When growing your family, it only makes sense to worry about how your canine will react. After all, a new baby is a significant change for everyone—including your canine.
However, there are many benefits of having a dog while pregnant. Studies are just beginning to show all the potential benefits a dog can have while you’re pregnant and shortly after the baby arrives.
Of course, many of these are dependent on your dog’s temperament. An aggressive dog is never a good idea to have around a baby, and some training may be helpful for even the most well-behaved dog. However, when prepared carefully, dogs can provide plenty of benefits during this time.
Top 4 Benefits of Having a Dog While Pregnant:
1. Pets Can Reduce Allergens
There are some suggestions that pets can reduce allergens in babies.1 While we used to believe that early introduction to allergens is what caused allergies, we now know that the opposite is true. Therefore, exposure to pet dander early on can help reduce the odds of the baby being allergic to dogs later.
Of course, dogs also track in all sorts of other allergens, such as pollen. Theoretically, they can also help reduce the odds of the baby being allergic to these.
Furthermore, dogs may also reduce the odds of the baby getting asthma. Asthma is often linked with allergies.2 If the dog reduces the baby’s chance of having allergies, then their asthma chance may be reduced, too.
2. Mood Improvement
Experiencing ups and downs is very common during pregnancy. Luckily, there is evidence that dogs can improve their owners’ moods. Of course, this is just as true during pregnancy as at any other time. Anxiety, depression, and stress aren’t good for an unborn baby. They can lead to psychological changes in the mother, which can furthermore cause issues with the baby.
Therefore, keeping your mood as even as possible is recommended. Having a dog is a straightforward way to accomplish this.
However, it shouldn’t be the only thing you do. Meditation, time in nature, and other stress-reducing methods are also recommended. If you’re having a particularly bad time with your mood, we recommend speaking with your care provider.
Exercise is vital for your unborn baby. There is plenty of evidence that exercising while pregnant prevents problems from occurring. It’s a common misconception that exercise is dangerous for your baby. However, it can reduce laboring times and prevent some pregnancy complications.
After all, giving birth is a marathon. It only makes sense that women who are more fit would be better able to give birth without interventions.
4. More Beneficial Gut Bacteria
Having a good gut biome is vital for gut and immune health. Babies with a solid microbiome are less likely to develop colic and other gastrointestinal issues. Therefore, promoting a healthy gut should be on your to-do list if you want a healthy baby.
One study examined the gut biome of babies who shared homes with dogs. This study discovered that moms who had pets during pregnancy had more kinds of certain beneficial gut bacteria. They passed on these gut bacteria to their children.
Therefore, dogs can help promote a healthy gut, reducing the odds of colic and similar problems later on.
There are tons of benefits to having a dog while pregnant. Most importantly, these animals can introduce you to beneficial bacteria. These bacteria can improve your gut biome and reduce the risk of allergens. These benefits also get passed on to the baby when they’re born.
You’ll have a more even stomach while pregnant if you have a dog. However, your baby will, too, once they are born. Therefore, most of the benefits dogs provide are double-whammies.
There is no reason to rehome your dog just because you’ve gotten pregnant. They provide many benefits. We recommend that every pregnant woman consider having a dog, especially one that is even-tempered and well-trained.
Featured Image Credit: Stela Subashi, Shutterstock