What do I do if my dog won't take care of one of it's puppies?

My dog had 2 puppies five days ago, and she favors the larger male dog over the small female. She will assist with elimination for the female and nurse her if we hold her down (not in a mean way), but she persistently carries the male dog to a different locale like under our bed. Also, she growls at the female pup alot. She stays with the male, leaving the female alone in the whelping box. My dog also doesn’t seem to have much of an appetite. She is actively caring for the pups, but she doesn’t eat unless we bring her handfuls of food. I’ve tried wet food even, but she isn’t interested. I thought she was supposed to eat more now that the puppies are here. What could be the problem? My dog is our baby, and we are worried for her and her new family. Thank you in advance for your response.
(if one more person harasses me about spaying my dog, I will report them for abuse. I have an appointment to spay her. I called the day after she whelped and scheduled her for exactly 2 months after her delivery day. People make mistakes. Unfortunately, my dog is paying for mine now, and I’m just looking for helpful advice, not criticism and scolding. Thank you.)

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18 Responses to What do I do if my dog won't take care of one of it's puppies?

  1. Lupus Lady : says:

    You are going to have to take over the role of mom if she is not doing it. Dogs have an instinct of "only the strong survive". But just because she is smaller DOES NOT mean that she is unhealthy. She is just at a disadvantage because she is small. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong with her.

    If you are in doubt about the little female pups health, then have a vet check the pup out.

    Sometimes we have to step in and do the right thing and not "let nature take it’s course".

  2. aaron a says:

    call ur vet. if she wont eat she might die.

  3. langdonrjones says:

    Normally if a dog refuses to care for one of its puppies, it normally means there is something wrong with the puppy. But in this case if the dog is not eating much, it sounds as though there might be something wrong. You need to get her to a vet to make sure she doesn’t have an infection, or there is nothing else wrong. Be prepared to take over the feeding of the female puppy if it becomes necessary,

  4. spnkimberlynne says:

    It could be a number of things.

    She can sense if there is something wrong with that pup.
    Or even keep moving the male pup, because if the femal one is crying too much it gives away where they are, and thats natural instinct for a new mom dog to move them, and leave the one crying behind. Or even discipline her somehow (laying on her to smother her, not feeding her, ect.)

    Look up "mom leaving baby pup" on google, or similar.
    Good luck

  5. jonfay2 says:

    the mother dog if she thinks something is wrong with the female puppy, she would not care for it. but l do not think the puppy is unfit but you should take the puppy to the vet. and do what you have been doing. l know it is demanding but if it works then do it.

  6. torbaynewfs says:

    Hope you have learned a good lesson and SPAY the dog. This should be left to people who have a CLUE!!!!!!
    May want to have a trip to the vet to make sure the mom doesn’t have an infection. If she refuses to feed the pup, you may have to buy the puppy formula and do it yourself!!!!

  7. The Flash says:

    well what is happening is that she thinks that the female dog is the runt so it does not have much of a chance to live but thinks that the other dog is more suitable and has a better chance of surviving so what i think you should do is as soon as possible put the female dog up for adoption because the older the puppy gets the worse the mother is going to treat her.

  8. kat_luvr2003 says:

    she might not want it because there might be something wrong with it, but you can take over and be the new mom, just feed it bitches milk every 2 hours and make sure you make it has a BM every day a warm wash cloth gently rubbed on their bottom should make it poop and pee, i would do that every time i fed it,keep it warm at all times,put some rice in a plastic strong baggie put it in the microwave for a few Min’s, or until hot put it in a box,and cover it with a towel that’s how to keep it warm, this must be done every 2 hours too.

  9. glamour04111 says:

    mine did that and I would hold her down and also bottle feed it also
    she might be sensing something is wrong with it because The one mine did it to died at 6 weeks

  10. rita_alabama says:

    First, get her checked out at the vet’s to make sure there’s nothing wrong with her. I’d be concerned about a retained puppy, uterine infection, etc. Every dog is different; it’s possible that she is so involved in taking care of the puppies that she’s not feeling very interested in food. I’d free feed her (leave dry food out all the time where she can easily reach it) and feed her puppy food until she’s weaned her puppies (she needs the extra nutrition).

