While mama dogs and pups begin the weaning phase in their lives, you may roll up your sleeves and offer a helping hand. The subject of weaning puppies can be a touchy topic for some. Some would rather immediately jump-start the weaning process by giving new food to the puppy each day. Others believe in gradually eliminating the puppy’s needs until they are completely weaned. It is important to approach this issue with care and a little patience.
To start, it is important that you keep the weaning puppies warm and hydrated. This should take place both in the house and in an enclosed area. The best way to accomplish this is to provide moist food at all times and make sure the puppy is always warm and cozy. You should also take care to keep the indoor temperature warm or cool depending on the weather conditions. The food you provide must be able to retain moisture without becoming soggy.
You should feed the weaning puppies every four hours and when they have eaten they should be immediately put in a quiet place. This is especially important if the mom is near term. If she has not yet weaned from the litter, it is important that you don’t disturb her or else the puppy will learn that crying is an invitation to play. After about a week, it is time to introduce solid food.
When the mother puppy has weaned, the only food available for the young is the kibble that came with the meal. If the mother has had less than four months without being weaned, the puppies should start eating kibble based on the recommendation of the breeder. Be sure to give the puppy the right food at the right time. Otherwise she will develop bad habits and get over feed.
Weaning Puppies in the Right Way
Although it used to be recommended that weaning puppies should be fed one ounce of meat each day, this amount is too small. Today most breeders and holistic veterinarians recommend one pound of meat for each eight ounce cup of milk. Although this is the absolute minimum, it is better to give the little puppy the smallest amounts of solid foods possible. The small amounts of solid foods are better for the health of the weaning puppies because they contain the most nutrients and can help them grow.
During the first month, you should feed the weaning puppies every two or three days, but they should only be fed in very small amounts. You should try to make sure that the little ones get their daily dose of food during the early morning and late evening. Puppies should never be fed large amounts of dry food or table scraps because they have an insatiable appetite for protein. During the second month, slowly introduce the small amounts of dry food and table scraps into the pig’s diet. After the third month, the puppy should be fed larger quantities of dry food and table scraps.
If the mother dog shows any signs of illness, you should immediately stop feeding the mother dog and instead give the puppy a bottle full of breast milk or formula. The mother dog will usually recover in two weeks. If you find that the weaning is progressing too slowly, you should consult your vet. He may suggest an antibiotic to speed up the progress of the weaning.
In the End
Puppies that are fed too frequently while still nursing will become overweight and may suffer from other illnesses later on. This is why it is important to feed wean puppies only once or twice a day. Another reason why it is important to slow down the pace of feeding is because the mother dog tends to nurse her pups for only two hours at a time. She will then let them suckle on her breast until they have eaten their last bit of food. Therefore, the puppies will not be able to eat as much as they can while nursing. Although weaning puppies are cute and enjoyable, this process can be difficult for you and the puppy.