my dog gave birth to a dead puppy

My dog gave birth to a dead puppy- The Best Ways to Deal in Such Situation.

We all know that the birth of new puppies is a memorable and exciting moment. Unfortunately, some of the owners stuck with a situation to my dog gave birth to a dead puppy. The moment is surely full of sadness and disappointment. However, what happens is not under your control but what steps you can take in such a situation that does matter. This article will give you complete information regarding How to comfort a dog who lost her puppies and What happens when a dog loses her puppies.

Some Important Points to My dog gave birth to a dead puppy:

  1. At first, you can allow the mother dog to stay with the dead puppies but for not more than 15 minutes. 
  2. After this, divert the mother dog’s attention and secretly remove all the dead puppies. Make sure you put your gloves on by doing so.
  3. Now consider some process to dispose of the body of the puppy.
  4. Take the mother dog and other live puppies to the vet to check for any infections.

Dead Puppy- What to Do?

You will be sad to know, but it is quite common that a dog can give birth to a dead puppy, and even a stillborn puppy can also be dead shortly after its birth. Sometimes it also happens that Mother dog died after giving birth, which is even more tragic. It is important as an owner to prepare themselves to face such situations. You should know the right process to dispose of the dead puppies and also how to take care of the health of the remaining ones, including the mother dog. Here are some of the essential steps that you can consider-

Let the Mother Spend Some Time With her Dead Puppy/Puppies:

In case your female dog gave birth to a dead puppy, it is a must that she needs to know that her puppy or puppies are dead. This is essential to control her anxiety and to stop continuing the search for her puppies. Make sure that such meeting of the mother dog with the dead puppy should not be more than 15 minutes

my dog gave birth to a dead puppy

because there are chances of infections that can affect the health of the mother dog as well as the remaining live puppies. The disposal of the body should be your next step after this. Removing the dead puppies before she knows they are dead can make her aggressive, and even she can bite you.

So it is important to let her examine the puppy. Sometimes it is also possible that some immature mother dogs tend to eat their dead puppy, but it may happen. But you should not allow her to do so as it may further lead to a serious problem.

So as soon as you see the mother has started to bite the puppy, take it away from her. Apart from this, several experienced mothers bury their dead puppies or push the dead puppy far from its bed as soon as she recognizes they are dead. It is advisable to let her do it as it will be helpful to you too. After that, you can secretly take that puppy away from her for disposal. 

Removal of Dead Pups:

There are plenty of reasons due to which puppies are born dead. Therefore it is risky to touch the puppy with bare hands as it may be infectious. So while removing a dead puppy, it is good that you use disposable gloves and put the body of the puppy in a sealable freezer bag, and again place the bag in another sealable bag. Make sure to dispose of the gloves in the garbage soon you performed this activity.

Also, make sure all the things related to a dead puppy, including bedding, body, and gloves, should be removed from the home as soon as possible as your dog may get a scent of smell oof its puppy, and she may attempt to search for it with curiosity. You can now take the body or placenta to the vet, and if not possible, then put it in the refrigerator away from the food items meanwhile.

Freezing the body makes the diagnosis process easy, and your vet can easily understand the reason for the death of the puppy. Also, remember to sanitize the refrigerator area after you have removed the puppy from it.

Time to Contact the Vet:

my dog gave birth to a dead puppy

It is necessary to consult the vet to know the reason behind the death of the puppy. In case the death of the puppy is due to some infectious disease, it is necessary to save the mother dog and the remaining pups from it. Your vet will perform the necessary examination of the body to know the reason behind its death and can guide you accordingly. The examination will include-

  • Checking of the Remaining Puppies: It is essential for the knowledge of the vet that the remaining puppies are not present in the uterus and birth canal of the mother dog. It can be done by palpation of the vagina and abdomen of the dog. Other times in larger breeds of dogs, it can be done by radiography for confirmation.
  • Mastitis Signs: Mastitis refers to pain and inflammation of the mammary tissue in females, and it generally occurs due to infections. The tissue may be visible as swollen, red, or hot. The condition is quite painful for the female dogs and needs help from the vet to resolve it. Any dog can get such Mastitis, but mother dogs who have delivered most of the dead puppies have higher chances of developing Mastitis as she is developing the milk, which will never be consumed. Your vet may follow some procedures to decrease the production of the milk to cure Mastitis.

