Weaning Puppies

When it comes to weaning puppies, we want to help make that transition as smooth as possible. The goal for weaning is to successfully wean puppies without slowing their growth. In the video above, Shelley and Lisa will answer some of the most common questions we receive. In this post, we’ll go over some easy tips and a great homeopathic recipe to help mom’s milk dry up.

Quick Weaning Puppies Tips

On of the most common questions we get is “when should I start the puppies on gruel and how do I make it?” At some point in a puppy’s nursing life, milk will begin to fall short of the calories and balance they need for growth. Puppies will then start to try mom’s food, if they have access. When you notice this happening, help them by offering a gruel. This process starts at different times depending on the breed of dog.

When making gruel, start with mixture of warm water, milk replacer (Foster Care) and rice baby cereal. Make a thin liquid when you start as they will want to drink more than eat. As they know what it is, you can thicken it and add soaked puppy food to the mix. Over a week, eliminate the rice cereal and go full puppy food, warm water and milk replacer.

Mom’s Milk

Most moms slowly wean as the puppies move to solid food, and their glands respond to the back pressure by producing less milk. However, in moms who are heavy milkers, it can sometime be difficult for glands to dry up. Glands that won’t stop producing can be painful. In more severe cases she may be placed on medication to help.

For less severe cases we recommend this easy homeopathic treatment. A topical mustard plaster can also be successful. Mustard plaster is an old remedy used in humans, and it works well for dogs too. We’ve included the recipe in this post for easy access.

Mustard Plaster:
1 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. oil
1 Tbsp. dry mustard

Cover the area with a thin coat of Vaseline jelly before applying the mustard plaster. Mix the ingredients with lukewarm water to form a paste. Spread on a thin clean cloth and cover the mammary glands. Place on the gland area for 20 minutes, or a shorter time if needed. Be careful not to burn the skin – check the application every five minutes. Remove the plaster and cover the area with camphorated oil or tincture of camphor. Then cover with warm fabric such as flannel or a towel. Repeat in four hours.

At the same time you’re using the mustard plaster, take the female off food and limit her water for the first 24 hours. Then give her ½ the amount of her regular food for the next two days before returning to a full diet. You may need to milk her out by hand, but only when it’s needed to prevent infection from setting in. It’s also wise to put them on an antibiotic, such as sulfamethoxazole trimethoprim, to prevent mastitis during this process. Three treatments should dry them up, but I have gone as many as five since it is soothing to the female.

Do you have any weaning tips you want to share? Leave a comment down below!

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5 thoughts on “Weaning Puppies”

    1. Hi Susan, thank you for your question about products helpful for weaning. I reached out to Sheryl, one of our Pet Care Pros. Please see her response below. -Shelley at Revival

      Susan, For weaning I would recommend to have on hand the Breeder’s Edge Puppy Lyte. Electrolytes will provide support to a puppy whose having diarrhea issues to rebuild its body fluids. Doc Roy’s GI Synbiotics, as a probiotic this helps with digestion and has also been know to help with diarrhea. The Royal Canin Starter Mousse, helps puppies to transition from mom’s milk to normal food. For a gruel, I would recommend a mixture of rice cereal, warm water, Breeder’s Edge Foster Care Milk Replacer, Royal Canin. Start out very thin, then as they get to know what it is, add less liquid and begin to add dry food the second week with warm water and milk replacer only. Reduce the liquid until they’re eating only dry food. Increase the amount of gruel each day. This will help to back them off mom’s milk. If you have any other questions, please give us a call at 800.786.4751. -Sheryl P., Revival Pet Care Pro

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