Canine mothers are the first to love and protect their newborn puppies. For the first few weeks, they shower their babies with undivided attention and care, making sure that they get the best opportunity in life.

Since puppies enter this world unable to see, hear, or walk, this early period is extremely crucial (it's estimated that they spend about 10 percent of the time eating and the other 90 percent sleeping) — their mother's job is to meet all their needs; from nourishment to helping them poop.

Of course, that's not all. As time goes by, dog mommies continue to further their babies' independence. And you can easily tell these wonderful animals take their parental duties seriously. Just continue scrolling and take a look at Bored Panda's new list of pictures of canine mothers and their little critters.

To check out the first one, click here.

#1

Not Quite What We Were Expecting - Our Foster Dog And Golden Mix Gave Birth Yesterday. To Baby Cows. She Is One Proud Mama

Not Quite What We Were Expecting - Our Foster Dog And Golden Mix Gave Birth Yesterday. To Baby Cows. She Is One Proud Mama

katendy Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
1 month ago

Those firefighters are just irresistible! I totally understand.

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#2

The Happiest Mother

The Happiest Mother

anapaulagrillophotographer Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

How did all those puppies even fit in that mama?Wow! That pride is well-deserved!

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Erin Katribe, DVM, MS, Medical Director at Best Friends Animal Society, told Bored Panda that prior to weaning (when puppies transition from milk to solid food), the little rascals obtain all of their nutrition from their mother's milk. "Weaning naturally begins around 4-6 weeks of age when puppies begin to show interest in food," Dr. Katribe said. "This early, however, they should still have access to their mom to be able to nurse as their transition to solid food is gradual."

The weaning process is very important to pups; they learn behaviors from both their mother and littermates. The important benchmarks needed for puppies' separate life should be met in a naturally progressing order. Otherwise, problems can arise as the puppies mature into adulthood.

#3

Tucked In Safe With Mama

Tucked In Safe With Mama

YoungCasanovaaa Report

Michelle M
Community Member
1 month ago

Smol boops *-*

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#4

My Foster Mama Ellie Had Her Babies Yesterday - Apparently, She Came With A Whole Lab Sampler Pack

My Foster Mama Ellie Had Her Babies Yesterday - Apparently, She Came With A Whole Lab Sampler Pack

DisgruntledPlebian Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
1 month ago

I think Green Collar may have got lost on the way to the milk bar

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"The social interaction of the mother with puppies is critical until at least 7 weeks of age, and ideally longer. They learn how to interact with one another – how to 'speak' dog," Dr. Katribe said.

"For example, through biting and mouthing during play, mom and littermates will signal to a puppy when things get too rough and will end the play – this is how a puppy learns bite inhibition, that mouthing or biting too hard is not OK. This is an important skill for later in life. Puppies also learn about different body postures and types of vocalization, key components of canine communication."

#5

Loulou With Her Little Boy

Loulou With Her Little Boy

daninger4995 Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
1 month ago

*Boop Boop*

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#6

Perfect Family Picture

Perfect Family Picture

vladgrinch Report

Alex the awful German
Community Member
1 month ago

Best x-mas card ever!

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Katribe stressed that puppies should remain with their birth family until at least 7 weeks of age to gain the full psychological development they can reach through interaction with their mom and siblings. "The ones that are separated from their mother and litter earlier are more prone to behavior disorders, including separation anxiety and increased fear responses," the doctor explained. "Puppies that remain with their mother and litter longer, particularly if they're being exposed to new experiences, tend to respond better to novel experiences later in life and become better-adjusted pets."

On the other hand, puppies that are bred specifically to purchase at pet stores, for example, are separated very young and then housed only in a kennel with limited exposure to new sights, sounds, and experiences, and so their socialization suffers.

