Can dogs eat their babies?

In this brief discussion we’ll answer the question “can dogs eat their babies?” We will also talk about whether eating babies is an inherited trait, the external factors that drive dogs to eat their babies, and which puppies are more at risk of cannibalism.

Can dogs eat their babies?

Yes, dogs can eat their babies on rare occasions. Dogs don’t have a moral compass as humans do, they are animals who follow their instinct. Although it is rare, dogs can eat their newborn babies due to a number of reasons.

Is eating babies an inherited trait?

No, there is no scientific evidence available to claim that eating babies is an inherited trait. However, there is one dog breed among whom eating babies is more common. Staffordshire bull terriers are known for killing their puppies. 

This does not imply that every dog belonging to this breed will eat their babies. Most of the factors that drive a dog to eat her babies are external. So eating babies is not an inherited trait. 

Can dogs eat their babies if they don’t recognize them ?

Yes, dogs can eat their babies if they don’t recognize them. Dogs don’t always recognize their litter as their own, especially when they give birth in a crowded place instead of a home environment. 

The puppies delivered through a C-section are more at risk of getting eaten by their mothers. This is because the mother is unable to sense the hormones released during natural birth which makes them think the puppy isn’t theirs and they end up eating them.

Can stress drive a dog to eat her babies?

Yes, stress can drive a dog to eat her babies. When dogs are in a stressful environment, they may get irritated and eat their babies. This more commonly happens when dogs are in a crowded area with people constantly coming or going.

Therefore, it is very important to provide the mother in labor or the nursing mother with a secluded and peaceful environment. Also, make sure to provide her plenty of food and water while and after giving birth so she doesn’t feel the need to eat her babies to sustain herself.

What is mastitis? Does it play a role in cannibalism?

Mastitis refers to the inflammation of breast tissue that is sometimes seen in new mothers. Mastitis makes nursing very painful and uncomfortable because the dog’s teats become red, inflamed, and painful. 

When the puppies try to latch on, they may hurt their mother. As a result, the mother lashes out and eats her babies. Dogs may also abandon their babies instead of eating them. 

Therefore, immediate medical attention is needed in such situations to help the mother as well as her babies. In such conditions, you can play your role by bottle feeding the newborns till their mother recovers. 

Do dogs eat their babies if human scent gets on them?

No, dogs don’t eat their babies if human scent gets on them. If your dog is used to being around humans, she will not reject or eat her babies if your scent gets on them. In fact, she may require your assistance with handling the babies if she is sick or injured.

However, newborn puppies can get infected by humans which can drive dogs to eat them. You may carry harmful pathogens on your clothes that might infect the newborns. Therefore, it is crucial to wear clean clothes and handle the babies with care.

Which puppies are more at risk of getting eaten by their mother? 

Stillborn and sick puppies are more at risk of cannibalism. When a dog gives birth she bites off the umbilical cord and eats the placenta to make up for the lost nutrients during birth. She may sometimes mistake the stillborn for a placenta and end up eating it. 

Moreover, if the newborn puppy is sick or deformed, the mother will most likely eat them because she would not want to waste resources while feeding a dog whose chance of survival is very low. The mother might completely reject the baby or try to eat it in such cases.

Therefore, you need to keep a close lookout for puppies who are not nursing or seem abandoned and provide them with the care they need.

Can dogs eat babies that are not their own?

Yes, dogs can eat babies that are not their own. This makes them feel superior to the other dog and gives their own offspring an advantage. Therefore, you should avoid keeping newly born babies around other dogs. 

Conclusion

We answered the question “can dogs eat their babies?” We also discussed whether eating babies is an inherited trait, the external factors that drive dogs to eat their babies, and which puppies are more at risk of cannibalism.

References:

https://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/reasons-mother-dog-would-eat-her-young-2686.html#:~:text=Cannibalism%20is%20rare%20in%20dogs,breeds%20can%20cannibalize%20their%20puppies.

https://www.hepper.com/why-mother-dogs-sometimes-eat-their-puppies/

https://www.animalwised.com/why-do-dogs-eat-their-puppies-3070.html

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