This is an article for new breeders that have first- or second-time puppies and want to know the correct way to start weaning them off the mom.
I must say that I suggest to completely take away puppies from the mom is by the age of 6 weeks, before their first vaccine.
Why is that?
Because mother milk is not only nutrition for the growing body but also immunity and immunity boost. By the age of 6 weeks the puppy should be starting the have individual immune system and we must help them with correct feeding. And, by the age of 5 weeks, the females ’s milk is not that nutrition’s, and it must be combined with actual feeding.
From what age should you start feeding?
It really depends on the puppies!
The ideal situation when the puppies are super-fast, super healthy and they don’t need extra help, so I would start in 3,5- 4 weeks their first food, and by the age of 6 weeks they would be able to eat alone completely.
If the puppies are thinner, and you see they need help, easily start feeding at 2,5- 3 weeks.
I even had puppies that ate by themselves at 2 weeks because the mom didn’t have milk and were bottle fed so they needed that food.
How to separate the mom?
It is important to detach the mother from her puppies gradually, and to
let the milk burn down slowly. Because milk comes on demands, the less the puppy eat, the less the female will product it.
Ok, so my usual schedule is so:
Day 1-5 days I start feeding the puppies 4 times a day with taking the female out for 1 hours each time. Let the puppies be little hungry without the female and then give them food, after the ate bring back the female. Of course, even after solid food they will wean on her, but it will be much much less than usual, and the burning milk process had begun.
Day 6-9, I will take away the female and let her stay with them only at night and once to come in at lunch for 10 minutes. Keeping the feeding schedule of the puppies at 4-5 times, depending how the eat.
Day 10-13- Keep the female only at the night with the puppies!
Day 14- the female should not come to the puppies again.
Don’t forget to touch her titties and to make sure the milk is actually burning, and she doesn’t develop mastitis.
What to feed?
That’s the important question,
Basically, each breeder has their own methods and options. Some start with raw, some with oats, some with other kind of feed, and they are all good as long as your puppies look healthy, shiny and FAT!
What do I do basically is I use the Royal Canin Starter kibble and the Royal Canin Starter mousse canned.
For first feeding I mix the mousse with warm water and give this to puppies. The smell of this mousse is very attractive for all dogs. So basically, puppies have immediate interest in it.
If some don’t, I try to feed from hands. If 1 or 2 puppies doesn’t’ eat, do not force. He will look at his/ her siblings and the curiosity will lead him to try)
After 2-3 days of giving only mousse, I will grind in coffee grinder the kibble and add it to the mousse with warm water, making it more solid. And I will keep such mix for another 10 days.
Also, I would be leaving kibble mini dry as it is in a bowl where they can reach it. Most of the puppies will be interested to try it and to play with it. Some even prefer it more than the mushed food.
After 12 days of mussed food, I will just mix the mini kibble with mousse and water without grinding it. And I would keep this mix until they are 7- weeks old.
I can add to the mix cottage, tvaroh or yogurt to keep the fat up and the calcium intake.
Adding probiotics and prebiotics in the mixes
It is an easy working scheme that doesn’t let me down)
What are your first feeding scheme?