    For some reason she isn’t wanting to care for the female puppy, and it’s going to be hard to find out why. I’d encourage her to care for the puppy as much as possible (unless it looks like she’s going to hurt the puppy). The longer she cares for it, the better chance it has of surviving. If she refuses to care for it anymore, or she is threatening to hurt it, then I’d take it away from her and bottle feed it. Talk to your vet about the best way to do this…most puppies require feedings every two hours.
    Don’t hold it against her; for all their fur covered cuteness, dogs are a different species, and they have instincts that they can’t control. It’s completely possible that she doesn’t feel she has the resources or energy to take care of both puppies and has picked the stronger puppy as the most likely to survive.

    Anyways, talk to your vet and see what he things…good luck!

  11. Ashley says:

    Go to the vet! they are experts and will know the most about this type of thing. but my guess is that if the mother dog won’t feed one of the pups if you want it to live you will have to hand feed it. and keep trying to get her to eat, she needs it!

  12. daisy says:

    Then your going to have to feed the female pup yourself with a little syringe, contact your vet to see if the mom is getting enough.

  13. Jasmine says:

    Why havent you already taken her to the vet?
    You shouldve already done that…

  14. Cindybear says:

    I am sorry that you are having difficulties with your dog and her new family. I would like to offer my advice to you, I know it’s a pain, but bring your dog food, and have her eat it, like you were doing, she needs to eat, but you already knew that, as for the puppy that she is ignoring, My best advice is try to keep doing on what your doing, bring the puppy to her, and while holding her a bit, have the puppy nurse. Again I’m sorry that your having difficultites, I wish you all the best for you and your dog and puppies.

  15. pets4lifelady says:

    This doesn’t sound normal for the mom, especially with only 2 pups. Would make sense if a big litter and first litter. I assume she has plenty of milk too. Does the female appear to be normal? Can nurse and go potty ok?
    Usually a mom will not push a pup away like this unless she knows it is a sick pup. And I have handled 100s of moms/litters over the years. Seen it all.

    Most moms prefer the food/water near the nest where they can keep eye on their pups. Some will not leave unless to go potty. Is the whelping box in a "private" area. She may not want it in a open area of house, too much going on around her. This can stress the mom bad and cause strange behaviour. Going under the bed is a red flag that she wants privacy. If not, move them to a quiet spot, closets are great for this(door open) and see if improves.

    Keep helping her to nurse the female pup. Maybe folks are bothering her too much. Is this first litter? New moms can have problems knowing what to do.

    I normally advise that the mom/pups be taken to vet for a quick look over. Check mom that there is nothing nasty still inside to cause infection, very dangerous! And to assure pups are ok. If there is any possibility the female pup has a problem this would take care of that.
    Hope everything works out and all are healthy!

  16. BeccaRae says:

    just like the majority of People are saying the momma may sense there is something wrong with female pup. there may also be something wrong with the momma if she’s not eating cause yes nursing dogs are suppose to get more nutrients than regular dogs. your best bet is to bump up your already vet appt. and get ALL the dogs checked out. good lick to you and your doggies.

  17. JimmyTheGrunt says:

    Everyone that is obsessed with taking an ailing animal to the doctor, know this. Why? For thousands of years, dogs have been reproducing on their own. Why should she have her pet spayed? Who spayed the dogs in ancient rome? What if she doesn’t have the money to spay – because after she lost everything she had in a fire, or earthquake? Who are you to be this woman’s moral authority? Who are you to teach others, lessons? Did you ask why she didn’t spay the animal before your self-righteous tirade? To you who criticize, please give me a copy of your birth certificate, a time machine, and a rusty hanger. End the misery that is your existence.

  18. Miriam says:

    First have mom and pups checked out by the vet in case there’s a medical problem.

    Otherwise, if she won’t care for the puppy then you will have to feed it, clean it etc, or it will die.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of dog breeding……..

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