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How to Wean Puppies

(May 6, 2010)

Weaning a puppy is considered to be a very important activity when your pet has just delivered a litter of puppies. The weaning process essentially deals with planning of the food items to be given to the puppy while it grows out of the phase of feeding on its mother’s milk. In today’s world, the process of weaning puppies is less focused on helping the mother but is done more often in an attempt to aid the puppy to adapt to its new home when either given or sold on a commercial basis. Since their mother will not accompany them to their new home, weaning helps the puppy adapt to the newer sources of food that are going to become its primary source of diet. The entire weaning process is essentially designed to help the gastrointestinal tract get used to commercially prepared foods. Moreover, as the puppies continue to age, the milk production in the mother slows down, thereby reducing the amount of milk they can feed the puppy, indicating that it is time for the puppy to move on to solid foods. Good mothers will tend to reject their puppies gently but firmly, beginning with a serious look before progressing to a low growl and even a push away with the help of the snout or a small nip on the ear. This not only encourages the puppy to adapt and accept new sources of food, it is also an important part of the puppies behavioral growth as it shows them that they cannot get their way all the time.

Dog weaning should ideally start around 5 weeks, but some breeders choose to start as soon as 3 ½ weeks. During the introductory phase, the puppy should be fed a puppy mush out of the commercial brands of food that are regularly fed to the mother. One of the best recipes to create puppy mush when weaning puppies is to place a couple of cups of relatively high quality dry puppy food in a mixer or blender with about 12.5 ounces of liquid puppy milk replacer and fill the remaining quantity of the blender with hot water and blend the constituents together until it attains the consistency and thickness of human infant cereal. This portion of puppy mush is enough to feed about up to 6 puppies of  most medium sized breeds and should be provided to the animals at least 3 to 4 times a day. Slowly, on a weekly basis, increase the portions of food provided to each puppy while also systematically decreasing the amount of milk replacer content and water quantities that have been added.

Read more on when to wean puppies.

Submitted by N M on May 6, 2010 at 01:55


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