The transition from their mother's milk to eating solid food is a big milestone in puppies' lives. It signals the start of their independence from their mother and a step toward the time when they go to new homes to lead lives of their own. Some new dog breeders are confused about how to introduce a puppy to its first foods. Getting a puppy to nurse isn't difficult, but after it's been feeding on its mother's milk all its life, introducing solid food can pose a challenge.
Place the newborn puppy at the mother's side with its nose on the mother's nipple. Puppies instinctively grab the nipple and begin suckling. If you are bottle-feeding, simply insert the nipple of the bottle into the puppy's mouth. Start the process of weaning the puppies off mother's milk at the age of three to four weeks.
Mix two cups of high-quality puppy food in a blender with 12.5 oz. of puppy milk replacement formula. Then add hot water until the blender is full. This feeds six to eight puppies of a medium-sized breed, but you can store the extra in the refrigerator for later feeding for smaller puppies.
Blend the mixture until it is the consistency of human baby food. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and set it down near the puppies. Let the puppies investigate it on their own.
Use your finger to scoop the mash to the puppy's mouth if it doesn't get the idea to eat it. Most puppies begin eating the mash on their own.
Decrease the amount of milk replacement formula and water gradually as the puppies get older. By seven weeks, they should be eating solid puppy food.
Tips & Warnings
- Puppies have small stomachs, so they need small, frequent meals. Allow nursing puppies to feed whenever they want. Feed weaning puppies three or four times a day.
- If a newborn puppy does not begin nursing on its own, talk to your veterinarian immediately.
- Photo Credit puppy image by Waseem Ghattas from Fotolia.com
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