When weaning your puppies from mum start by offering raw goats milk at about 3 weeks if you can or lambs ( sheeps ) Milk. This is gentle on their stomach and gets them lapping from a plate, This also gives mum a break and begins the weaning process slowly.
Mum will be getting less enthralled with the constant nibbling and growing intensity of suckling pups so will welcome help with feeding and transitioning them onto a more solid diet.
At about 4 weeks they will be exploring their environment and smells and tastes and feels so much more. Energy for growing and exploring will be doubled. In order to again help them grow at a steadily pace and reduce naturally how much they suckle on their mothers milk, we need to start introducing solids.
At Bella and Duke we produce our own puppy food. It's 5% more protein and balanced phosphorus and calcium for growing bones. For puppies with their little mouth and gentle bite we have milled it twice through an 8 mm mincer. It's not pate, but certainly soft enough for the pups to dig in and enjoy what ever breed, large or small.
Introduce solid food gradually over a few days. Just a couple of time initially and then increasing the times to 5 to 6 times a day over the next 5 to 7 days.
Increase the amount of food gradually and ensure there is not one that pushes the others out, ensuring they all get fair dibs. Gauging the amount to feed a little is based on their needs at this stage. Grading up the amount daily as they grow. There are no hard and fast rules.
Their mother may need to be separated from her pups during feeding times but given access at all other times with the freedom to come and go as much as she pleases.
This will be the time her puppies will need her less for food but still most important for her to be about up until they go to new home at 10 to 12 weeks old for educating them in canine ways and etiquette.
How many meals a day for a puppy? Our preference is Pups at 8 to 12 weeks need to be on 5 meals a day and then dependent on the individual that can be scaled to 4 meals at 12 weeks then 3 meals at 16 weeks, scaled to two at 6 months.