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As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to wean healthy puppies. You can only achieve this if you follow the proper steps. But, sometimes, it might be a challenge for you, especially if you’re a first-time dog owner.

Do you know why dog milk is the best food for puppies? It contains nutrients that provide the puppies with the energy to grow and develop. Once you start to wean the puppies, make sure you provide all the essential nutrients needed.

Well-weaned puppies have a robust immune system. And can fight diseases that attack puppies at a younger age.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to wean puppies by following these 8 easy steps.

Let’s dive in.

How To Wean Puppies

1. Provide Puppy Food to the Pregnant Dog

Weaning puppies starts while the mother is still pregnant. Feed your pregnant dog with puppy food at three weeks to whelping. It helps the mother dog gain 15-20 % of its normal weight.

Puppy food contains the necessary minerals and proteins. These elements are essential during the pregnancy period. Before choosing the puppy food for your expectant dog, make sure it’s the same food you want to feed your puppies.

If a pregnant dog takes puppy food, it becomes comfortable for puppies when their time to eat comes. Also, it helps keep puppies’ digestive tract balanced.

2. Milk Replacement

When the puppies reach 3 to 4 weeks, you can give them canine milk replacement. Always dilute your canine milk replacement with water for a smooth consistency. Feed the puppies three or four times a day until they can lap by themselves.

Never offer cow, sheep, or any other type of milk while weaning puppies. Not even the condensed milk. The reason for this is that these types of milk contain enzymes that cause stomach upset.

3. Introduce Puppy Food

Around week 4, the puppies have become used to drinking diluted milk. Now it’s time you should introduce pup food. Give puppies roughly 10% of their daily caloric intake.

Add a small amount of food to the diluted milk to form a thin gruel. Continue adding more food and reducing the amount of milk each day.

Between weeks 5 and 6, the puppies should have gotten used to eating puppy food with no milk.

4. Encourage the Puppies to Take Their Food

Weaning puppies is a journey that requires patience. For example, a few puppies may refuse to eat. When this happens, hold the pup in front of the feeding dish.

Try to help it eat. Repeat this until the puppy starts to eat with minimal supervision. Yet, some puppies will walk over the food or jump in the dish.

Never restrict them. Allow the puppies to explore. It’ll help meet the puppy’s curiosity, and the puppy will end up eating the food.

5. Let the Puppies Feed Alone

To focus on their food, move the mother dog away. Please do it for around 1 hour. Repeat it 2 to 3 times a day.

It’s not easy at first for both you and the puppies. The mother’s absence will cause turmoil, but with time, the puppies will learn.

This routine will make the puppies independent. Thus, weaning puppies becomes simple.

6. Watch the Puppies

During this weaning period, it’s advisable to pay attention to the puppies. Weaning puppies doesn’t only involve introducing the puppies to solid food. It entails the puppies’ health too.

So pay attention to puppies’ weight gain. Also, monitor the puppies’ general health. In case of any vomiting or diarrhoea, consult your vet.

7. Feed the Regular Diet to the mother at Week 4

Change is gradual. Don’t rapidly switch your dog back to the usual diet. It’ll disrupt the dog’s digestive system causing stomach upset. Start replacing 1/4 of the puppy food with the mother dog’s regular adult food.

Later on, you can shift the mother dog to eating typical adult food. It’ll aid in rehabilitating the dog’s digestive tract. In the meantime, continue weaning puppies.

8. Wean Puppies off Their Mother’s Milk

Around week 7, you can start giving the puppies water and dry puppy food. Mix the food with powdered milk for easier consumption.

Feed your puppies thrice a day for the first few weeks. At five months, you can now feed the puppies twice a day.

In summary, weaning puppies requires careful steps for their healthy growth. Dog milk provides essential nutrients, and gradually introducing puppy food is key. Monitoring their health throughout is crucial, adjusting as needed, and consulting a vet if concerns arise. By following these steps, dog owners can successfully wean their puppies and ensure their well-being as they transition to solid food.

How to wean puppies in 8 easy steps
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