My dog gave birth to a dead puppy- Burial, and Cremation

While you are at the vet office, do not mention discussing the options regarding dispose of the dead pup. It depends on you that you want your dead puppy cremated or buried. Here are some of the things you have to keep in mind before deciding on such a task-

  • Burial provides a permanent and memorable place for the puppy where you and your family members can visit and honor the puppy. Such a cemetery can be in your home garden or some other defined place. In case you have decided to bury your dead pup at home, make sure that the grave is at least 5 feet in length and 1.5-2 m deep. It is necessary to prevent the mother dog from identifying the smell of its dead puppy and avoid its search via digging of the grave. It will also be helpful to save the rest of the pups and mother from the risk of infection. Make sure that your state has laws to do so, as many cities do not allow the burial of pets in homes.
  • Cremation is the best way to allow puppies to return to their original state faster. You can spread the remains or ashes in the park or garden and can even save them in your home. In case you are spreading the ashes in your garden, make sure that you distribute it evenly on the soil as it may increase the PH level of the soil, causing problems with your plants. 
  • Another way is the communal Cremation of your puppy which means cremating your puppies at the same time when the other owners have the same issues. Such Cremation is done in chambers. It means that you will not get a chance to receive the ashes of your dead pup as the cremation service will collect all the ashes and dispose of them according to their protocol. Many of the communal cremation services may cost around $40 and can also scatter the ash if needed.
  • In case you do not want your dead puppy to be cremated in groups, you can also hire a private cremation. In this way, your dead puppy or puppies will have their separate chamber, and the ashes will be returned to you at an instant in any wooden box, plastic bag, or in an urn. But the process is quite expensive, and an owner may have to spend at least $100 to a maximum of $1ooo based on the conditions and services. 

Ways to Choose a Pet Urn for a Dead Puppy:

Budget and size are some of the necessities that you should consider before buying an urn for your dead pup. You should also be aware that there are both biodegradable and non-biodegradable types of urn are present in the market. The non-biodegradable urn is those whose owners prefer to keep the ashes of their pup at home. The budget of the urn may vary from around $300 to $30. 

For considering the size of the urn the general rule is one cubic inch of space plus 10 cubic inches extra. For example, if your puppy weighs 3 ounces or 85 grams, you will need an urn that is 5 cubic inches or 82 cms or larger than this. These urns are available in a variety of quality and designs, such as pet figurine urns, pet photo urns, metal pet urns, wooden pet urns, etc.

Reasons Behind Death of a Puppy:

Many owners need definite answers to my dog gave birth to a dead puppy. For them will be an assurance that you are not the reason for the death of the puppy or puppies. There are several diseases or medical conditions that lead to such conditions.

my dog gave birth to a dead puppy


It is a term that means difficult to take birth. It includes breech presentation and mal-positioning of the fetus. Too much narrowness of the pelvis is also the reason behind this. The larger size of the puppies is also the main reason behind Dystocia. A larger breed of the male mating with small breeds of females consequently results in the development of the larger size of pups. A mother dog finds it difficult to give birth to such pups.

Sometimes the puppy is stuck for a long time in the birth canal of a dog. In such cases also there is a probability of death of puppies. All the above conditions are extremely painful for mothers. A dead puppy in the birth canal starts to decay, creating pain, swell, and spread of infections to the mother dog. All such delicate cases are to be handled by a vet as soon as possible as there is a danger to the mother’s life as well. 

Symptoms that Indicates Problems in Labor:
  1. If you note that the labor has not started within 24 hours of the dropping of rectal temperature below 100 degrees.
  2. A puppy is visible in the birth canal but is not passing by.
  3. The condition of the mother is getting worse, and she is in pain or experiencing weakness.
  4. There are more than 4 hours of gap between the deliveries of puppies.
  5. Contractions are continued without the delivery of the puppy.

Deficiency in Nutrition:

Like humans, every female should be strong, healthy, and nutritious both at the time of conceiving a child and delivering it. There should be an adequate reserve of proteins and vitamins for the dog. The dog should be provided with high-quality food throughout the duration of pregnancy to avoid complications. There should also be a physical examination of the vet as well and perform the deworming process if needed. A malnourished dog looks like-

  • Poor quality dull hair coat
  • Decrease in immunity
  • Excessive shedding of coat
  • Lethargic

Wrong Medications:

Several medications can cause the puppies to born dead below is the list of such medicines-

  • Antifungals, antimicrobials, steroids
  • Analgesics, antiparasitics, anti-cancer drugs
  • Anesthetics, cardiovascular medications, etc.

It is better to consult the vet to learn more.

