Why Is My Dog Still Nesting After Giving Birth?

The little puppies have arrived, and the birthing space is set, yet there she is, your furry friend, still fussing with her bedding.

It’s a behavior that leaves many dog owners scratching their heads and wondering, “Why is my dog still nesting after giving birth?”

From maternal instincts to post-birth changes, there’s more to this behavior than just moving blankets around.

Let’s embark on a journey to understand the depths of canine motherhood and the intriguing actions that come with it.

What’s Dog Nesting?

About Instinct: Why Dogs Nest

Way before puppies arrive, most female dogs will start preparing.

It’s not just about finding a comfortable spot.

It’s about safety, warmth, and privacy.

Wild dogs, ancestors of our domestic buddies, chose hidden places to keep their puppies safe from predators.

This instinct is still alive in our household pets.

Sometimes, dogs will ‘dig’ at their nest, even on a hard floor!

That’s them pretending to burrow, just like their wild cousins would.

After The Puppies Arrive

Adjusting To Motherhood

Being a mom is a big job.

She is constantly busy feeding the pups, keeping them warm, and cleaning them.

Amidst this flurry of new responsibilities, the familiar comfort of her nest is reassuring.

It’s a place she knows she can relax, even for just a bit, before going back to her motherly duties.

Protecting Puppies

Mama dogs have a super sense.

They can hear or smell if something’s not right with one of their pups.

Even in a deep sleep, a small whimper from a puppy will have her alert in seconds.

This protective behavior isn’t just adorable; it’s nature’s way of ensuring the puppies thrive.

Why The Continued Nesting?

A Cozy Spot

Your home is her home.

But with tiny puppies to care for, a dog often feels the need to create a special, safe space.

This nesting spot acts as a fortress against the outside world, where she can shield her puppies from anything she perceives as a threat.

Her Body’s Recovery

Dog moms need downtime, too.

Giving birth is hard work, and her body went through a lot.

Nesting helps her recover, and having her puppies close provides warmth, which can ease her sore muscles.

Also, this cozy environment is crucial for her emotional recovery, helping her relax and bond with her pups.

Guarding Pups

While we see them as cute furballs, she sees her puppies as treasures that need 24/7 guarding.

This continuation of nesting ensures they’re always under her watchful eyes, safe from any perceived dangers.

Outside Influences

Family & Pets: Their Effect On Her

Believe it or not, your behavior and that of other pets can influence her nesting habits.

If she senses too much activity or feels other pets are too curious, she may nest longer to ensure her puppies’ safety.

Ensuring she feels supported and safe in her environment can make a big difference.

Weather And Home Changes

Have you ever snuggled under a blanket during a thunderstorm?

Dogs react to weather, too.

Cold, rainy, or stormy weather might make her want to nest more.

Likewise, changes in the home, like moving furniture or new people, can make her feel the need to re-establish a safe space.

When To Get Help?

Nesting is natural, but too much can be a sign she’s stressed or not feeling well.

If she’s ignoring her puppies, not eating well, or seems overly anxious, it’s worth a chat with the vet.

Doggy Sadness

Just like humans, dogs can have blue days.

It’s crucial to keep an eye on her mood.

If she’s not her chirpy self, seems withdrawn, or isn’t enjoying things she used to, it might be time to seek professional advice.

As we end this journey through canine motherhood, understanding why our dogs act the way they do deepens our bond with them.

It’s not just about knowing; it’s about empathizing and ensuring our furry friends always feel loved and understood.

How To Help Your Dog

Her Own Space

Imagine being a new momma dog with several puppies who always want your attention!

It’s not so different from human mothers who need breaks, too.

Giving your dog a special area can be a game-changer.

A soft blanket in a corner, maybe even a cozy dog bed, can be her special retreat.

This isn’t just any ordinary space.

It’s where she can nurse her puppies without interruptions or take a snooze when the little ones are asleep.

Did you know that some dogs can get overwhelmed without their own spot?

It’s true!

Just like how we sometimes need a quiet moment, so does she.

Play & Love

While momma’s dog is busy with her puppies, she can sometimes feel left out.

Your cuddle sessions, your games of fetch, and even those walks might become less frequent.

But here’s a tip many don’t know: setting aside time, even just a few minutes, to play and bond with her can boost her spirits.

Use a toy she loves, or even introduce a new one.

This little break can be refreshing for her, reminding her she’s still special and not just a mom.

The Beauty Of Dog Moms

Trust Her Instincts

Here’s something amazing: Dogs have been caring for their puppies way before we started having them as pets.

Their instincts are sharp.

If you see her moving her puppies around, she might be sensing temperature changes that we can’t.

Or she might feel a draft in one part of the room.

Trusting her instincts doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help.

It means observing, understanding, and then stepping in if truly needed.

Growing Puppies

Puppies grow faster than you think.

One day, they’re tiny furballs, and soon, they’re playfully chasing their tails.

But here’s a neat fact: Did you know that the games momma dog plays with her puppies teach them skills?

For example, a gentle nibble from her can teach them to bite control.

Watching them grow is not just fun; it’s seeing life lessons in action.

Dogs, with their wagging tails and loving eyes, have so much to offer.

When they become mothers, a new world opens up.

As pet parents, our job is to support and love them in this journey.

Each day brings new challenges but also moments of pure joy.

And while we might think we know everything about our furry friends, they always have some surprises up their paws.

Through patience, love, and a bit of knowledge, we can make their motherhood journey as wonderful as they make our lives every day.

Before You Go…

You now know why your dog is still nesting after giving birth.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.