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Weaning Puppies

When it comes to weaning puppies, we want to help make that transition as smooth as possible. The goal for weaning puppies is to successfully wean puppies without slowing their growth. Shelley and Lisa will answer some of the most common weaning questions.

How to Wean Puppies

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 (Breeder’s Edge Foster Care milk replacer) 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.

Home Remedies to Dry Up Dogs 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 sometimes five treatments may be necessary since it is soothing to the female. If you have more questions on puppy weaning or what to feed weaning puppies, call us at 800.786.4751.
Shelley Hexom

Written by: Shelley Hexom

Content Manager

Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.