When and how do I separate my puppies from their mother?

From three to four weeks, you can wean your puppies. At this stage, they are able to consume solid foods.

When to start weaning a puppy?

A small dog sleeps on a blanket Credit: tilo

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Before three weeks, puppies are not yet able to digest food solid. Even if their mother no longer produces enough milk or has disappeared, the basic diet must be the mother’s milk. Feeding your puppy with a bottle therefore becomes essential, because weaning is early. Be aware that starting weaning before the recommended minimum age can affect your dog’s state of health. Doing it after the age limit also has disadvantages. It is best to follow the recommendations of veterinarians.

Start at three to four weeks of age

From this age, starting the process is ideal to facilitate food transition. Even if their mother is still able to provide them with milk, it is better to take the first step of weaning. Thus, the mother will not lose weight and become exhausted.

From three to four weeks, the mother no longer produces enough milk for puppies. Thus, if the litter is large, it will have difficulty keeping its shape and its weight will drop quickly. You are therefore interested in teach your small dogs to feed themselves in an autonomous way.

Complete weaning from the eighth week

the weaning a puppy must be progressive. In general, the process takes place in many phases, over several weeks.

In principle, puppies stop suckling their mothers around the age of eight weeks. They therefore become independent and can eat most foods designed for dogs.

Some clues show that you can proceed to weaning your puppy. To help your dog succeed in the different steps to follow, pay attention to the behavior of the mother. In fact, the female dog is trying to push him away little by little. The puppy therefore tends to go to its mother’s bowl to consume solid food. Take advantage of this moment to put the mother out of the baby’s sight.

If the litter is large, you should weigh each puppy daily to ensure that the puppies are all of normal weight. Accompanying weaning therefore becomes crucial to closely observe the behavior and state of health of the little ones.

How are the stages of weaning of puppies?

A small pet dog grabs a stick Credit: Rui Mesquita Cordeiro

In general, the weaning of puppies takes place in three main stages:

week four

You can start by giving puppy food. It is also possible to offer them dog food. In this second case, they must be soaked in lukewarm water to facilitate ingestion. This trick also helps dogs digest their meal. Be aware that food should be served in small portions, several times.

Today, some kibble brands offer foods specially designed for the transition.

week five

You can gradually increase the amount of food to feed puppies. Just read the instructions on the packaging of your dog’s kibble. If necessary, seek advice from a veterinarian.

week seven

From the seventh week, do not exceed the four meals a day. Also, consider weight so you know the right amount of food for your dog. Choose growth foods to ensure the proper development of your body. To avoid digestive disorders, your puppy always needs fresh water.

Note that the amount of food depends on age, weight and race. Thus, heed the manufacturer’s recommendations and your veterinarian’s advice for dosage.

Other handy tips you need to know

A dog takes his meal Credit: oceane2508

At the beginning of the weaning process, it is possible that the small dogs sulk the solid food. In this case, use mother’s milk to rehydrate the croquettes. If you want to give them mash, mash it up to make it easier to swallow.

  • If your puppies are difficult at certain stages of weaning, it is better to use a food for growth. To avoid digestive upset, do not switch brands until the process is complete.
  • If the female dog is unable to produce enough milk for the entire litter, weaning becomes early. Before 30-40 days, you should serve a milk-based diet. Wait until the recommended age to start weaning.
  • Know that weaning is a stage that allows the mother to to separate from its children. To help them, keep the mother away while the puppies are eating. For the separation to be gradual, at the start of the process keep the mother out of sight of the dog’s reach for one hour a day. Thereafter, gradually increase the frequency and duration of this separation. If at a certain moment, the little ones are anxious and agitated too much, do not insist. Since they are not ready, leave the mother within sight. They will eventually approach their bowl to have their meal.
  • As long as your puppies eat solid food, they drink plenty of water. They must be allowed to serve themselves at will. Also renew their bowls every day.
  • For the well-being of your puppy, do not separate it from its mother before the age of 8 weeks after its birth. Otherwise, he would risk a psychological imbalance that can affect his state of health. In addition, behavioral problems become very likely.

What about the health of a puppy and its mother?

The veterinarian examines the dog Credit: LuckyBusiness

Apart from the care you need to give your little dog, having him vaccinated also becomes necessary at the time of weaning. It is therefore recommended to consult a veterinarian to monitor the physiological state of the puppy. In order to protect it against Infectious diseases, a specialist provides you with a vaccination schedule. Be aware that your pet is prone to parvovirus, infectious canine hepatitis, also called Rubarth’s hepatitis, and distemper.

In general, the protocol vaccination begins around the sixth to eighth weeks after birth. Thereafter, you must do a booster every four weeks. When immunity is in place, the veterinarian stops the injections, around the sixteenth week.

If you come frombuy a puppy, ask the breeder if he has already carried out the first vaccine injections. Since he is not obliged to do so, the mention “vaccinated” remains optional on the ad sites. It is therefore better to buy a pet that has already been vaccinated in order to reduce your expenses, but also to have a healthy puppy.

Digestive parasites infest puppies within three months. Roundworms are the most common worms in them. Their contamination is inside the placenta and through breast milk. Indeed, roundworm larvae develop in the intestine. At the adult stage, their eggs are defecated and lead to the infestation of other puppies of the same litter. Note that two cases can happen in case of contamination:

  • If the infestation turns out to be heavy, the parasites cause diarrhea, growth retardation, vomiting and intestinal obstruction.
  • If it is light, the presence of worms goes unnoticed. However, the parasite can weaken the immune system. Deworming the puppy therefore becomes essential before carrying out vaccinations. Thus, consult a veterinarian to help your dog fight against parasites.

Know that deworm small dogs after weaning is important. Indeed, this step helps to protect them. In addition, those around them remain protected from the risk of contamination. Be aware that if you accidentally swallow roundworm eggs, you could be in serious trouble.

Why do puppies breathe too fast?

This puppy is chewing on a stick Credit: Daniel_Malinowski

The acceleration of dog’s breath is a common physiological phenomenon. If it appears during a moment of adaptation to a new environment, specialists categorize it as polypnea. On the other hand, if this change comes from a pathological problem, your dog is subject to tachypnea.

During a thermal polypnea, the dog’s respiratory rate rises to 200 movements per minute. This phenomenon may occur during weaning. However, if you have any doubts, call a veterinarian to monitor your pet’s health closely.

What about late weaning?

The little dog on a walk with his master Credit: humonia

No matter their breed, a late separation improves your puppies immune system. In addition, for a long time, small dogs benefit from the education provided by their mother.

However, it has significant drawbacks. Indeed, the puppy will find it difficult to adapt to its new life if it has left its mother 12 weeks after its birth. At this age, he will begin to be afraid of a new adventure. For example, if he leads a city life, the adaptation period may be long and difficult if you take him to the countryside.

If you just adopted a dog more than three months old, he needs a good education to help him during the transition period.

In short, the late separation is not advised.

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