How to Take Care of Mother and Puppies After Birth:

So if you are all set with how to deal with dead pups, your work is not over yet. It is necessary now to take care of the mother dog and the remaining live puppies as well. At first, remove all the bedding material from the place that was used for pregnancy. Replace them with clean, fresh, and soft ones. Remember that never give your dog a full bath. Clean her with a soft towel instead with the help of warm water. Be gentle and calm towards her as she has overcome a difficult situation and is exhausted. If everything is fine, let them get examined by a vet for under 24 hours to check for any complications.

Your vet will check some important parameters like the puppy remaining inside the birth canal or uterus, milk production of the female dog, chances of Mastitis, and overall health of the dog and puppies. He may also write you some important supplements and power boosters that need to be fed to the mother. 

Ways to Take Care of Puppies and Mother:

Soon after the puppies are born, keep them in an open but confined area where they can easily move, take fresh air, and exercise. Keep a check that the mother dog is providing them milk, cleaning them, and taking care of them. The mother dog, too, should be able to stretch and relax in the place that you have assigned to them. Make sure that space should be sufficient enough, as in a limited place, there are chances that your dog may accidentally crush the puppies. If the place is much larger, your puppy may slide far from her that will cause problems if it’s a winter season or unable to detect her nipples and maybe starve. 

Mother dog also needs some break from the puppies to exercise, move around, and fill its stomach. So make sure you arrange for that. The complete family needs to rest in a warm, cozy, and quiet area for the better development of the puppies. Make sure the kids or any unknown person should not be entertained as the mother dog is very protective towards her babies. Keep the pets closely and spend ample time with the mother dog as well as the puppies as such happiness does not come as often. It is better to take the contact number of your vet to clear your queries at every stage of the puppies.

Some Common FAQs:

Q: Can a dog deliver dead puppies?

Yes, it can be possible for a dog to deliver dead puppies. This mainly happens due to the presence of the bacterium Brucella canis, which leads to aborting the puppies during the late stages of pregnancy. It also happens that a mother may give birth to live puppies, but they may be dead after a short while due to the effect of such a bacterium.

Q: Is it normal for puppies to be born dead?

With animals that used to deliver multiple births, it is usual that some of the babies are delivered dead or dead after some time of their birth.

Q: Does my dog know her puppy died?

Yes, the dog comes to know about the death of their babies. Dogs may react in several ways under this situation. A dog may rarely mourn to death under such circumstances, but they become emotionally weak. It’s better to support your dog in such conditions.

Q: How do I save a dead newborn puppy?

The best way to save a dead is to give CPR. For this, place the puppy flat on its right side. Then compress the chest of your puppy once for a second and then exhale some air on the nose of the puppy every six seconds. Repeat the above two procedures until your puppy starts to breathe again. If your puppy is live gain, contacts your vet for further procedure.

Q: Originally Answered: My dog keeps taking care of her dead puppy. When should I dispose of it?

In such cases, you can let the dead puppy remain with his mother for 15 minutes, not more than that. Then remove the dead puppy from the group as it may infect the other puppies. After this, make sure to check the mother dog and remaining pups from the vet to avoid infections.

Q: Can you resuscitate a stillborn puppy?

It is not completely impossible to resuscitate a stillborn puppy. It is situational-dependent, but chances are quite low.

Q: Can you resuscitate a stillborn puppy?

It is not completely impossible to resuscitate a stillborn puppy. It is situational-dependent, but chances are quite low.

Q: What to Do When My Dog Keeps Looking For Her Dead Puppy?

In case you are stuck in the scenario when your dog is looking for its lost puppy after you have disposed of it, try to distract her attention towards other live puppies. You can also replace some small size soft toys that can be related or similar to the dead ones for distracting her. 

Q: How to Perform Puppy CPR When There’s No Pulse?

Performing CPR is a simple process, but one must make sure that it has been done properly. You have to lay your puppy on a flat surface ad press him for one second on its chest, followed by exhaling air through its nose. Repeat the process 4 to 5 times.

Q: What should I do with a puppy born dead?

The first step that you have to do while seeing a dead puppy is to allow the mother to spend time for 15 minutes with the puppy. Then make some arrangements for disposal of the puppy. Finally, let all the puppies and mothers be checked through a vet to avoid any spread of infections.

We all know that every owner is excited to meet the newborn puppies of their pal. But is the truth that everything does not go as planned. It is not uncommon that puppies and stillborn puppies die soon after their birth. It is the way by which you handle such a situation that makes the moment better. Make sure that you work jointly with the vet to make the mother and remaining puppies lead a happy life ahead. So I hope that now you have quite satisfying answers to my dog gave birth to a dead puppy.

Leave a Comment