How To Dry Up Dogs Milk
Most nursing dogs do not need help slowing or stopping milk production. Once the puppies are weaned and the mother dog returns to her regular feeding schedule, lactation will naturally slow and stop. However, take care of the mother dog during the weaning process. If milk production does not slow as expected, avoid home remedies to dry up your dog’s milk without consulting your veterinarian first. Your veterinarian will likely give a safe medication to cease lactation if necessary.
Wean the Puppies
Drying up the mother’s milk is the best way to care for the puppies. It is a natural process that most dogs will do on their own. Weaning can begin when the puppies are three weeks old. You can start by putting puppy food soaked in water in a small dish in the pen for them to eat and give them water.
Gradually allow the puppies to spend more time away from their mother. By this time, they will have started to grow teeth, and the mother will be ready to spend more time away. Decrease the puppies’ time with their mother until they are fully weaned at around six weeks old.
Prevent and Treat Mastitis
The mother’s milk production will gradually decrease as the puppies feed less during the weaning process. It is unrealistic to expect the milk to dry up overnight. If you suddenly remove the puppies from the mother, she may get mastitis, an mammary gland infection. Your veterinarian can treat this with antibiotics and pain medication. The veterinarian may also recommend that you hand-milk the mother for some time and apply a cabbage leaf to the inflamed areas.
Adjust Food Intake
As the puppies start to wean, the mother won’t need to produce as much milk. You should gradually decrease the food you give her so she doesn’t have as many calories, which will help reduce milk production.
Medication to Stop Lactation
Suppose lactation does not stop after the puppies are fully weaned. In that case, the mother dog can become in pain and develop mastitis. Your veterinarian may prescribe Cabergoline to help dry up your dog’s milk. The medication works by decreasing the hormone prolactin, which stimulates milk production. Give your oral dog medication twice daily in the dosage recommended by your veterinarian based on your dog’s size.
Home Remedies to Dry Milk
Speaking with your veterinarian before trying home remedies to stop a dog from lactating is essential. Many home remedies may put the dog and her puppies at risk. For example, some evidence is that certain herbs, such as parsley and jasmine, may help dry up a woman’s milk.
It would help if you never used parsley to dry up dogs’ milk because it is toxic to them. Parsley contains furanocoumarins, which can cause dermatitis and sun sensitivity in dogs. Even if your dog doesn’t react badly to small amounts of parsley, it’s not worth the risk to their health. Instead, ask your veterinarian for a prescription for a safe lactation-reducing medication for your dog.
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Frequently Asked Questions About How To Dry Up Dogs Milk
Generally, healthy puppies nurse from their mother for six or seven weeks. The demand on the mother’s body peaks around three weeks after the puppies are born. As the puppies start to eat puppy food and rely less on their mother, her milk will naturally dry up.
Puppies will start to eat solid food at around 5-6 weeks old. After weaning, the mother’s food and water intake should be decreased to help her dry up. Puppies will become more fun at this point, but also more work.