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Home / Nutritional Pet Food / Pet Health Guide / Dog Nutrition & Health / Weaning Puppies

 

Weaning Puppies

 

weaning-puppy-foodArden Grange Weaning Puppy is an easily digestible, extremely palatable chicken based food, which provides a concentrated source of calories that puppies need at this all important rapid growth stage. As we have included everything puppies require, in the correct proportions, further supplementation is not required or recommended. This product has the benefit of:

  • A high protein level. Puppies need approximately 4 times more protein on a per/kg body weight basis than adult dogs. It is needed for constructing body tissues; especially bone and muscle, skin/hair production and numerous metabolic processes within the body.
  • A higher fat content than our diets formulated for the later growth stages to ensure small portions can meet the increased demand for calories during early growth. Dietary fat is also important because of the lower concentration of body fat of puppies. They are less efficient at thermoregulation so the diet needs to provide enough energy to keep them sufficiently insulated.
  • Very high digestibility, which is important because young puppies have increased intestinal permeability and delayed gastrointestinal transit times that delay absorption.
  • Krill, which is a very good source of EPA and DHA. These Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important for healthy skin, and for retinal and brain development.
  • The correct calcium to phosphorous levels and ratio to promote healthy teeth and bone development.
  • Antioxidants, which may increase protection against free radical damage. The higher metabolic rate of puppies leads to higher oxygen consumption, so additional support is recommended.
  • Small kibble which is easily made into a porridge suitable for lapping when starting the weaning process.


Different breeders and different breeds will have their own timetable for weaning puppies. Weaning is usually started at around three weeks, however, if the litter is unusually large for the particular breed you may wish to start weaning a little earlier than normal so that the bitch is not overly fatigued.


Arden Grange Weaning Puppy should first be soaked with warm water and mixed with a fork to form a smooth porridge. More warm water may need to be added to get just the right consistency for lapping. Serve at body temperature, and make up fresh portions per feed since soaking for overly long periods of time can cause fermentation or encourage flies. It may also not be warm enough to be palatable.

 

Portion controlled feeding allows you to monitor individual intake more accurately, but this is not always practical. Feeding the litter from communal low-sided bowls or trays is often preferable when first starting weaning as it encourages healthy competition. If however you notice that some pups are weighing less or more than average, these individuals should be fed separately so that they can be fed a little more or a little less to help them to catch up or avoid overly rapid development or diarrhoea. A means of identification is important if there are very similar members of the same sex within the litter. Velcro-fastened puppy id bands are popular.

 

Initially, you may need to encourage the individual puppies to take the food by placing some on the end of your finger and allowing them to either lick or suck, they soon get the idea. We suggest you leave the porridge down for around 15 minutes at each meal, after which time you should remove any uneaten food. Once the puppies are established on the porridge and are becoming individuals, gradually start to reduce the amount of water added. This routine is repeated for each mealtime, usually 4 or 5 times a day. As the puppies grow, you may wish to leave a small bowl of dry food down to encourage them to eat and become accustomed to the dry, textured nugget. This of course will be in addition to their normal feeds.

 

When starting the weaning process it is a good idea to move the dam to a separate area for a while before offering their food (which should be mashed up and well mixed with warm water before offering it to them), because if they have been feeding from Mum they will not be hungry and it may put them off trying their Arden Grange Weaning Puppy food. Don't forget that they are used to having warm milk from Mum and may reject food if it is too cold. Once they have eaten some of their 'new' food then Mum should be put back in with them for a comforting top-up.

 

It is important to remember that puppies lose the ability to digest lactose (milk sugar) shortly after weaning, and this is why many adult dogs are intolerant to milk products. Some sensitive dogs are allergic to casein (milk protein) and this is why we do not include any dairy products in our diets. If using milk replacement products, it is safest to use formulations specific to puppy weaning such as Welpi.


The required amounts will vary with the size of the litter, the individual breed and level of activity as well as the age and weight of the puppies and how many calories they are still deriving from the dam's milk. Please use the suggested feeding quantities on the bag as a guideline only.

 

We generally suggest a gradual change over to Arden Grange Puppy / Junior (small and medium breeds) or to Arden Grange Puppy / Junior Large Breed (large and giant breeds) at about 8 weeks of age, although this change can be implemented earlier so that the puppies are settled on their diet before going to their new homes.

 

Some breeders prefer the convenience of feeding the dam and puppies the same product. Arden Grange Prestige and Arden Grange Puppy Junior may also be used for weaning. Equally, Weaning Puppy can be fed during pregnancy providing the kibble is not too small for the dam.

 

Arden Grange Partners Appetite Plus is a liquid diet, and a useful first stage weaning tool - lapping this 'chicken soup' is great for accustoming the puppies to the taste of chicken in the dry growth diets, especially when slightly warmed. As with all liquids, ensure the puppies are supervised when first consuming, and use shallow dishes for safety. Fresh water should be freely available as soon as the weaning process begins.