Do puppies experience sadness when separated from their mother? 8 signs to look for

Do puppies get sad when they’re separated from their moms?

It’s a question that tugs at our heartstrings.

The answer lies in understanding dog behavior.

Puppies, like humans, can express a range of emotions, and yes, sadness can be one of them.

Now, how do we recognize these signs of puppy sadness?

Well, just like us again, they have their own unique ways of showing it.

In this article, we’ll explore the 8 signs to look for when trying to understand if a pup misses its mom.

1) Change in behavior

When a puppy is separated from its mom, the first sign you might notice is a change in its behavior.

Puppies are generally playful, energetic, and curious.

But take away their mom, and you might see a shift.

They could become more reserved, less active, or show less interest in their surroundings.

But these changes can also be due to other reasons like illness or stress from a new environment.

So it’s not always a surefire sign of sadness.

Still, a sudden change in behavior is often one of the first signs that something is amiss with your little furry friend.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on them and make sure they’re okay – just like we would with our own kind.

So if your pup suddenly seems different after being separated from its mom, it could very well be missing her.

2) Loss of appetite

The second sign that a puppy may be feeling sad is a loss of appetite.

This is something I’ve personally experienced.

My own little furball, Minnie, was always an eager eater.

The moment I’d put food in her bowl, she would gobble it up in a flash.

But when we had to separate her from her mom, I noticed a stark change.

Minnie, who normally couldn’t wait for mealtime, suddenly lost interest in her food.

She’d sniff at it and then walk away.

And even when I tried her favorite treats, she would just look at them and then me with those sad puppy eyes.

It was heartbreaking to see Minnie like this.

And it was clear to me that she was missing her mom.

Just remember: While loss of appetite can be a sign of sadness, it can also point to health issues.

So if your pup suddenly stops eating, it’s a good idea to consult with a vet.

3) Excessive whining or crying

Now, here’s a sign that’s hard to ignore – excessive whining or crying.

Puppies, like human babies, use crying as a form of communication.

It’s their way of saying “Hey, something’s not right here!”

And did you know that a dog’s vocalizations are largely influenced by their social interactions?

It’s true.

Dogs have a variety of vocal signals – barks, growls, whines – to communicate their emotions and intentions.

So, if your pup has been separated from its mom and starts whining or crying more than usual, it might be expressing its sadness and longing.

Of course, puppies can also cry for other reasons – like hunger or discomfort.

But if these needs have been addressed and the crying persists, it could be a sign of emotional distress.

4) Lack of interest in playtime

Puppies love to play, it’s a fact.

They’re full of energy and curiosity, always ready for the next adventure.

But if you’ve noticed your pup losing interest in toys or playtime, it might be feeling blue.

This was especially evident in my friend’s puppy, Charlie.

After being separated from his mom, Charlie, who was usually the life of the party, started to lose interest in his favorite squeaky toys.

He would just look at them and then walk away.

Just like us, dogs use play as a form of social interaction and learning.

It’s a crucial part of their development.

If your usually active pup is shying away from playtime after being separated from its mom, it might be a sign that they’re missing her.

It’s important to comfort them and assure them that they’re not alone during this time.

A little extra love can go a long way.

5) Clinginess

After a puppy is separated from its mother, it might try to find comfort in the next best thing – you.

Suddenly, your puppy might not want to leave your side, following you around the house, whining when you’re out of sight, and wanting to be held or cuddled more than usual.

It’s as if they’re saying, “Don’t leave me too.”

This increased clinginess is their way of seeking reassurance and security in a world that suddenly feels a lot bigger and scarier without their mom.

While it can be heart-wrenching to see your little friend this way, remember that your presence and your love offer them a sense of security and comfort.

So hold them close, offer them plenty of cuddles, and let them know they’re not alone.

6) Disturbed sleep

Sleep patterns can tell us a lot about a puppy’s emotional state.

In fact, sleep disturbances are a common sign of distress in puppies after separation from their mothers.

I remember when I first brought my pup, Sheldon, home.

He was a bundle of joy during the day but at night, it was a different story.

He had trouble sleeping through the night and would often wake up whining.

It was hard seeing Sheldon like this and even harder knowing that he was missing his mom.

But with some love, comfort, and patience, Sheldon gradually adjusted to his new environment and began sleeping peacefully through the night.

7) Reduced interaction with other puppies

Another sign that a puppy might be missing its mom is reduced interaction with other puppies.

Puppies are social creatures and they enjoy playing with their siblings and other pups.

However, after being separated from their mom, puppies might withdraw from social interactions.

They may no longer show interest in play-fighting with their siblings or interacting with new puppy friends.

This could be because they’re feeling insecure or anxious without their mother’s presence.

It’s similar to how a child might feel on their first day of school, unsure of their new surroundings and missing the comfort of home.

With time, most pups will gradually start to interact more as they get used to their new environment.

8) Constant searching

Perhaps the most unmistakable sign that a puppy misses its mother is constant searching.

Puppies separated from their moms often exhibit this behavior – continually exploring their surroundings, sniffing around, and looking for something.

What they’re likely looking for is their mother.

This behavior is driven by a deep instinct to be close to their mom for safety and nourishment.

It tugs at your heartstrings to see them searching like this, but it’s a clear indication that they’re missing their mom.

Remember, while it’s tough to see your pup in distress, these reactions are natural and typically temporary.

The bond is strong

The connection between a puppy and its mother is a powerful one, rooted in nature’s intricate design for survival and growth.

This bond, much like that between humans, carries an emotional depth.

So, when it’s disrupted through separation, it’s only natural for the puppy to experience emotions akin to sadness.

Seeing your puppy go through this phase can be challenging.

But you’re now their source of comfort and security.

By understanding their behavior and responding with love and patience, you can help them navigate through this transition.

Their search for their mother might not stop instantly, but over time, their new source of love – that’s you – will become their new safe haven.

Dania Aziz

Dania Aziz

"A spirited lifestyle and love advocate, who loves to explore the two to help herself and others discover what they are really searching for."

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