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puppy habit

Species: dog | Category: behaviour | Submitted: 12 September 2007 05:23AM | viewed 4964 times
Q Lynn asks:

We have 10 day old puppies and they have been sucking each others private parts, is this normal? The females are getting swollen also the mother has no milk, the puppies are on puppy formula and doing well. Any answer would help, thank you.

Q Our vet says: Just like any other young mammal puppies love to suck. As well as the nutritional benefits of milk (when the mother lactates normally) I strongly believe that there is probably an emotional benefit too. I believe that pups are probably comforted and calmed by the action of sucking just as human babies are- with or without the associated milk. Perhaps since the pups are not able to get milk from Mum their nutritional needs are being satisfied by the formula but not their behavioural need to suck for longer periods of time (bottle feeding is quicker). They are therefore sucking each other. You need to look out for any areas of soreness/ redness etc or pups which seem distressed by another pup's sucking on them- if all seems OK then I would not worry too much about this kind of behaviour in such young animals.

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