My Dog Carries My Kitten In His Mouth

By Tom Ryan

Even if your dog is affectionate and gentle with your kitten, she can inadvertently harm the kitty by trying to carry her. Dogs are known to pick up their young and carry them around in their mouths, and kittens are instinctively used to their own mothers doing the same. But even the smallest dog is considerably bigger and stronger than a kitten. To avoid accidents, do not allow your dog to carry a kitten in her mouth.

Keep Them Separated

If your dog’s maternal instincts compel her to carry your kitten around in her mouth, her size and strength could cause an accidental injury. If you see your dog carrying the kitten, give her a stern "no" and take the kitten from her, then put the kitten in a place the dog can’t access. Prevent the dog and kitten from sharing a space unsupervised; when they are together with you, monitor closely.

Encourage Other Behaviors

Distractions can help. Keep your dog’s mouth busy with other things by giving her chew toys, which she won’t necessarily want to give up just so she can carry the kitten around. Devote daily time alone with your dog to bond, to exercise her mind and to expend her energy.

By Tom Ryan

---

References
VCA Animal Hospitals: Breeding for Dog Owners - Caring for Newborn Puppies
Dog Owner's Guide: Fighting Furry Furies?
Humane Society of North Texas: Animal Education: Destructiveness - Chewing

About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.