How can I protect my dog’s belly from nursing pups that are scratching her?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – My female is nursing and the puppies scratch her belly and teats when they eat. What can I do to protect her skin?


Dianna Jamie


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has pups that are scratching her belly when they nurse. I'm not sure how old they are but if they are getting to be 5 to 6 weeks, you can probably begin weaning them. The reasons I say that is some pups will scratch the teats with their sharp new teeth as they get older.

If they are scratching with their nails, trim the pup's nails every week! You can have someone hold them and gently trim the tips. They are often very sharp.

An article that might be helpful to you is Caring for Newborn Puppies.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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