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How to Cut the Umbilical Cord on a Puppy?

Newborn puppy being held in human hands against a white background.

In most cases, the mother dog chews through the umbilical cord and you won’t need to cut it. However, if she needs your help, it’s important to cut the cord safely without causing any harm to the newly-born pup. You should use sterilized scissors and cut the cord at a distance of about 1 inch from the puppy. Press it for a few seconds (or tie it with a thread or dental floss) to stop the bleeding. Keep reading to know more about the correct method (and necessary precautions) to cut the umbilical cord on a puppy.

Can I Cut My Dog’s Puppies Umbilical Cord?

Although it is not recommended to cut the umbilical cord of your dog’s puppies, it becomes necessary in certain situations. This is because an unsevered cord can cause infection (and even death) to the puppy. The mother dog generally chews the umbilical cord by herself but can skip this step while giving birth to multiple puppies. This is when your dog needs your help to cut the umbilical cord of the new pup.

Make sure to remove the amniotic sac (thin membrane) before going for the cord. Always use a sterilized pair of scissors for this procedure and tie the wound to stop bleeding.

What Can I Use to Cut Puppies Umbilical Cord?

Puppy being delivered by c section at the vet

It is extremely important to be ready (with all the supplies) before your dog gives birth to puppies. You must have all the essential commodities within easy reach to ensure that everything happens smoothly. The following are some necessary supplies that must be around to cut the umbilical cord on your puppy.

  • A sharp pair of scissors (for cutting the cord)
  • Alcohol (for sterilizing the scissors)
  • Cotton balls and a clean towel (for cleaning the mess)
  • Unwaxed dental floss or thread (for tying the cord after cutting)
  • Iodine or Providine (for disinfecting the umbilical cord)

How To Know If A Puppy Has Worms? Click here to find out.

How Do I Remove the Umbilical Cord on a Puppy?

Person holding up new born puppy with umbilical cord still attached

Every puppy is born with its own umbilical cord and placenta. This means that your mother dog needs to chew the cords of all puppies. However, they can sometimes skip this step, especially while giving birth to multiple puppies. In such cases, it’s the responsibility of the owner to take care of the umbilical cord. Here’s how it can be done.

Clean Your Hands

It’s imperative to wash your hands thoroughly before dealing with newly-born puppies. You should use hot water and soap to clean your hands before wearing surgical gloves, if possible.

Sterilize the Scissors

Pair of scissors with orange handles o

The next step should be to clean and sterilize the scissors so that you are ready to cut the cord. Now, keep observing your dog without disturbing her in the labor and provide help whenever it’s needed.

Remove the Amniotic Sac

This thin membrane needs to be removed within a few seconds of a puppy’s birth. This is because it can suffocate the newly-born pup and may result in death in case of delay. For removing the sac, use your hands to tear it gently near the head of the puppy.

Tie the Umbilical Cord

Open package of dental floss on an orange background.

This simple step can go a long way in avoiding the complications of cutting the cord. It will prevent unnecessary bleeding and make sure that you don’t cause any harm to the pup. You will need to tie to cord at two places for getting the desired results.

First, you will use a piece of thread or dental floss to tie the cord at a distance of about 1 inch from the puppy’s abdomen. Then, tie the cord again at about 0.5 inches from the first knot (towards the placenta).

Cut the Umbilical Cord

Once everything is in place, cut the cord with the sterilized scissors. Make sure that the scissors are sharp and the cord is cut in a single stroke. This will save the puppy from a lot of discomforts, like infections and unnecessary pain.  

Apply Iodine to the Cord

Close up of an eye dropper being pulled from the top of a bottle of Iodine.

Lastly, you need to apply an antiseptic, like Iodine, to the cut end of the umbilical cord. It will prevent excessive bleeding and infections. You can either apply it by using a cotton ball or dip the cord in a bowl of iodine.

Discard the Placenta

Mother dogs will generally eat the placenta after chewing the umbilical cords of their puppies. However, if they are not interested and delivering other pups, you can discard the placenta after cutting the cord.

Will The Puppy Bleed Out If You Cut the Umbilical Cord?

Tiny brown, white, and black puppy being held in cupped human hands against a black background.

If the umbilical cord is cut too close to the abdomen, it can result in unnecessary bleeding. This is a very tricky situation because too much bleeding can cause the death of the puppy. Therefore, you should tie the cord with a thread to stop the bleeding. Similarly, you should keep a close eye on the cord and contact your vet if the bleeding doesn’t stop.

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