Skip to main content

Q&A: Why Is My Dog Eating Her Puppies, and What Can I Do?

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

It is not normal for dogs to eat healthy puppies.

It is not normal for dogs to eat healthy puppies.

Can I Stop My Dog From Eating Her Puppies?

"My dog had 11 pups and 2 died, so she ate them. I already knew that this could happen, but what is concerning me is that each day one or two pups just disappear. Now only 3 are left. Could she be doing this?" —Tshegofatso

Why Mother Dogs Eat Their 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. Dogs sometimes eat normal puppies, and this usually happens because of stress.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Pethelpful

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Her Puppies

If you want to prevent her from eating the other puppies, there are things you can do:

  • Set up her nursing area in a quiet room where no children or visitors (including dogs or other pets) will come in and disturb her.
  • Try calming her by using some of these tips. If you can keep her in a small room, the hormone inhaler described in the article has the best chance of keeping her calm.
  • I have heard of this happening in cases of malnutrition. If you usually only give your dog dry food, you can try to supplement with scrambled eggs and cottage cheese or something she can chew on like chicken feet.
  • Take her to your local veterinarian for an examination. It is possible that she has a health problem that is causing this behavior.

If this were my dog, I would take the last few puppies away from her and finish raising them on formula. It may sound like a lot of work, but it is only for about a month. Here is a replacement formula you can make at home, or you can buy puppy milk replacer at many pet stores.

I am not sure if you are planning on raising more puppies, but females that have killed their puppies are known to do so again. If your dog is very valuable and you need to breed her again, you might need to foster the puppies.

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

Related Articles