How to wean a puppy
The female dog has to take care of feeding the puppies until the time of weaning.
She will also help the puppies find food as soon as they can do it. Even though domestication has taken the use of this teaching, the dog still has this behavior of searching for food.
Another instinctive behavior that the puppies have consists in nibbling on the mother’s nose to make her regurgitate crushed food.
It is better that all the puppies stay with the mother until after weaning because that gives part to more balanced puppies in comparison to those who grow up alone. The drills of fighting, chasing, and hunting are aspects that contribute to the animal’s future balance. Weaning happens when the puppy is old enough to take care of itself; this happens six weeks after the puppy is born. After this the female dog begins to drift away from the puppies so that less go to her to be breast fed, until she doesn’t even let them get close to her teats. In the end weaning represents the end of the mother and puppy relationship.
The Orphan Puppy and Weaning
Once the behavior of the mother and her puppy has been studied, we will see how the development of the puppy proceeds after its link with the mother is broken and it establishes a new relationship with the owner. Nevertheless, we have to know what happens to the orphan puppy, which must be related to the owner since the beginning. Under these circumstances the owner will have to make an effort to substitute the mother, knowing that he must separate from the puppy when the time comes. It is until the first three weeks that the mother takes care of the whole group, and provides the puppies with warmth and food. In the case that the mother dies, or she is incompetent to take care of the puppies, then the owner must take her place.
Artificial Breast Feeding
The mother’s milk is not the same as cow milk, therefore it is not enough to get up every two hours and refill the puppy’s bottles. The puppies need a kind of milk that can be digested correctly and that covers all their nutritional necessities. The puppies must be fed in a place which is calm, warm and emotionally alike to the one which the female would have chosen. Puppy’s breast feed more than twenty times a day; this means that feeding the puppies will be intense. Puppies drink little by little, and if you give them too much to drink at once they will have diarrhea. The ideal thing is to reduce the number of times they feed a day during the next couple of weeks. At first we will feed them every two hours, except when we are sleeping.
The milk is made with boiled water that has cooled down. To feed the puppies you will need to use a baby’s bottle. A puppy must not feed for more than fifteen minutes, remember that they will drink and drink, so you must stop them. You will simply have to behave like if you were the puppy’s mother, without exceeding yourself.
Substituting the mother will not only consist in feeding the puppy, but also in giving it constant petting. After feeding we will have to pass a moist piece of cotton through the puppy’s genitals stimulating its excretory functions.
It is fundamental to provide the puppies with warmth. Knowing the stages of the puppy’s development, we will be able to substitute the mother’s teachings until the time of weaning, which will be the start of the owner-puppy relationship.