Postpartum Depression in Dogs (a comprehensive guide)

In this guide, we will explain what dog postpartum depression is, its signs and symptoms, causes, and how to help the dog through dog postpartum depression.

Following the delivery of puppies, postpartum depression may occur in female dogs. Depression can rapidly set in or take several weeks to set in. She can show signs of sadness and lethargy if your dog has depression. She’s going to lose interest in her puppies, and she may even refuse to give them nursing care. In certain cases, with their puppies, female dogs who suffer from depression will also become aggressive.

In dogs, postpartum depression may take place immediately after your dog gives birth and can remain with them without treatment for a long time. An owner must assist and protect their dog.

Postpartum Depression in Dogs

After the birth of a litter, postpartum depression in dogs occurs when the female displays signs of depression. It may be triggered by hormones, current stress, or now manifesting past anxiety. It may contribute to feeling biologically unwell and varying negative behavioral manifestations.

During pregnancy, your dog’s hormones slowly increase and when they give birth, the hormones unexpectedly decrease. This involves progesterone and prolactin that can trigger dopamine, because of their mood shifts in just a short period along with the enormous hormone level. What triggers depression is this decrease.

Stress is another cause, although it is widely seen alongside hormonal imbalance. It can all be very stressful to raise weight, hormonal shifts, the actual birth, and this can lead to depression. Also, if your dog is normally extremely stressed or has been through severe stress in the past, due to the stress of the situation, they would be much more likely to experience postpartum depression.

Signs and symptoms of Postpartum Depression in Dogs

You need to know the behavioral signs you can recognize to easily identify postpartum depression so that you can support your dog.

Lost interest in Puppies 

She might be suffering after-birth depression if your female dog does not attend to the puppies. All indications that she is distressed by the situation are a lack of cleaning the litter, spending time with them and even breastfeeding them, or her potential depression suggests that she is seeking isolation. Note the amount of interaction she offers them, even though she is still lying about her puppies. Is she doting, checking and holding them close to her or is she just sitting in that place?

It is important to remember that the loss of interest in puppies applies to the litter as a whole and not to a single individual.

Sleeping Excessively

Your wife would be more exhausted than normal after giving birth and taking care of a full litter. It is not natural for her to sleep constantly, however.

Indeed, a nursing dog should wake up periodically to check, urinate, defecate, and eat food for her puppies. Be mindful that this is a sign of postpartum dog distress if you catch her just resting. Initially, she will be more exhausted after birth and should steadily become more awake for longer periods over the coming days and weeks.

Is she still hesitant to wake up even with the pups’ encouragement or pestering? To see if her sleeping patterns are natural, ask yourself all of these questions.

Appetite Loss

Has your wife stopped consuming her food all of a sudden? Maybe she doesn’t drink, or she doesn’t drink much. It’s abnormal. The mother is going to be reluctant to leave her puppies and may not do so for a long time, but if possible, she can still shift to eat and drink.

If the whelping box has been adequately set up, the food bowl should be easily reached and thus, as she goes to eat, her stress levels should be reduced as possible. With her water bowl, it’s the same thing. Therefore, if in the first few days she either seems very hesitant or even refuses to eat at all, this suggests a high possibility that she is going through postpartum depression. If you are concerned about the quantity of water and food she ingests, consider contacting the vets.


Your dog going to have a behavior improvement, but some main behaviors indicate anxiety. She howls or barks a lot? Increased vocalizations are also a sign of anxiety and an overwhelmed dog is seen. Is she licking one place obsessively? This is an obsessive-compulsive behavior that is mostly used by dogs to console themselves.

Even if it irritates the skin and reduces hair growth, nervous dogs will lick repeatedly at one spot. When constantly encouraged, they will not even continue to do so. Is a woman anxious, skittish, or hiding from you or others? Both of these behaviors indicate fear in dogs, a symptom and a sign of postpartum depression.

Aggressive Behavior

During pregnancy and after childbirth, violence will increase before the puppies wean. Regardless of who you are, even if you are the owner, this is natural. This becomes a symptom of post-birth dog stress when there is prolonged or longer-term violence.

When you attempt to remove or touch the puppies until they are weaned, normal levels of aggression occur. This can involve nipping or growling at your side. Excessive violence involves the mother outwardly trying to bite you, not allowing you to bite in the same room, etc. Prolonged violence is another strong indication of the post-birth depression of your dog, which will take place after four weeks after the weaning age of the puppies.