#7

Luz's Sympathy To Give Birth To Two Princesses

Luz's Sympathy To Give Birth To Two Princesses

marina.brito.39 Report

River Webb
Community Member
1 month ago

"and thats how you do it kids!" *winks*

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#8

Managed To Take This Cute Picture Of My Husky And Her Pup Snuggling Up Together (She's A First-Time Mom And Had 8 Cute Puppies)

Managed To Take This Cute Picture Of My Husky And Her Pup Snuggling Up Together (She's A First-Time Mom And Had 8 Cute Puppies)

MemeCrit Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

Beautiful!

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"In the shelter setting, if moms and puppies are physically housed at the shelter, we have to balance the benefits of keeping them together with the risks of infectious disease that are higher in that setting; ideally, mothers and litters are housed in foster homes, and not on-site, as this reduces disease risk and provides a much better environment for important socialization for the puppies through exposure to new experiences and to people," Katribe explained.

"If moms and puppies must be housed on-site at the shelter, starting the weaning process and separating puppies from mom earlier will allow them to be adopted earlier; then they can experience socialization in their adoptive home. Even when puppies are housed in foster homes, sometimes it makes sense to wean and separate toward the earlier end of the ideal range – if we move them through faster to adoption, then that foster home is now available to save the lives of other mothers and puppies, dogs that might not have a chance without that foster home."

#9

This Proud Pibble Mama And Her Sweet Pups Made My Day

This Proud Pibble Mama And Her Sweet Pups Made My Day

Dangerous_Upstairs Report

Michelle M
Community Member
1 month ago

'Could you take them off my paws for a while?'

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#10

Mother-Daughter Bonding

Mother-Daughter Bonding

TeisTom Report

Michelle M
Community Member
1 month ago

Mama: 'And that is how to do the "hooman judging" look'

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As cute as these pictures look and as rewarding as it is, we need to remember that caring for puppies or moms and litters is a lot of work. "Fostering a mom and puppies or fostering an older puppy (until it is old enough for spay/neuter and adoption) for your local shelter can be a great way to get a small taste of what that’s like, without making a longer commitment," Katribe highlighted. 

"Fostering also saves lives for shelters that are otherwise stretched for housing space or resources."

Plus, sometimes we can't control when a puppy is separated. Just think of all the orphans out there. But there are steps that we can take to try to socialize orphaned puppies as much as possible. "In those situations, it's important to seek advice from an experienced trainer or veterinary behaviorist to have the best chance at achieving social development," Katribe said.

#11

Proud Corgi Mother With Her Litter Of 15 Puppers

Proud Corgi Mother With Her Litter Of 15 Puppers

Yeet69lasagna Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

This has to be a composit photo. Getting 16 dogs to stay in place and face a photographer at once could only be work of a magician.

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#12

May I Present To You, The Beautiful And Rare Dogtopus

May I Present To You, The Beautiful And Rare Dogtopus

zainraza12 Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

That mummy looks like she needs a spa day.

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Best Friends Animal Society's mission is to lead the nation to end the killing of pets in America's shelters by 2025. Because only 5.8K out of 16K communities in the United States are no-kill, each year, there are still hundreds of thousands of pets in need of homes.

This is a good opportunity to mention that a significant percentage of the dogs in shelters are purebreds. There are also intentionally bred "designer" dogs whose owners' life changes prevented them from keeping their commitment to their pets. For this reason, spaying and neutering pets is very important to the overall goal of keeping pets out of shelters and saving lives.

"Mother dogs can be spayed as little as a few days or weeks after their puppies are weaned, or sometimes even while they are still nursing – consult with your veterinarian to determine what’s best for the individual dog. Ideally, pets should be spayed/neutered before the age of four months, and before they have (or father) even one litter," Best Friends said.

#13

I Made These

I Made These

dog_appledore Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
1 month ago

All hail mum...

