Getting your puppy ready for solid food can be stressful for your little pet. This is especially true if the weaning process is abrupt and unplanned. Here we talk about what you need to observe in your feeding schedule for 4-week old puppies. So read on for more details.
Be Ready to Feed the Pup by the Fourth Week
Know when it’s time to give your puppy solid food. Now you may wonder why the fourth week. It seems that mother dogs start weaning their puppies around that mark. So be ready and watch for signs. Once the mom starts refusing to nurse its puppies, it’s time to start introducing solid food.
Be Mindful of Your Puppy’s Nourishment Needs
A mother dog’s milk has all the nourishment a suckling pup will need. If you’re not careful, you may fail to fill the nourishment void that weaning creates.
Make the transition slow. And observe low amounts and fewer frequencies. This ensures that your puppy eases into the dietary change. And that it does so without a shock or negative reaction.
Invest in High-Quality Dog Food
The puppy stage is the most crucial stage of development. If you hold out on them, you might halt their growth. Know the best brand and type of dog food you can buy. You may seek advice from your vet.
Check labels for ingredient compositions and certifications. Dog food should have minimal to zero fillers. And there shouldn’t be any toxic ingredient in the mix. High Omega-3 content is good. It helps boost your puppy’s eye and brain development.
Don’t Give Your Puppy Table Food
Remember to avoid feeding your puppies with table scraps. This may disturb the consistency of their diet. They may prefer that to dog food. They may even develop an aversion to dog food or any type of solid food.
Feed Your Puppy at Set Times of the Day
Also, try to maintain set times of feeding. Doing this helps prepare their appetite for mealtimes. With predetermined feeding hours, you build the craving. And you get to track their intake.
Specific feeding time makes for better estimations. You know how much solid food to increase and you know when to make the increase.
Don’t Change the Brand or Type of Dog Food
In the early stages of weaning, stick to a particular brand and type. This prevents any digestive upsets because dietary changes can cause diarrhea or constipation in your puppies.
And don’t change the quality. Maintain feeding high-quality dog food to your little pup. This ensures that your pup gets all the nutritional boost it needs during the weaning phase.
Sometimes, you may have to switch to another type or brand. The product may be out of stock. At times, your dog may outgrow the taste. If this is so, introduce a new dog food into your little pup’s diet.
How do you do that? First, put some amount of the new dog food into the regular mix. Let’s say you use 1 cup of dog food. Put ¼ cup of the new dog food. Then put ¾ cup of the regular dog food. Slowly increase the substitution. And spread it over some days. Do this until you finally reach a 100% new dog food substitution into your puppy’s feeding.
It’s important to have a schedule for solid dog food feeding. Do it once your puppy turns four weeks old. Remember to make the transition simple. And make it slow. This way, your feeding schedule goes hand in hand with your dog’s readiness for dietary change.