top of page

How to Dry Up a Dog’s Milk: Comprehensive Guide

Drying up a dog's milk after weaning can sometimes be a challenging process, especially for heavy milkers. Proper management is crucial to avoid complications such as mastitis. This guide provides detailed methods for reducing lactation in dogs, including medical treatments, home remedies, and supportive care.

Understanding the Weaning Process

Natural Weaning:

  • Gradual Reduction: Most female dogs naturally reduce milk production as their puppies transition to solid food. The reduced demand creates back pressure in the mammary glands, signaling them to produce less milk.

  • Return to Normal: As the puppies wean, the female's glands typically dry up and retract against her body without issues.

Challenges with Heavy Milkers:

  • Persistent Lactation: In some cases, particularly with heavy milkers, the glands may continue producing milk even after the puppies have weaned. This can lead to discomfort and potential complications.

Medical Treatment for Reducing Lactation

Cabergoline Therapy:

  • Prescription Medication: In severe cases where natural methods are insufficient, prescription medication such as Cabergoline may be necessary. Cabergoline works by blocking the hormone prolactin, which is responsible for milk production.

  • Dosage: The recommended dosage is 1.5-5.0 µg/kg/day, divided into two doses (BID). This should be administered under veterinary supervision to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Homeopathic and Supportive Treatments

Cabbage Leaves:

  • Soothing Effect: Rinse cabbage leaves with water and apply them to the dog’s mammary glands. The cooling effect helps soothe discomfort and reduce swelling.

  • Application: Place the cabbage leaves directly on the mammary glands and leave them in place for 15-20 minutes, repeating as needed.

Dietary Adjustments:

  • Reducing Food and Water: Temporarily cutting the female's food and water intake by half for two days can help decrease milk production. After two days, gradually return to a normal diet.

  • Monitoring: Ensure the dog remains hydrated and healthy during this period. If any signs of distress or dehydration occur, revert to the regular diet immediately.

Manual Expression:

  • Milking Out by Hand: In cases where the glands are engorged and painful, manually expressing a small amount of milk can provide relief. This should be done carefully to prevent stimulating further milk production.

  • Preventing Infection: Manual expression can help prevent mastitis, a painful infection of the mammary glands. Ensure hands and any equipment used are clean to avoid introducing bacteria.

Preventing and Managing Mastitis

Signs of Mastitis:

  • Symptoms: Look for signs such as redness, swelling, warmth, and pain in the mammary glands. The dog may also become lethargic and show a decreased appetite.

  • Immediate Action: If mastitis is suspected, contact your veterinarian immediately. Early intervention is crucial to prevent the condition from worsening.

Supportive Care:

  • Comfort Measures: In addition to the above treatments, providing a comfortable and stress-free environment can aid in reducing lactation. Ensure the dog has a quiet, clean space to rest.


Drying up a dog's milk involves a combination of monitoring, dietary adjustments, and, in some cases, medical intervention. For heavy milkers, additional care may be required to prevent complications like mastitis. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a smooth transition for your dog post-weaning.

For more detailed information and high-quality products to support canine health and breeding, visit or call us at 800-658-5308. We are dedicated to helping you maintain the health and well-being of your dogs through expert advice and top-quality products.

Dog with milk
Dog with milk


Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page