When Do Puppies Stop Nursing & Breastfeeding from Their Mother?
Just like human babies, puppies don’t need any other source of nutrition apart from their mother’s milk. This will be the case for about three to four weeks after they are born. But, when do puppies stop nursing and start eating solid food? We’re going to answer this question.
Complete Nutrition Through Mom’s Milk
As soon as puppies are born, they’re going to be all about their mother’s milk. You shouldn’t worry at all about giving them vitamins or any other food because they’re going to get their nourishment exclusively from the mama dog.
If you’re taking care of a newborn pup without a mom, you can meet all of his nutritional requirements by using commercial milk. Feed him through a bottle. Even in this process, you don’t need any other supplements as long as you remember to feed the pups every two hours for one to two weeks. And then, every for to six hours in the third and fourth week of life.
An Important Note About Bottle Feeding & Nursing
You are only allowed to bottle feed the young pups in emergency cases. You should never attempt to feed the newborns through a bottle if their mother is perfectly able to do so herself. You don’t want them to miss out on all the nutrients the mother can give.
You should provide the mom with a nice, comfortable little corner for her to stay in while she nurses the newborns. Give her enough water and nutritious dog food to eat so she can produce more milk and recuperate.
When Do Puppies Stop Nursing?
The pups should be ready to level up their diet in about six weeks of age. Naturally, the mom is going to ween off the pups around that time. She will get up in the middle of nursing or she will distance herself on purpose, causing the pups to find another source of nutrition.
How Do I Get My Puppy to Stop Nursing?
You can help the weening process by introducing some puppy food as early as four weeks of life. Please take note, however, that it’s not ideal for you to rush the process as puppies need all the nutrition they can get from their mom’s milk. Be patient.
When the time is right, you can try putting down a bowl of puppy kibble mixed with warm water or milk. The water or milk can be lessened as another week passes.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect them to chow down on their food instantly. At four weeks of life, they may still be nursing on their mom so it’s possible for them to just taste a bit of the softened puppy food, then go back to the mother’s teat.
Eventually, when the natural weaning process takes place, they will gravitate and munch on the softened puppy food. Don’t forget to give them some water too. Pups should be introduced to drinking water at around three to four weeks of life.
Then, at around seven to eight weeks, you can try plain dry puppy kibble. At this point, you should consult your vet about how many times in a day and how much should the puppies be fed. The vet is going to suggest the best schedule and amount based on the pups’ developments.
Have Your Puppies Checked When They’re Not Eating or Nursing
Definitely, when you observe a loss of appetite and some weakness, you should go to your vet right away. A newborn pup will always be hungry for his mom’s milk, so if he’s not nursing, that means that he could have some health problems that need immediate medical attention.