Mistakes When Caring for Dogs with Mastitis

Mistakes When Caring for Dogs with Mastitis

Mastitis is a life-threatening disease risking the lives of many mother dogs. Risk factors include being a mother for the first time, having too many pregnancies, giving birth to too many puppies, having a weak immune system, and staying in an unclean environment.

Many dog owners, especially first timers, do not see the signs of mastitis not until it is too late. On the later stages, the dog becomes severely dehydrated, cannot eat, and can eventually die. It is sad to think about it since mastitis is easy to treat with antibiotics, so it is important for you, as a dog owner, to be sensitive to your dog’s warning signs.

What are the common mistakes owners are making when taking care of their dog afflicted with mastitis? Here are some of them:

  1. Failing to check on your dog

During treatment, a veterinarian will ask you to separate the mother dog from her puppies since the mother needs time to recover from her infected mammary glands. At the same time, you have to apply ointments to the dog’s breasts and doing so can be toxic to puppies.

Because you are now giving more time in feeding the puppies, you may neglect the needs of the mother dog. It is a big no-no to do this since the recovery stage is where your dog needs you the most. Mastitis can cause a lot of pain, so you should always be there to check on your dog, and to make sure she gets to eat and drink throughout the day.

You can give foods that your dog likes because it can encourage her to eat more. She will not have much appetite during this time, so it is best to be generous this time and to give her all her favorite foods.

And do not forget to be timely with giving your dog her medications. Your dog at this point will be taking antibiotics, and they should be taken at precise intervals.

Also, make sure to clean the area’s linings regularly. If your dog is too weak to take a bath, you can also use a clean damp cloth to keep her clean.

  1. Bringing your dog near the puppies

It is a big mistake to bring your dog near her puppies. Not only can this disrupt your dog’s healing process, but all the antibiotics and ointment treatments can also be detrimental to your puppies’ health, too. As much as it is tempting to bring the puppies to their mother, you have to fight the urge and take on the mother’s role until she gets her full recovery.

The best you can do is to feed the puppies throughout the day regularly. You may have to do this up to as much as eight times a day. So, it will be best to hire a dog sitter during this period if you cannot afford to stay at home all day.

Apart from feeding the puppies, you also have to clean their area regularly. Since the mother is not around to clean them, you should also ensure that they stay clean. You can clean them using a damp cloth that has been soaked in warm water. Never use cold water because puppies are very sensitive to the cold and this can cause sickness to them.


You should be aware that mastitis is a serious condition and should be dealt with appropriately and promptly. But as much as treatment is necessary, after-care is equally crucial. Make sure to give a loving and warm environment for your dog and her puppies so they can enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirs.

Zoe Wolf
Since the age of 10, Zoe has translated her passion for animals into volunteer work for various animal shelters around her hometown of Newport, RI. Aside from being a Puppy Smarts dedicated writer, she also operates her own photography business.

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