Being a new dog parent is exciting. It’s like you and your pup are sharing an adventure that is novel to the both of you. You are allowed to get to know a different creature quite intimately. In turn you learn more about yourself.
If you have passed the first few weeks of raising a dog, a crucial step must soon be undertaken.
We are referring to weaning. Weaning is the process through which you shift your pup’s diet from mom’s milk to store-bought food for pup. As to the best time to jump-start this transition, experts have differing takes.
Some breeders and vets agree that it is most appropriate to start weaning as early as when your pup is three weeks of age. Others, however, point out that it is best to leave pups alone with their mother’s milk all the way to their fifth week.
What you must remember is how weaning happens to be dependent on a few factors. These include the size and breed of your puppy. Smaller dogs, for example, need to wait until they are 5 weeks old before they can be weaned.
Gradual weaning is the only way to go. It should never be rushed. Doing the latter poses a lot of risks. For instance, the abrupt dietary transition can make your pup’s digestive system go bonkers. Now surely you do not want to clean after your pup’s bouts with diarrhea.
To be no less than sure, you must be guided accordingly during the weaning process. You have your pet’s vet to help you out here so do not hesitate to consult with them. Also, remember that it is better to stick to dog food as opposed to table food when weaning.
The latter lacks the specific nutrients for pups which the former contains.
Be conscious of the product you introduce to your pup during the weaning process. You cannot go wrong with brands that prioritize taste, digestibility, and balanced and complete nutrition. Also, favor food brands that come in cereal-like iterations, the creamier-looking the better.
Here’s a quick weaning guide:
- Separate your pup from their mother’s milk and give them formula milk instead.
- For the succeeding days, have pabulum added to the formula. This mixture should create a gravy-like outcome.
- The next thing you need to do is add soft dog chow into the pabulum and formula mix.
- Gradually remove the gravy-like mixture from your pup’s food, to be replaced by warm water.
- Add the mixture of water and soft solid food on top of dry canine food.
- Progressively reduce the amount of soft wet food until dry food is left.
During this entire process be mindful of how your pup is reacting to the transition. If anything out of the ordinary is observed, consult your vet. If all things go smoothly, you are on the right track.
For added knowledge and wisdom, you might want to check out some of the internet’s exhaustive trove of dog raising guides and forums. There is a lot you can learn from these materials.