Puppies need milk from their mother in order to get the nutrients they need for growth and development. However, there comes a time when puppies should stop drinking milk and start eating solid food.
In this blog post, we will discuss when to stop giving your puppy milk and transition it to solid food.
When to Stop Giving a Puppy Milk
When a puppy is born, they are immediately able to start drinking its mother’s milk. Puppies will drink milk for the first few weeks of their life until they are old enough to transition to solid food. The exact age at which a puppy should stop drinking milk and transition to solid food will vary depending on the breed of the dog, but it is typically between 6 to 7 weeks after birth.
At this point, the puppy’s stomach is able to better digest solid food, and it will start to lose interest in milk. The pups will also start developing teeth, which will make it difficult for them to drink milk. If you continue to give your puppy milk after they have started eating solid food, they may develop diarrhea or vomiting.
It is important to make sure that the transition from milk to solid food is done gradually, as a sudden change can upset the puppy’s stomach and cause diarrhea.
When Can a Puppy Eat Food?
Puppies will begin eating food from about 3 and a half to 4 and a half weeks old. They will still be dependent on their mother’s milk in order to receive all of the nutrients necessary for growth and development. However, they will start to eat small amounts of food in order to get used to the taste and texture.
What Do Puppies Need To Eat?
It’s very important that puppies eat a healthy diet since they grow so quickly and require a lot of nutrients. Puppies should eat food that is high in protein and fat to help them grow. Puppy food is typically higher in calories than adult dog food, so it’s important not to overfeed your puppy.
You can find puppy food in both canned and dry formulations. Don’t choose a formulation that has artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Look for foods that have high amounts of omega-3 and DHA in them, which help with brain development. You should also make sure that the food you choose is appropriate for the breed and size of your puppy.
How Old Are Puppies When They Stop Drinking Their Mother’s Milk?
Puppies will stop drinking their mother’s milk around the time they are weaned, which is typically between six to seven weeks old. At this point, they will have started to eat solid food and will be getting all of the nutrients they need from their diet.
What to Do if Your Puppy Won’t Give Up Milk
If your puppy is still drinking milk after 8 or 9 weeks old, it’s time to permanently wean the pup.
One way you can help the pup transition is by adding a couple of tablespoons of milk into wet dog food. Mix it in thoroughly so that the milk is no longer visible. Do this for a week or two, and then start to decrease the amount of milk until you are only adding wet dog food.
Another way to wean your puppy off milk is by slightly heating up the puppy food. This will make the food more aromatic and appealing to the puppy.
It’s important to note that it’s very uncommon for puppies to struggle with the transition to eating food. Even if a puppy takes a bit of extra time to wean, it will eventually give up milk on its own.
If your puppy is still drinking milk after 12 weeks old, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.
How to Wean a Puppy off Milk
The process of weaning your pups starts at about 3 to 4 weeks old. This is when their teeth will begin to come in, which is a natural indicator that it’s time to start the transition from milk to food.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to wean your puppy off milk:
1. Mix Together Gruel For Your Pup
A gruel is a soft food made by mixing milk replacer or water and dry food together. It should have a porridge-like consistency that’s easy for your pup to eat.
To make gruel, mix together:
- ½ cup of dry food
- ¼ cup of water
- ¼ cup of milk
Once you’ve mixed everything together, put it in a blender or food processor and blend until the gruel is a smooth consistency.
Make sure to use high-quality dry food that’s appropriate for your pup’s age. Puppies under the age of 12 weeks old should eat food that’s specifically made for them as opposed to adult dog food.
You can also use canned dog food as long as it’s formulated for puppies.
2. Give Your Pup the Gruel
Now it’s time to introduce the gruel to your pup. Temporarily separate the pup from its mother and bring it to a different area where you can place a shallow dish of gruel in front of it.
If the pup is hesitant to eat, try dipping your finger in the gruel and then letting the pup lick it off. You can also put a small amount on the puppy’s nose to encourage it to lick it off.
Once the pup seems interested, give it a few minutes to eat as much as it wants. This will be a messy process, so be patient with your pup and make sure it has access to clean water at all times.
3. Bring the Pup Back to Its Mother
When your puppy is done eating, bring it back to its mother and let it nurse. It’s important that the pup still gets milk from its mother as it’s a vital source of nutrition.
The gruel is simply meant to get your pup used to the taste and texture of food. You can feed any extra to the mother when you’re done with the process.
4. Create a More Solid Gruel Over Time
Start by giving your pup gruel two to three times a day and then gradually decrease the amount of liquid. Time this out so that they are eating completely solid food by the age of 7 or 8 weeks old.