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#14

Last Week She Gave Birth To 8 Babies In A Shelter. Last Night She Got Her Own Room, With Her Own Bed And All The Cuddles! She's One Proud Mom

Last Week She Gave Birth To 8 Babies In A Shelter. Last Night She Got Her Own Room, With Her Own Bed And All The Cuddles! She's One Proud Mom

sfreeman8875 Report

Anne
Community Member
1 month ago

A happy mom too, I would assume! a real room, no noise, no stress. Awesome place to raise the pupperinos in

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#15

This Mama Dog Comforting Her Puppy On It's First Day As A Police Dog

This Mama Dog Comforting Her Puppy On It's First Day As A Police Dog

Report

Hollysmom
Community Member
1 month ago

You're going to be a wonderful police dog my baby

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#16

One Proud Mom & Puppies

One Proud Mom & Puppies

papemaker Report

Candace Alagappan
Community Member
1 month ago

OMG THE MOM LOOKS LIKE STITCH FROM LILO & STITCH

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#17

Proud Mom Moment

Proud Mom Moment

aussiesdoingthings Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
1 month ago

Their bellies!!!🥰🥰🥰

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#18

This Is The Exact Amount Of Puppies I Need In My Life

This Is The Exact Amount Of Puppies I Need In My Life

Quiraily1 Report

Michelle M
Community Member
1 month ago

The mama: 'Trying to pass off my pups as yours aren't ya. No, I must be in the pic.'

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#19

When Ravioli Saw His Pups For The First Time

When Ravioli Saw His Pups For The First Time

figuringout25 Report

imontape
Community Member
1 month ago

Ravioli, what a great name! :D

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#20

Foster Mama Ellie, Wondering If There’s A Return Policy On Her Lab Samples

Foster Mama Ellie, Wondering If There’s A Return Policy On Her Lab Samples

DisgruntledPlebian Report

Weim Central
Community Member
1 month ago

Those pleading eyes! Save me hooman!

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#21

6 Hours + 9 Puppies = 1 Tired Mama. Our Sweet First-Time Mama, Ellie Mae And Her Babies

6 Hours + 9 Puppies = 1 Tired Mama. Our Sweet First-Time Mama, Ellie Mae And Her Babies

McAngel8 Report

A B C
Community Member
1 month ago

Awwww, cute little chipmunks <3

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#22

Hammock Full Of Huskies

Hammock Full Of Huskies

imgur.com Report

Michelle M
Community Member
1 month ago

Mama: 'And now they've taken my hammock. What else will you take? WHAT ELSE?'

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#23

Proud Mother

Proud Mother

etymologynerd Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 month ago

She looks like "Do you like it?"

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#24

Mama And Her Sweet Little Babies. Can You Believe She Was Going To Be Euthanized?

Mama And Her Sweet Little Babies. Can You Believe She Was Going To Be Euthanized?

windycityfosters Report

Zena Marsh
Community Member
1 month ago

Thank goodness she was saved! Beautiful family.

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#25

Proud Mama

Proud Mama

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Candace Alagappan
Community Member
1 month ago

DOG SELFIE!! SMILE KIDS!

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#26

Good Looking Family

Good Looking Family

jeffhext Report

Friday
Community Member
1 month ago

Gorgeous 🐾❤️

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#27

So Today I Was Taking A Photo Of A Litter Of One Week Old Puppies When I Got Photobombed By My Other Dog

So Today I Was Taking A Photo Of A Litter Of One Week Old Puppies When I Got Photobombed By My Other Dog

hazzamadazzla Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
1 month ago

Excellent advice on the enclosure

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#28

Like Mother, Like Son And Daughter, And Son, And Daughter, And

Like Mother, Like Son And Daughter, And Son, And Daughter, And

stengebt Report

Zena Marsh
Community Member
1 month ago

And mother makes 12.

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#29

Mother Very Pleased With Her Pups

Mother Very Pleased With Her Pups

1Apart Report

Zena Marsh
Community Member
1 month ago

Aaahhh! On a Winnie the Pooh blanket as well.

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#30

Look At What We Did

Look At What We Did

BlackBox8995 Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Parent on the right doesn't seem to approve.

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#31

Proud Mom At Dinnertime

Proud Mom At Dinnertime

all_u_need_is_luv Report

Zena Marsh
Community Member
1 month ago

"Now for my dinner."

