Puppies Breast-Feeding

The female should receive the same food as she did during pregnancy, but now she must be able to have all the food that she wants.

During this period of higher consumption for the mother, you have to give her two meals a day. If you give the mother dry food, it may be necessary to soak the food during the time that she is breast-feeding. The female dog will eat more when it is soekaed than when it is dry. It is not necessary to provide vitamin supplements or other nutrients when the diet is wholesome and balanced; unless the veterinarian recommends you do so.

Another reason for providing moist dry food is that when the puppies are three to four weeks old, they will normally begin by licking solid food.

Homemade dishes, milk, cereals, etc. should be avoided. Small-breed puppies can start eating solid wet food, even when it will have to be, made into smaller, more edible pieces.

Getting the dogs used to a commercial diet will prevent the puppies from becoming delicate eaters and will also avoid the stress that weaning implies, both for the puppies as well as for the mother. Before weaning, the consumption of food, apart from milk, is very varied because it will depend on the size of the dog, the breed and the milk production of the mother.

The following quantities can be taken as a general idea:15 grams of dry substance per kilogram of weight of a four-to-five-week-old puppy and some 35 grams of dry substance for a puppy that is between the fifth week of age and weaning.

Weaning
The weaning process in puppies takes place when the puppies are around six weeks old. This process can leave the mother feeling very stressed and with an overproduction of milk. You have to follow a diet program to help her reduce the production of milk, thus reducing eventual problems in the mammary glands.

During this program it is better not to give food to the mother on the day that you start weaning the puppies, but she must have access to an abundant supply of fresh water.

The following day and the third day, give her half the amount of her normal diet; on the fourth day, give her three quarters of her diet. On the fifth day, give her the normal ration.

As she goes putting on weight, gradually reduce the amount of food she must eat in relation to her body weight and mass.

If at any moment during the period of growth, a puppy starts putting on too much weight, you have to reduce the amount of food.

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