Can a Female Dog Secrete Milk if She's Not Pregnant?

Milk production in intact females is usually a sign of false pregnancy.
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Your dog isn’t spayed. However, during her heat cycles you’re very careful with her around male dogs, and you’re certain she’s not pregnant. Now her heat cycle is over, yet she’s starting to produce milk. Should you be worried?

False Pregnancy

False pregnancies in intact females are not uncommon. They're brought on by hormone changes, and can mimic every symptom of a true pregnancy, including milk production. You may also notice your dog being less energetic, and showing signs of nesting with her toys. An intact female can potentially began producing milk if introduced to a suckling litter of puppies, even if she isn’t the mother.

Symptoms usually resolve themselves as the hormone levels decline. If symptoms are severe, however, talk to your veterinarian; a medical treatment may be needed. If you’re not going to breed your dog, spaying is not only a permanent solution, but also lowers her risk to certain cancers and eliminates uterine infections.