently. Some dogs whose owners are on hormone therapy, for example, sometimes deviate from their normal behavior as well, says Siracusa.

In addition to their excellent sense of smell, dogs are also very intuitive. They often notice small changes in the behavior and daily routines of their people, explains Dennis Turner from the Institute for Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology in Horgen, Switzerland.

Even moving pieces of furniture for a child's room can disrupt a dog's daily routine and cause stress. Your reaction may "remind us of jealousy in children," Turner said.

In any case, it is advisable to find out beforehand how you can prepare your pet for the addition to the family. Tips on this topic can be found in abundance on the Internet. It is often recommended that pets get used to new objects like cribs before the baby is born, and that furry favorites be given some extra attention.

A LITTLE MINT

Catnip can be as entertaining for cat owners as it is for cats, but why do some of the animals really don’t care about it?

Because some cats lack the genes to perceive nepetalactone, the intoxicating substance in catnip, as Siracusa explains.