Weaning Your New Puppy

Weaning your puppy is a crucial stage in its life. You have to know how to manage it perfectly. This is not a period to be taken lightly, as it will affect the life of your 4-legged friend. We advise you to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Weaning your puppy is a good transition in Its young life. It suddenly abandons a food exclusively based on mother’s milk to turn to a more solid diet, based on kibbles or wet food or a household ratio (diet based on raw foods: vegetables, meat, etc.) . This transition is also accompanied by a gradual detachment of the puppy from its mother, and therefore a gain of independence. This transition will result in the future behavior of your dog.

When is the right time to wean a puppy?

It can vary from dog to another. It depends on the size of Its breed (more or less large), but also on the number of puppies in the litter, the ability of the mother to offer Its milk. Usually, your puppy’s weaning will start from the third week of life, never before. However, your puppy may also not start weaning until the fourth, maximum fifth week. Because, afterward, Its formed teeth will harm Its mother’s breasts.

Either way, you’ll notice the right time to start weaning. The mother will begin by pushing away more and more It’s young, not being able to ensure more nourishment. Your puppy will return to its mother more frequently for food. Proof that Its ratios are decreasing. You can also weigh your puppy. It should never lose weight.

Generally speaking, weaning lasts an average of 3 to 4 weeks. It depends, again, on your puppy’s size and ability to adapt. A puppy is therefore generally weaned around the age of 7 to 8 weeks.

The different stages of weaning

  • 3rd week: For puppies fed with an artificial bottle, it’s essential to teach them to laps formula milk in a container. The learning generally takes 1 to 3 days depending on the method. For example, you can place a bowl of formula milk for your puppy to go and feed on Itself. This milk has the same characteristics as breast milk.


  • Between the 4th and the 5th week: At this stage of weaning, you will need good quality (low carbohydrate) puppy food. The goal is also to find easily crumbly and tender croquettes to be able to mix them in water (lukewarm preferably, easier to soften the croquettes). The mixture should have the consistency of an easy-to-eat sauce or mash for puppies. You can use the mother’s kibble (special puppy and pregnant female), they are rich in protein, calcium … These foods are therefore perfectly suited to the development of good immune defenses and the growth of puppies. If the puppies do not show particular interest when presenting the moistened kibble, you can opt for meats, which are stronger in smells and therefore more appetizing.


  • Between the 6th and the 7th week: At this time, the formula is completely replaced. The kibble can finally be chewed by your puppy. Depending on the size and hardness of the kibble, you can mix it with water so that it’s more easily digestible by your young dog. Gradually, you can reduce the amount of water. In the case of industrial feed, the doses are given on the packaging and must be followed without deviating from it. In general, it is advisable to give your puppy 3-4 daily ratios.


  • 8th week: The puppy’s weaning is almost complete. It now needs “special growth” kibbles that are adapted to Its weight and breed. Nutritional requirements are not the same between small and large breeds.

The problems of withdrawal

Sometimes weaning does not always go the way you want it to. For example, your puppy may refuse to eat even moistened kibble. In this case, it is advisable to wet them more with formula milk. This should appeal to your little one more. It is also possible to offer boxes of food for growing puppies, they meet their needs very well, the smell and appearance are sometimes more pleasant than the kibble.

Another inconvenience sometimes encountered: the precocity of weaning. For many reasons, your puppy’s mother may not have enough breast milk to feed Its puppy long enough. In this case, you will have to take over with a bottle and formula, until the right moment when the weaning itself can begin.

The mother-puppy relationship

It’s strongly recommended not to suddenly separate the mother from Its puppy. Because, beyond food, the mother allows your puppy to socialize, to adopt behaviors that will be useful to It throughout Its life and which will be beneficial to you during Its education. The separation must therefore be gradual and, initially, only at mealtimes. In any case, the final separation cannot and must not take place before the eighth week of life.

Some countries’ laws provide that a puppy must stay at least 8 weeks with its mother, the time to acquire sufficient autonomy. Ideally and for the emotional balance of a puppy, separation from its mother should be around 10 to 12 weeks of age.

In summary

Weaning is an essential stage in the young life of your puppy. It is a transition between maternal food and what It will have for the rest of Its life. Good weaning should not have any negative consequences on the growth of your 4-legged friend. It must be carried out smoothly and according to certain stages.


  • Amanda Wheatley

    Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..) Why Trust ShelterAPet? At ShelterAPet, our collective is composed of writers, veterinarians, and seasoned animal trainers with a deep passion for pets. Our team of esteemed professionals delves into extensive research to deliver trustworthy insights on a broad spectrum of pet-related subjects. We anchor our evaluations on direct customer experiences, meticulous testing, and comprehensive scrutiny. Our commitment is to uphold transparency and integrity for our cherished community of pet aficionados and prospective pet parents.

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