If your dog is not eating after giving birth, it would be best to determine if your pet is sick and treat the underlying cause. It would also help to serve your pet her favourite food.

You should ensure that the area where your dog nurses her litter is serene and private. Alternatively, you can contact your veterinary doctor or consult a professional dog behaviourist.

Suppose you have made her food as palatable as possible. You should feed her twice as much as before she delivered her puppies. She will need all the energy she can get to take care of her puppies.

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What Can You Do If Your Dog Won’t Eat After Giving Birth?

not eating after giving birth
Dog feeding puppies – image by Rafatul Islam from Unsplash

Seek Professional Help If Your Dog Won’t Eat

After your pet gives birth, the first thing to do is to schedule a veterinarian examination of the new mother. The check-up will allow the veterinarian to ensure everything is in order and address concerns.

Your veterinary doctor should rule out infections or illnesses as to why your dog won’t eat. If that is the case, he prescribes something for the loss of appetite in your dog that will meet its nutritional needs while being treated.

At the same time, in more challenging situations, your veterinarian may propose appetite-stimulating drugs, syringe-feeding a liquid diet, or the insertion of a feeding tube.

Furthermore, if your vet rules out infection or diseases, you can discuss alternative ways to get your dog eating again. It could be in the form of contacting a professional dog behaviourist to help find the reason why your dog is not eating.

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Make Its Food More Palatable

If your mother dog is hesitant to consume dog food after giving birth to puppies, you can feed the high-calorie meals she can’t refuse.

It could include specific goodies you know it likes and add an egg yolk or lard to its regular diet. You can make your pet’s meal more appealing by soaking it in chicken broth and warming it in the microwave.

Treat Any Infection

Suppose your pet is suffering from an infection; it could make it very uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. Common conditions affecting a new mother dog include Mastitis and Metritis.

Furthermore, suppose your dog suffers from digestive issues before delivery or acquires it after. In that case, it will find it challenging to eat food.

Digestive issues can also affect your puppies as they will not receive the required nutrients to grow. It may cause your puppies to grow at a slower rate than it is supposed to.

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Feed It More Than You Used To If Your Dog Won’t Eat

After giving birth, pregnant dogs lose weight, but their dietary requirements multiply. Your mother dog may require two to three times its typical food intake to feed puppies. However, it depends on the size of the litter.

Ensure your nursing mother has enough water to produce the milk she needs to feed her puppies. Additionally, ensure it is always hydrated. Your dog may not want to leave her puppies to go and eat. Ensure you place her food close to her, so she doesn’t have to move.

Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Eat After Giving Birth


Due to childbirth’s stress, a mother dog may be depressed and disinterested in food, water, and sometimes even puppies.

Suppose your dog is depressed; it will likely become detached and passive. The depression may be because it is the first time your pet is giving birth. Or because your pet is overwhelmed by the number of puppies in its litter.

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It is a bacterial infection in one or more lactation glands of the mother dog. A scrape or bite on the mammary glands by the pup’s teeth or toenail might cause it.

Indications include loss of appetite, swelling and painful mammary glands, fever, dehydration, and puppy mistreatment.

Septic Shock

Septic shock, also known as Sepsis, is an infection that causes severe inflammation in the mother dog’s body. The inflammation can lead to multiple organ failures if not addressed right away.

Septic shock could cause the mother dog to refuse to eat her supper. She may also exhibit other symptoms such as vomiting, increased heart rate, dark red gums, diarrhoea, fever, dehydration, difficulty breathing, panting, and a loss of appetite.


Metritis is a bacterial illness in dogs that causes inflammation in the lining of your pet’s uterus. It typically occurs within a week of birth. One of the signs of Metritis is a loss of appetite.

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Blood and pus mixed discharge from the vulva with a foul odour, bloated abdomen, fever, dark red gums, reduced milk production, and neglecting the puppies are other symptoms.

Digestive Disorders

The cause of digestive problems can range from something as simple as a dog acquiring food intolerances or ingesting rubbish to something more serious, such as bacterial or viral infections or illnesses.

Symptoms such as diarrhoea or constipation, colic, drowsiness, or difficulty eating meals are common in many cases of digestive disturbance. Gastrointestinal issues, for instance, can give your pup a lack of appetite and stomach pain.


If you wish to breed her, it is critical to examine your female dog’s body condition well before breeding. A dog with less-than-ideal health may encounter complications due to the physical demands of pregnancy and nursing.

Suppose your dog is underweight; it may struggle to consume enough food to meet her nutritional demands as well as those of her growing puppies. Because of their large fetuses, overweight dogs may have atypical or complex labour.

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Make sure to offer a complete and balanced diet in the right amounts so your dog can eat healthily after giving birth. It will help your pet maintain a good weight and body condition before and after breeding. Similarly, it will strengthen the mother and the puppies’ health during pregnancy and nursing.

A healthy mother dog will not be prone to infections that affect her appetite after delivery. It will make your pet produce sound and healthy pups. So also she will be able to consume food that will help her puppies grow.

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