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#32

This Is Jessie. A Proud New Mama Of Ten

This Is Jessie. A Proud New Mama Of Ten

fstall303 Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

Proud - and maybe a little overwhelmed?

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#33

Parenting

Parenting

Yucked Report

Candace Alagappan
Community Member
1 month ago

HELP

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#34

Very Proud Golden Mama

Very Proud Golden Mama

commonvanilla Report

A B C
Community Member
1 month ago

Those black little toe buns <3

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#35

Proud Mama!

Proud Mama!

RockGamingReal Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 month ago

They look like massive rascals

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#36

Ten Potatoes. Mom's Heckin Proud

Ten Potatoes. Mom's Heckin Proud

amutualaddiction Report

Dave In MD
Community Member
1 month ago

Mook, is that you posting?

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#37

Proud Mommy

Proud Mommy

ledasg Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

First I thought it was a bowl with sprinkled eggs!

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#38

Proud Mama

Proud Mama

FrankRizzo55 Report

Hilary Mol
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

What a sweet pittie mom - look how happy she is!

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#39

Even As A Surprise Pregnancy, She Is A Proud Mom

Even As A Surprise Pregnancy, She Is A Proud Mom

Sexualchocolate42 Report

Friday
Community Member
1 month ago

Corgi butts!

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#40

Proud Mama. 9 Golden Retriever/Rough Collie Puppies Born This Saturday

Proud Mama. 9 Golden Retriever/Rough Collie Puppies Born This Saturday

Lyin-fish Report

Zena Marsh
Community Member
1 month ago

Congratulations Mama.

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#41

Rowena With Her Babies Roz, Harvey, Pru & Brina

Rowena With Her Babies Roz, Harvey, Pru & Brina

bluewonderfrenchies Report

Znaya
Community Member
1 month ago

Love the matching outfits on the cute family 😀

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#42

Proud Mama

Proud Mama

cincinnatichili Report

Hollysmom
Community Member
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful

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#43

Proud Mama With Her New Babies

Proud Mama With Her New Babies

nuggs4lyfeee Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

"I don't think they are mine"

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#44

Our Dog Just Had 9 Puppies And She Is Ecstatic

Our Dog Just Had 9 Puppies And She Is Ecstatic

joshborup Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
1 month ago

Mama looks like a delighted muppet!

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#45

Keeping Eye On The Newborns

Keeping Eye On The Newborns

beagles_lovelife Report

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

I think my heart is going to burst with pure joy! They're just adorable!

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#46

During This Time Of Panic, Here Is Chilli Pepper And Her Baby Peppers Born Last Night

During This Time Of Panic, Here Is Chilli Pepper And Her Baby Peppers Born Last Night

bensolo12 Report

glowworm2
Community Member
1 month ago

One habanero, one jalapeño, one chili and one ghost pepper.

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#47

Mama Pug Is Proud

Mama Pug Is Proud

Sabby Report

Sonja
Community Member
1 month ago

"What are they doing here? This used to be MY bed"

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#48

Proud Doggo Mama Of 8 Young Rascal Puppers

Proud Doggo Mama Of 8 Young Rascal Puppers

baked_olive Report

-Loki's_favorite_kid-
Community Member
1 month ago

Aw. They're such a pretty fam.

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#49

Today My House Went From Zero Dogs To Eleven Dogs In The Span Of A Few Hours. Meet Emmy Lou And Her Pile Of 10 One Week-Old Puppies

Today My House Went From Zero Dogs To Eleven Dogs In The Span Of A Few Hours. Meet Emmy Lou And Her Pile Of 10 One Week-Old Puppies

QQueenie Report

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

How do you go from zero to 11 in a couple of hours? Are they teleporting in from some distant world? Pluto maybe?

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#50

Proud Mother Doggo

Proud Mother Doggo

red93093 Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
1 month ago

Don`t go near my babies! They are mine!

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Note: this post originally had 109 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.