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How to wean a puppy
When a puppy reaches a certain age, it needs to be weaned off its mother's milk and care so it can become an independent, happy pet. Weaning can begin when the puppy is about three or four weeks of age, and is usually complete by seven to eight weeks of age, which is why this is the age dogs are often sold or given away to their forever homes.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (ASPCA), it is important that puppies spend a certain amount of time with their mothers and littermates to learn certain dog social cues. If you have a litter of puppies with their mother, you should start by separating the mother from her litter for a few hours at a time. During these times of separation, show the puppies how to eat from a pan. It is important to use dog food that they will eat throughout their growth period. For small dogs, Artemis Fresh Mix Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food and for larger breeds, offer up the Artemis variety that is specially designed for them. Halo Spot's Stew Puppy Dry Dog Food is also a good option for all breeds. Moisten the food with water to make it soupy and appealing to the pups, the news source reports. Eventually, all dogs will take to eating by themselves from their own dishes like the DuraPet Dish & Bowls.
Over time, you should increase the amount of food given to the puppies while away from their mother, and gradually increase the frequency and length of the separation. This will encourage the puppies to be self-confident and independent.
As you create the feeding and separation schedule for the puppies, make sure it is designed for the mother as well, to prevent her from overproducing milk, which can cause painful, engorged mammary glands. Your veterinarian will best be able to create a schedule with you to ensure your puppies' best nutrition and the mother's best weaning.
As your puppies start to eat normal pet food, it can be tempting to start the pooch on supplements like Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet or Pet-Tabs to make sure it is getting all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs. However, do not give these types of supplements to a puppy without a veterinarian's recommendation or approval. Usually, the food will provide enough nutrition and you can offer supplements when it is an adult.