Our Weaning Process.
Updated: Sep 5, 2019
Patience, consistency and high quality food are the principles that guide our weaning process. The goal is to avoid any stress on the puppy's body and to provide the right nutrients for their growth.
If not done right, this process can be hard on the pups' digestive system. Patience is key because we need to allow the puppies time to adapt to the new food and to develop the gut bacteria that is needed for a healthy digestion. In this crucial part of the pups' development we introduce the new food in small increments over a period of more than five weeks.
During this time, we also get the pups on a regular schedule that consistently alternates between feeding/playing and sleeping time. An irregular schedule can negatively impact their digestion but a healthy routine will allow the pups to thrive and to begin life in a structured way.
We had great success with Esbilac which is a top shelf milk replacer especially designed for the digestive needs of newborn puppies. For puppy food we chose Taste of the Wild which seems to have a pretty good track record and offers high-quality sources of protein and fat such as buffalo, bison and venison. Both these products are gentle on the pups' digestive tract and allow us to make this transition in a natural and, not least of all, very tasty way.
Here's how we go about it:
Introduce milk replacer in increments as supplement to the breast milk.
Introduce puppy food (moistened and mashed) together with the milk replacer. Increase the amount of puppy food while decreasing the amount of milk replacer. Also, slowly decrease the number of nursings until completely weaned from the mother. Introduce the puppies to distilled water at first and transition them in small increments to tap water.
Feed only puppy food and begin to decrease the amount of moisture content to get the puppies acquainted to chewing dry food.
The pups' diet is now 100% dry puppy food.
All pups are fully weaned and ready to start their lives with their new families.
In the future we recommend following the same principles when changing your dog's diet. The introduction of new food should be done in increments of 10% over a period of 10 days. Start by mixing your dog's old food with the new one by adding 10% every day until the transition is complete 10 days later. Always watch for signs of diarrhea or loss of appetite and consult your vet if any of these symptoms occur.