Remedies for Postpartum Depression in Dogs

To try to relieve your dog’s postpartum depression, there are some simple at-home approaches you can put in place.

To cuddle

We should do the same for them in the same way that our fuzzy buddies assist us to relieve tension. Physical attention will reassure them all and make them feel calmer, such as cuddling, stroking and kissing the dog. The development of dopamine, the happy hormone, will also increase and can boost their emotional state. This should not be done during breastfeeding or the female can be likely to display aggression at any time, such as directly with young puppies. Instead, if she does not have food violence, you should do so when she goes outside or shifts to feed.

Enable your dog to exit her whelping box quickly, one from which the puppies can not exit. Encourage her, but close by, out of the cage, so she is not worried that she can not see her puppies. Offer her some gentle attention at this stage. Stay with her and try to calm her and console her for a while.

To play games

Enrichment and relaxation will phenomenally assist with your dog’s postpartum depression. It is an easy solution, but one that can significantly improve the mood of your dog. It will encourage them to burn off some excess energy by taking your dog for a stroll, playing with you and other dogs, and sniffing some scents to cheer them up. Dogs enjoy going out and walking your dog will provide them with a way to get out of the noisy environment, calm down, and work to get back to themselves. If not twice, try taking them for a walk once a day, but be mindful that they should be brief walks because otherwise she and the puppies can get nervous.

Play games with your dog, such as tugging a leash, tossing a ball or soft toys. Make use of busters of immersive boredom! Engaging your dog in play will improve their morale and burn off excess energy. This will give them an outlet to help them get back to themselves and then, much happier and calmer, go back to their litter. 


For some owners and breeders, this may be shocking, but dogs are greatly influenced by music. Negatively and positively both. For dogs, using soft music can be calming and soothing. It is currently stated that dogs especially favor reggae and soft rock. The University of Glasgow and the Scottish SPCA found that the most positive activities contributed to certain types of music, but all dogs have their favorite form of music.

Try playing some reggae or soft rock in the background for them if you identify postpartum depression in your dog. The music will calm them down, help the puppies sleep, and even relax them. Also, since their temperament has adapted to the climate, they may start eating more frequently and be less aggressive. Just make sure it’s not just one song playing endlessly, as after a long period this may trigger low-level irritation and discomfort for your pooches.

Medications for Postpartum Depression in Dogs

You can get prescription medicines for when there is a postpartum depression in your dog:

In this guide, we explained what dog postpartum depression is, its signs and symptoms, causes, and how to help the dog through dog postpartum depression.

FAQs: Postpartum Depression in Dogs

Can dogs get depressed after having puppies?

Yes, dogs can get depressed after having puppies. Any chemical imbalances in your dog after birth, similar to when a human mother has postpartum depression, are thought to cause these disorders. In female dogs, maternal behavior issues include both lack of maternal behavior (mothering) and inappropriate mothering to the puppies of their own or other dogs.

How do I know if my dog is depressed?

Take notice if your dog unexpectedly loses interest in playing, going for walks, and other stuff that would typically excite her. There may be dog sadness in dogs that become less aggressive, slow down, or seem to lose meaning.

Can female dogs get depressed?

Some scientists suggest that dogs, and even depression, will feel grief. Start with a check-up at the vet if your dog is overly unhappy, or their behavior changes dramatically. For most dogs, though, grief is short-lived.

Is owning a dog good for depression?

Pets, particularly dogs and cats, can relieve stress, anxiety, and depression, alleviate isolation, promote exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for an animal will help kids grow up healthy and more involved. For older adults, pets can have useful companionship.

Why does my dog cry when her puppies cry?

The crying may signify an imbalance in their climate, which includes the correct temperature and adequate comfort level. Also, their cries can also be a sign of lack of nursing, malnutrition, or a health condition that causes them pain.

How do I know if my dog is rejecting her puppies?

If your dog lies or sits for long stretches away from the litter, she may have rejected them. She can also display signs of stress and may physically pick up the puppies and move them away from her in some situations. If you hear excessive cries from the litter, another strong indicator of possible rejection is.


Postpartum Depression in Dogs

Postpartum Depression and Its Effect on the Dog

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