If you have a canine companion that jumps up on you, you might be wondering now that you’re pregnant why you didn’t send him to obedience school. I love dogs. One of my best friends has 4 of the friendliest, jolliest golden retrievers you’ll ever meet.
When she had her first son, she told me, “One dog stepped on me while pregnant.” I was a bit concerned since they’re pretty big dogs. She called her OB/GYN, and since her checkup was the next day, she had confirmation that all was well.
But if a dog jumped on your stomach while you were pregnant, and now it hurts, you might be worried about whether or not your dog could cause harm to the baby. In a nutshell, you should be ok most of the time. Here’s what to know and what to look out for!
What should I do when my dog jumped onto my pregnant belly?
Well, that really depends on a few things. See, if you have one of those little teacup tiny dog critters, then probably nothing. But if your dog is a behemoth, you may want to call the doctor.
In addition to the weight, it’s also the force. Your giant dog may jump up with just his paws while you’re standing and not really exert much pressure on your belly. Or he may jump right in your lap because he thinks he’s still a baby. Chronologically, he may very well be a baby. However, I’ve seen Labradors that are only 10 months old that are enormous.
So, the weight plus the force is what to think about here. You don’t want anything big or small to jump on your belly bump, kick it, or anything like that. This could cause a placental abruption, which I just discussed in this post, so check it out.
And then, there’s another layer to add to this mix of considerations: your trimester. Your uterus is much safer in the first trimester. It is still tucked under that pubic bone, so trauma is much less likely from your dog jumping on you.
But in the second and third trimesters, that kind of impact can hurt the baby. So, if the force of that jump was strong or you even fell over in the process (if you were standing up), you need to contact your doctor to have them check you out.
Generally, if your dog jumps up and puts his paws on you to greet you, you shouldn’t be alarmed if it isn’t too hard. But if this causes you to topple over, call the doctor.
Can you have a miscarriage from a dog jumping on you?
It technically could cause a miscarriage, though this is unlikely at the beginning of your pregnancy. It’s not impossible, but the odds are in your favor. I’d take this as an opportunity to enroll your dog in training if you can’t get him to obey.
This is important:
The risks get bigger in the second trimester, but things should still be ok. But by the third trimester, the chances of harm to your baby are much more significant. You don’t want to risk bleeding, pain, or the likelihood of premature delivery, so it’s essential to be extra cautious in the last few months and weeks of pregnancy.
Will I be OK if my dog steps on my pregnant belly?
Again, this goes back to a few things:
- Size and weight of the dog
- The force of pressure applied by said dog
- Which trimester you’re currently in
So, if it wasn’t much force, you should be fine, even from a large dog. But see how you feel because if it hurts when your dog steps on your baby bump, you should call the doctor and watch for any unusual signs.
What if my dog lays on my pregnant belly?
Let me counter this question with one of my own: how big and heavy is your dog?
If you have fallen into the habit of letting your gentle giant lay on your belly before pregnancy, it’s time to stop this habit. That weight isn’t a good idea; lying on your back can cut off flow to the baby as you move through pregnancy.
Honestly, if your dog weighs more than 10 pounds (4.5 kg), I’d make sure your dog never lays upon your pregnant belly. Ideally, you create a new spot for your pop, perhaps with a trainer’s help, so your dog doesn’t feel displaced. Some dogs will be happy for their new human sibling, while others will be jealous, and it’s a good idea to work on training your pet long before your baby arrives.
Can my dog hurt my pregnancy?
If you’re wondering if dogs can be dangerous for your pregnancy in other ways, the answer is yes. You can get diseases though it is extremely rare to catch something from them, especially if you properly care for your dog.
Things like salmonellosis (a bacterial infection), toxoplasmosis (a parasitic infection), rabies, and Lyme disease all come to mind. If you are taking good care of your dog, you shouldn’t have to worry, though I’d discuss this with both your OB/GYN and your vet to ensure you’re protected from these things.
If you live in a more rural area, Lyme disease would probably be my biggest worry for you. Deer ticks are easy for your pup to pick up, and when they bite, they can infect your dog and you. Always check for ticks and ask your vet how to help prevent them.
Being vigilant about ticks will help you get timely treatment, which is safe even while pregnant.
Your dog may also cause harm in other ways, though. I’ve read so many stories about how a “sweet” dog attacked a toddler out of nowhere. It really is best for all concerned that you get proper training for your dog. Obedience classes put you in control.
As an example,
My parents rescued a lovely collie years ago. She was sweet, but she jumped on everything and wasn’t well-behaved. After having her trained, she was not only her sweet self but a well-behaved girl who didn’t jump on us. This was years before I got pregnant too, but I can just imagine how Delilah would have bowled me over without that training.
You should also make sure your dog has those regular check-ups and keeps up with vaccinations. This will put your worries about any diseases at ease.
Additionally, watching for changes in behavior is always a good idea. Dogs may become jealous or even territorial when a little one arrives. Ideally, you’ll get your pup the training before the baby arrives.
Not every dog gets aggressive, though. My friend’s dog Sally stood guard outside her baby’s nursery and was as gentle as possible. But then again, Sally was a well-trained dog.
All in all, animals are unpredictable in this way. But you can minimize risks and injuries by taking all these precautions for your health and safety and the health and safety of your baby and your dog.
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.