Why Do Dogs Eat Their Puppies If You Touch Them?

Your dog is tired, scared, and having to deal with an entire litter of wailing puppies. Sometimes, stress can lead to bad decisions for female dogs. Mothers can bark, growl, and even bite those precious pups. Predatory instincts kick in, which can lead to cannibalism in rare cases.

Is it normal for dogs to eat their puppies?

Instinct is the main thing that drives a dog to eat their puppies, but there are other reasons too. Some may eat their puppies by accident, some may eat stillborn puppies, and some may be responding to stress or a medical condition.

Will my dog reject her puppies if I touch them?

It is not necessarily bad to touch a newborn puppy, but there is no one-size-fits-all response. Many mother dogs – especially if they are our pets – will not mind humans touching their young puppies. However, newborn puppies, like all newborns, are delicate, and it is easy to unwittingly hurt them.

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Why does my dog keep eating her puppies?

One of the saddest reasons why some female dogs resort to cannibalism is because they simply don’t recognize the puppies as their own.

Do dogs get mad when you touch their puppies?

As a mother, she will be protective of her young. If you are a stranger, she will probably try to stop you from touching her puppies. If you try to touch the newborn puppies in such a situation, you will cause the mother dog unnecessary stress and risk getting hurt yourself if she bites or scratches you.

How to stop a mother dog from eating her puppies

Her birthing place and the whelping area should be clean, quiet, and tidy. If anything startles her, try to comfort her so she doesn’t get freaked out. You should also separate her from the male dog during and after birth. His presence might cause her, and the puppies, to feel panicked and uneasy.

Do dogs eat their puppies if they are born dead?

The vast majority of the time, any puppy that gets eaten will have been stillborn. Most stillborn pups give off certain clues that alert the mother to that fact, and she’ll usually drag off any puppies that didn’t make it and bury them. She may also eat the body along with the placenta.

Why do mother dogs eat their puppies’ poop?

Mother dogs frequently eat their puppies’ poop to keep their “den” spotless. It also protects puppies from predators that might be attracted to the smell of the poop. Since puppies don’t know any better, they imitate their mother’s behavior. Puppies who eat poop are simply following their mom’s lead!

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Why do dogs eat their puppies placenta?

After mothers clean off their pups and bite of the umbilical cord, they will eat the placenta. It’s a way for them to recover some of those nutrients they lost and regain their strength. In care cases, mothers will accidentally eat stillborn puppies. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for puppies to die in the womb.

Do male dogs eat their puppies?

Male dogs do not eat their puppies. Dogs rarely eat other dogs, and if it were to come to that, desperation and extreme circumstances would have to be present. Male dogs do not have paternal instincts, but this lack of parental instincts does not cause cannabilism.

Why is my dog biting her newborn puppies?

If your female is feeling stressed or threatened by too much noise or activity around her puppies she may begin harming the puppies as a way to protect them from any perceived outside threat. Some female dogs just simply were not cut out to be mothers.

Why does my dog growl at her puppies when she eats?

This aggression is a form of resource guarding – a behavior passed down through evolution, when dogs needed to protect every meal or resource they had.

How do I know if my dog is rejecting her puppies?

If your dog is lying or sitting away from the litter for long periods, it’s likely she may have rejected them. She may also show signs of stress and in some cases may physically pick up and move the puppies away from her. Another clear sign of potential rejection is if you hear excessive cries from the litter.

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Can the male dog be around the puppies?

It’s generally advised to keep the male away from the mother and litter entirely, from the last weeks of pregnancy and until the pups are at least four weeks old when the mother is starting to wean them, and ideally for five to six weeks. By then the father can be a part of the socialization process.

Is it normal for a mother dog to eat its puppies?

It is not normal for a dog to eat her puppies, but it does happen. The most common reason a dog eats a puppy is that the puppy is very small, ill, and not moving around like normal. She might have eaten the first two sick or dying puppies and then developed this habit.

What do you do when a mother dog eats a puppy?

If a dog has already killed or eaten one of her puppies, you should take the rest away from her, as they’re all at risk. Also, that dog should be fixed as soon as possible, as it’s incredibly likely that she’ll repeat her murderous behavior with future litters.

Do dogs eat their own dead puppy?

Once a puppy is dead, the mother may decide to eat the body. This is a way for her to regain the precious nutrients and strength she lost during the birth. Those nutrients will ultimately pass to the rest of the litter through her milk. It is usually best not to intervene with your dog while she is birthing.