At some point in their life, your cute pup will have to transition into being an adult. Or, at least, a semi-adult. Part of this transition is leaving your house and getting their own apartment. Of course, we are kidding.
Part of this transition is them leaving behind their mom’s milk in favor of dry dog chow.
If you and your pup are nearing this crucial step, keep in mind these dos and don’ts.
- Do consider your dog’s breed or size when assessing the best time to wean them. For small dogs, weaning comes the fifth week is advisable. Meanwhile, most other dogs are ready to be weaned three weeks after birth.
- Do seek your vet or breeder’s advice. These professionals are knowledgeable in terms of the best weaning practices. If you want to do the process as glitch-free as possible, you can’t go wrong with listening to the pros.
- Do introduce the weaning process to your pup as gradually as possible. This will eliminate the risk of digestive disturbances. Remember that your pup still has a rather delicate digestive system and they can easily suffer from diarrhea once their stomach gets upset.
- Do feed your pup soft food that’s tailor-made for pups during the weaning process. During this transition, your pet is in need of very specific nutrients and only puppy food can deliver these.
- Do choose between regular brand and all-natural products wisely.
- Do favor dog food brands that promise great taste, balanced nutrition, and digestibility.
- Do keep ample supply of fresh drinking water. Your pup will constantly feel the need to re-hydrate after having been introduced to dry food.
- Do feed your pup no more than three times each day.
- Do not rush the weaning process. Rushing the process will not only cause your pup stomach upsets, they might also get traumatized about eating after having been subjected to abrupt dietary shifts.
- Do not over-feed your pup. As much as your goal is to get your pup used to eating a new diet, over-feeding them this new food will work against your objective. More importantly, over-feeding can harm your dog.
- Do not neglect your pup’s sanitary needs during and after weaning. Remember that once a puppy stops feeding off their mother, the latter will stop cleaning after them. The cleaning part then becomes your responsibility.
Now as to the actual process of weaning, you may want to follow these steps:
- Begin by feeding your pup warm formula in lieu of their mother’s milk.
- After a couple of days, introduce pabulum to your chosen formula.
- Next step is to add soft dog food into the formula and pabulum mixture. Make sure you get that gravy-ish texture. This will make it easier for your pup to masticate and digest the food.
- Add your gravy-like dog food on top of dry food.
- Remove the gravy from your dog’s meals. What remains is dry food which they will already be accustomed to by then.
For more expert advice regarding this matter, talk to your vet and visit dog forums on the internet where other dog parents enthusiastically share their weaning experiences.