Mother dog eats puppies

Can the female dog eat her puppies after giving birth? This post will talk about the dog’s aggressive behavior in the postpartum period and what should be done if the animal gets a little aggressive.

Can the dog eat the puppies?

Dogs should not eat their puppies; the ingestion of newborns can cause gastrointestinal disorders leading to diarrhea and vomiting. If the dog is eating her own puppies something is wrong.

Reasons for a female dog to ingest her puppies

First, during parturition, female dogs normally eat the placentas and sometimes end up ingesting malformed or stillborn puppies. This is a natural act of dogs, and may be influenced by their origin as wolves. It is believed that female dogs do this to keep the environment clean, avoiding predators.

In the postpartum period, the female dog can become aggressive and may ingest the puppies due to the change in mood caused by the hormonal variation at the end of pregnancy.

Often normal acts of dogs can be confused with bites and cannibalistic acts as the act of the female dog can carry puppies by the mouth to protect them.

Usually, the female dog transfers the pups from the nest when she feels in danger or threatened. A female dog must give birth and remain in a quiet, safe, and peaceful environment.

And when the puppies are older, the female dog can bite them to establish dominance, and as a tactic to teach them subordination, but there can be no aggression for hurting the puppies.

The female dogs postpartum

In postpartum, female dogs tend to dedicate most of their time to the puppies, nursing them and licking their belly, triggering the urination and defecation reflex in them. The female cleans her young and spends more time cuddling with them and maintaining their temperature.

However, some female dogs in the postpartum period suffer from hormonal variations that can interfere with their mood, which causes the animal to become aggressive with their puppies, being able to kill them and even ingest them. This process is very similar to postpartum depression experienced by some women.

In these cases, the female dog must be separated from the puppies to prevent her from killing them. And it is recommended to go with the animal to a veterinary consultation to evaluate the dog’s clinical condition and provide guidance on food supplementation for the puppies.


In this blog post, we were able to learn more about postpartum for female dogs. We could observe that not always when a dog is biting a puppy it is because she wants to eat it. Sometimes she’s just carrying him somewhere else. Or demonstrating pack behavior with their older pups. But, if a dog shows aggression in the postpartum period, the puppies should be separated and a veterinarian should be consulted.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Mother dog eats puppies

What to do when the mother rejects the puppy?

First, separate the puppy from the mother, put it in a warm place. It is also possible to try manually placing the calf on the mother’s teats to nurse. If this is not possible, consult a veterinarian.

Why does the female dog carry her puppies?

It is normal for a mother female to carry her young in her mouth, this behavior is not aggressive. A mother can move her young if she feels threatened. She may bite the cubs as a tactic to teach them subordination.

How do female dogs take care of their puppies?

In dogs, females dedicate themselves to newborn puppies, nursing them and licking their belly, triggering the urination and defecation reflex in them. The female cleans her young and spends more time cuddling with them, thus maintaining their temperature.


de Souza Teixeira, E. (2001). Basic principles for dog breeding. NBL Publisher.

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