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?