Nursing in dogs

Nursing in dogs

The end of diestrus (the period corresponding to pregnancy or false pregnancy) is indicated hormonally by a decrease in the level of progesterone in the blood, a temporary increase in estrogen that allows dilatation of the cervix, and an increase in prolactin, the hormone responsible for colostrum and milk production.
These hormone changes are the same whether the bitch is pregnant or not, which explains the frequency of “false-pregnancy lactation.” This phenomenon is also observed in packs of wild dogs, mainly in bitches of lower rank in the hierarchy, who can then serve as nursemaids if a dominant bitch’s milk supply should fail. It emphasizes the importance of the mind in triggering lactation, which is true of many mammals.
Lactation
Feeding Lactating Bitches
Supplementing with milk substitutes