When to Start Feeding Your Puppies Solid Food?

Puppies eating solid food
Alexandradiaz826 / Flickr

From birth, your puppy has only known its mother’s milk for food. And so, transitioning to solid dog food can be a confusing or a bit distressing change for your little pet.

The VCA, which is the Veterinary Centers of America, recommends weaning your puppy from its mother’s milk no earlier than 3 to 4 weeks of life. But when the time comes to start feeding puppies solid food, these tips may come handy. Read on to know more.

Watch for Your Pup’s Readiness to Start Eating Solid Food

The transition is easier when your puppy is ready for it. So look for signs that say he is ready to start having solid food. Forcing a change may bring negative effects on the physical plus emotional growth of your little dog.

What are these signs? When your puppy starts snooping around his mother’s food dish, that’s one. It means he’s getting curious about regular dog food.

Puppies eating their first solid food
Tatiana Dascomb / Flickr

Another sign is when he starts taking little licks and bites of its mom’s food. It means he’s starting to find the smell and look of dog food appetizing.

Purina says you may see this behavior at 4 to 5 weeks old. You may also check out “The Complete Book of Dog Breeding” for more information.

Slowly Awaken Its Desire for Solid Food

Sometimes, you may not see any signs at all. And you don’t have to wait for any signs. When it reaches 6 weeks old, you may go ahead and introduce it to solid puppy food. Remember to add some warm water to moisten the dry food first. This makes digestion easy for your little pet.

Australian Shepard puppies eating first solid food
Mjroose / Flickr

You may also put in some warm milk to make the solid puppy food tastier. Remember to limit the amount since too much milk may cause diarrhea or other digestive issues.

By 8 weeks of age, you may no longer need to add moisteners. Just check for its readiness and proceed with care.

Final Thoughts

Wanting solid food should come naturally for any puppy. But it’s your responsibility as its owner to make the change pleasant and safe for your pet. Consult your veterinarian for feeding amounts and schedule for your specific pet’s breed because there may be differences at times. Happy weaning!

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