Summary: Raising a litter of puppies is both rewarding and a lot of hard work. So now it is time to learn how to wean puppies. We cover some of the basics regarding ‘how to wean puppies’ and suggest two options for replacing mother’s milk in the puppy’s 2nd stage.
How to Wean Puppies?
Okay. So you made it this far. The puppies are nearing time to make the jump to real dog food instead of dog’s milk. It is time for weaning your puppies. Breeders and veterinarians vary on their opinions on when is the best time to start weaning your puppies. Some say it is best to start minimally at three weeks of age. Others wait until the puppies are around five weeks old. We have generally had great success standardizing on about the 5 week mark with smaller breed dogs. It can also vary according to breed.
When you begin to wean the puppies, do it very gradually so their fragile digestive systems do not get upset. A sudden change will generally give the puppies diarrhea. You can ask your veterinarian what type of soft food will be best for your puppies. It is always best to choose a soft food that is made just for puppies. Puppy food has the extra nutrients and minerals that puppies need. Some breeders prefer regular brand name puppy foods and others prefer all natural puppy foods.
Puppy Weaning Product Options
A great option available from Amazon is a product from PetAg called 2nd Step Puppy Food . It is described as, “the second step in your puppy’s weaning process. This puppy weaning formula is a complete balanced diet in a creamy, easy-to-eat cereal. Helps make the move to solid food easier. It’s completely balanced nutrition meets the nutritional requirements for growth and has superior digestibility and palatability.”
Another option available is what some breeders do when puppy weaning. They start weaning their puppies by replacing a meal from mom with a pan of warm formula. They gradually over the next few days will add pabulum to the formula. Soft puppy food is added next. Eventually you will replace the pabulum and formula with a little warm water and soft puppy food, getting the consistency of gravy. The last step is to pour this gravy over quality dry puppy food three times a day; at this point in the weaning process always have dry puppy food available.
Remember, fresh water needs to be available at all times. The goal is to get your puppies eating a quality, dry puppy food. Dry puppy food helps to keep their teeth clean. Remember that once you have weaned your puppies from their mother’s milk, many moms will no longer clean up after their puppies. This makes keeping your puppies clean and sanitary a lot more work.
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