Having puppies is a great deal of fun, but it is also a great deal of work! This is especially true if you have a puppy, or puppies, that needs to be bottlefed. This can happen for a number of reasons. The mother can pass away during the birth process. She can have little or no milk come in for the puppies to be fed on. There can simply be too many puppies for her to feed. Or, as occurred in my own experience with bottlefeeding, there can be a runt in the litter which the mother rejects and/or the other puppies tend to treat poorly making it difficult or impossible for the little one to get to the nipple at feeding time.
There will come a time when your bottlefed puppy, or puppies, are ready to be weaned and get on solid food. This should be done well in advance to finding a new home for the puppy, so that you can ensure that the weaning is successful and done in an environment that is comfortable for the puppy. Weaning a puppy in a new home can be more challenging than it has to be for both the owner and the puppy, as the puppy is already rather stressed from the move.
Weaning a bottlefed puppy is not that difficult, as long as you know how to do it the right way. Although a nursing female dog is capable of producing milk for her puppies for a few months, most people do not want to bottlefeed for that long. It takes a lot of your time and puppy formula also gets very expensive. You should begin the weaning process when your puppy is about is between three and four weeks of age. This will allow plenty of time to get the puppy used to eating on his or her own before he or she is placed in a permanent home.
To begin weaning, prepare the puppy's formula as you usually would, but instead of putting it into the bottle, put it in a small dish that the puppy can eat from. This will get the puppy accustomed to eating without the bottle and without being held. After doing that several times, add some canned puppy food to the a small amount of the milk. Do this for about one week, allowing the puppy's gastrointestinal tract to get used to the food. Next, begin mixing in a small amount of the same brand of dry puppy food as the canned food that you are currently using. Once the puppy has gotten used to this and has teeth, enabling him or her to chew the dry puppy food, completely remove the canned food and your puppy is weaned successfully!