A mother dog moving one of her puppies can be a puzzling behaviour for pet owners to witness. However, this is a common occurrence in the animal kingdom, and there are various reasons why a mother dog may move one of her puppies.
One of the primary reasons why a mother dog may move one of her puppies is due to health concerns. If a puppy is sick or weak, the mother dog may move it away from the rest of the litter to avoid the spread of illness or to provide extra care and attention. According to AKC, mother dogs have a strong instinct to protect their young, and moving a sick puppy away from the others can help to ensure the health and safety of the entire litter.
Another reason why a mother dog may move one of her puppies is due to environmental factors. For example, if the mother dog senses a potential threat nearby, she may move one of her puppies to a safer location. Additionally, if the puppies are in an area that is too cold or too hot, the mother dog may move a puppy to a more comfortable location to regulate their body temperature.
Reasons why a mother dog may move one puppy
A mother dog moving a puppy is a common occurrence that can happen for a variety of reasons. Here are some possible reasons why a mother dog may move one puppy:
Puppy is sick or weak
One of the most common reasons why a mother dog may move one puppy is if the puppy is sick or weak. A mother dog will often move the puppy away from the rest of the litter to prevent the spread of illness or to give the puppy extra attention and care. If the puppy is weak, the mother may move it closer to her for warmth and protection.
Puppy is in danger
Another reason why a mother dog may move one puppy is if the puppy is in danger. This could be due to a predator or other threat in the area. The mother dog may move the puppy to a safer location to protect it from harm.
Puppy is not thriving
If a puppy is not thriving or growing as well as the rest of the litter, the mother dog may move it to a different location. This could be to give the puppy more space to move around or to provide it with more food and attention. The mother dog may also move the puppy to encourage it to nurse more frequently.
It is important to note that while a mother dog moving a puppy can be concerning, it is often a natural and necessary part of caring for her litter. If you have any concerns about your mother dog or her puppies, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian.
How Mother Dogs Move Their Puppies
Carrying Them in Their Mouth
One way mother dogs move their puppies is by carrying them in their mouth. This is a natural instinct that helps keep the puppies safe and close to the mother. The mother dog will gently pick up the puppy by the scruff of its neck and carry it to a new location. This is a common method used by mother dogs when they need to move their puppies to a safer or more comfortable location.
Using Their Nose or Paw to Push Them
Another way mother dogs move their puppies is by using their nose or paw to push them. This method is often used when the mother needs to move the puppies a short distance or when the puppies are too big to carry in her mouth. The mother dog will nudge the puppies with her nose or use her paw to gently push them in the direction she wants them to go.
Mother dogs may also use a combination of these methods to move their puppies. For example, she may carry one or two puppies in her mouth while using her nose or paw to push the others along.
It is important to note that mother dogs may move their puppies for a variety of reasons. This can include keeping them safe from predators or other dangers, finding a more comfortable or secure location, or simply because she feels it is time to move on. If you notice a mother dog moving her puppies, it is best to observe from a distance and avoid interfering unless it is necessary for their safety.
What to do if you notice a mother dog moving one puppy
Observe the situation
If you notice a mother dog moving one puppy, it is important to observe the situation carefully. Make sure that the puppy is healthy and not injured. Check the mother’s behaviour towards the puppy and see if she is showing any signs of aggression or neglect. If you notice any unusual behaviour, it is best to consult a veterinarian.
Consult a veterinarian
If you are concerned about the mother dog’s behaviour or the health of the moved puppy, it is important to consult a veterinarian. They can examine the puppy and ensure that it is healthy. They can also advise on the best course of action to take to ensure the puppy’s well-being.
Provide additional support to the moved puppy
If the veterinarian determines that the moved puppy is healthy and the mother dog’s behaviour is normal, you can provide additional support to the puppy. This can include keeping a close eye on the puppy’s feeding and weight gain, as well as providing extra warmth and comfort to the puppy to ensure its well-being. You can also consider bottle-feeding the puppy if necessary.
While it may seem strange to humans, mother dogs moving their puppies is a natural behaviour that serves several purposes. By moving one puppy away from the others, the mother can give it individual attention and ensure that it is receiving enough milk and warmth. It can also help to prevent the spread of disease or parasites, and protect weaker puppies from being pushed aside by stronger littermates.
However, it’s important to note that not all instances of a mother dog moving a puppy are normal or healthy. In some cases, it may be a sign of neglect or rejection, and the puppy may require veterinary attention or intervention from a rescue organisation.
Ultimately, understanding why mother dogs move their puppies can help us to better care for and support these new families. By providing a safe and comfortable environment, plenty of food and water, and regular veterinary check-ups, we can help ensure that both mother and puppies thrive.