How to Dry Up the Mammary Glands of Dogs After Pregnancy

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How to Dry Up the Mammary Glands of Dogs After Pregnancy
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Things You'll Need

  • Puppy food

  • Adult dog food


When the female dog stops nursing, its normal for her mammary glands to become large, swollen and even painful for a few days. As long as they do not appear to be infected, don’t worry. Just do what you can to help the mother dog feel more comfortable. However, do not try to “milk” the dog’s mammary glands to ease her discomfort. Doing this signals to her body that her puppies are still nursing and she will continue to produce milk.


Consider getting your mother dog spayed now that her puppies are weaned. Thousands of dogs are killed in animal shelters every year because there aren’t enough homes for all of them.

When the mother dog begins the process of weaning her puppies, it is time to begin introducing the puppies to solid food and helping the mother dog recover from lactating. Most likely, while she was nursing, the veterinarian recommended to feed the mother dog puppy food. As the weaning process begins, the mother dog should gradually be switched back to adult food. This change in nutrition signals to her body that nutrition is decreasing and it's time to stop producing milk. Allow several weeks for the weaning process.


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Step 1

Change a quarter of the mother dog's diet back to adult dog food on the day you begin offering the puppies mush. This usually occurs when the puppies are about four weeks old.

Step 2

Change half of the mother dog's diet back to adult dog food a week later.


Step 3

Change three-quarters of the mother dog's diet back to adult dog food three weeks after the puppies begin to eat mush.

Step 4

Feed the mother dog only adult dog food by the time the puppies are eight weeks old.


Step 5

Fast the mother dog on the day the puppies are weaned completely. This will be when the puppies are separated from their mother completely. For large dogs, a 24-hour fast is acceptable. For smaller dogs, reduce the amount of food to half of what the mother dog would normally be fed.

Step 6

Resume the mother's pre-pregnancy diet the next day.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.