Why Do Dogs Eat Their Puppies?
It’s an instinctive thing, an evolutionary trait that surfaces from time to time. They’ll eat a puppy when they see it as waste material. A dead puppy, or a sick one, will – in their perception - make the rest of the litter sick and / or weaken the chances of the group's survival. So the mother will do it to save the rest of the group.
But we need to play our part in preventing these things from happening. Sometimes a mother will kill her puppies if and when she feels stressed because she doesn’t have a quiet secluded place for the litter to live. If too many gushing humans want to see the cute pups, or if the litter is too big for the dam to handle, her stress levels may cause her to do the unthinkable.
Newborn pups are extremely vulnerable, so in order for you to help the mother watch over them and keep them safe keep a close eye on the pups, to see if they’re behaving normally, and nursing well. Watch how the mother interacts with them. If you can, you should ideally sleep near the litter for a day or two, in case anyone needs rescuing.
It’s a really good idea to take mother and pups to see your vet a day or so after she gives birth after giving birth, to check for retained placentas and ensure that all the pups are healthy.