Why Do Female Dogs Keep Cleaning and Licking Her Puppies All the Time?

We’re not sure if you really want to know why female dogs keep cleaning her puppies all the time.


Puppies are completely helpless at birth, even more so than human babies.

They’re not able to hear for two to three weeks because their ear canals remain sealed. They don’t even open their eyes for at least ten days, and sometimes longer.

Since it’s not easy being a newborn pup, Mom tries to make things easier.

She makes sure they all stay in a pile together and don’t wander too far. She makes her milk available almost all the time.

This motherly devotion goes even further.

The puppies can’t go to the bathroom at all, even though they’re consuming milk, so she licks their hind ends to help stimulate them to empty their bladders and bowels.

The reason you don’t see any evidence that the puppies are eliminating waste is because their mother consumes it while she’s licking.

As we said, “Ew!”

This stage doesn’t last too long. Suddenly, about three weeks into life, the little dogs can jump up, see, hear, bark, wag their tails, romp, and play. And they’re able to go potty all by themselves, too.

Oh, how you’ll long for those first few weeks then.

My dog has a new litter of puppies. She always seems to be cleaning them—particularly their bottoms. I’ve not seen any evidence they’re going to the bathroom, so why does she keep cleaning them there all the time?

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

2 thoughts on “Why Do Female Dogs Keep Cleaning and Licking Her Puppies All the Time?”

  1. My dog just recently had puppies on Monday morning and I was wondering if anyone could tell me why every time someone touches her puppies she goes crazy and starts licking where ever it was touched at…I really need help?

  2. My dog shy shy just had her first litter on the 4th of this month. let her be, i know u want to show them off but she is protecting them from germs and she is protecting them, they’re her babies.

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