Why Is My Dog Digging After Giving Birth?

Why Is My Dog Digging After Giving Birth

If your dog has just given birth, it may be showing some unusual behavior.

Don’t worry though, as she will go back to herself after some time.


After giving birth, dogs may display changes of behavior ranging from mild to extreme, depending on your dog.


It is important to understand your dog’s behavior to know how to deal with her changes and care for her.


Among various behavior changes, one common sight to see is constant digging after giving birth.

Read more to find out the different behaviors your dog may be exhibiting after she gives birth and why.



dog digging

There are two reasons why your dog may be digging after giving birth.


1. Digging In Her Whelping Box

If your dog is digging her blankets and papers, she may be doing so to make her and her pups more comfortable.


2. Finding A Safe Place To Nest

If you notice your dog digging after giving birth, it is a sign that she is nesting after having puppies — trying to find a safe and secure place for her pups. This may also be a sign of anxious behavior.


To avoid this behavior, try leaving her and her pups alone for them to get comfortable.

Ensure that no one is disturbing them, checking in on them from time to time.


Another way to avoid this behavior is to take her outside and let her get some fresh air.

This will help her settle in better to her new environment.


Digging is a sign of her nesting and birthing instincts and it is important to not fight it.

You should not try to suppress her digging needs as it may frustrate her.


Once your dog feels more comfortable and safer, this behavior will stop.



It is common if your dog suddenly shows signs of aggressiveness after giving birth.

This is driven by hormonal changes during this stage.


Some signs showing aggressiveness include:

  • Growling
  • Snarling
  • Biting
  • Showing her teeth


While this behavior may be unpleasant, it is natural as she may be feeling some discomfort after birth.


There are some things you can do to keep this aggressive behavior to a minimum.


One way you can help is to not go close to her whelping area and try not to handle her new pups.

After she gives birth, give her time with her new pups and interfere only when necessary.


This behavior should disappear a few weeks after delivery.



While some dogs show aggressive behavior, as mentioned above, others may be calm and lethargic.


Signs of a lethargic dog include:

  • Feeling sluggish
  • Neglecting her pups
  • Accidentally laying on her pups


This behavior may be caused by an infection. If you notice your dog becoming lethargic, it is important to take her to the vet for a diagnosis.



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If your dog starts whining and trembling when people get too close to her little, she is showing signs of anxiousness. This is common for dogs giving birth for the first time.


Fortunately, there are some ways you can help to reduce her anxiety. One way is to give her constant encouragement to ensure that she is calm. You can also help by keeping the activity in the room to a minimum and praise her when she is caring for her pups.


You can also distract her from whining by talking to her and feeding her. This may help her feel more relaxed.


This behavior typically reduces after a few days of them giving birth. However, if this behavior seems excessive, with the mom being restless and constantly trembling, it may be necessary to call your local vet for advice.


How Should Your Dog Act After Giving Birth?

mother dog with her litter

During her delivery and after, she should be panting for a short amount of time.

However, note that if she is panting frequently, you should take her to a vet to get a diagnosis.


Right after giving birth, your dog may start licking her puppies.

This behavior shows that she is trying to create a bond between her and her litter.


This behavior also helps to stimulate her puppies’ digestive systems.


After giving birth, your dog’s maternal instincts should also kick in, with her wanting to stay with her litter most of the time.


Signs To Call The Vet

While some of these behaviors may not be alarming, with them subsiding after a few weeks, others may be alerting.


Some signs to show that your dog may need further medical attention includes:

  • Excessive anxiousness
  • Excessive panting
  • High fever
  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Refusing to nurse her pups


If you have noticed any of these signs after your dog has delivered her pups, you should take her to the vet for medical attention.


How To Handle Your Dog’s Behavior

It is important to give your dog some quiet time with her pups once she has given birth.

Ensure that she feels safe with her pups in the house and check from time to time.


You should also make sure that she does not show alarming signs.

If you do, promptly take her to the vet immediately.


If you do take your dog to the vet, remember to keep her pups in a warm box to protect them.


Final Thoughts

As every dog is different, knowing more about different behaviors post-delivery can help you understand your dog and her needs better.

Knowing what to expect will help you remain calm during this process.


Although your dog should be able to adapt to her new circumstances easily, you should still keep an eye on her and her litter after she gives birth.

While doing so, you should also give her adequate space for her to bond with her puppies.


Should you spot any unusual behavior, consult your local vet immediately.


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.