View Full Version : Weaning puppies - help please!

31st July 2006, 10:11 PM
Could anyone with experience of weaning puppies help please?

My friend who runs a rescue is raising her first litter of pups - the bitch came into rescue 7 weeks pregnant, and has produced 6 lovely puppies.

Please could you recommend suitable foods for weaning?

Thanks very much.

31st July 2006, 10:37 PM
Bruce's forum on his two cavalier litters is probably a good resource for a lot of questions she might have. :thmbsup: I'm sure some of our breeder board members will respond more directly too. :)

31st July 2006, 10:41 PM
From Bruce's forum, on page 3:

Puppies will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. Won't be much longer and we will be starting them on a mixture of canned goats milk Esbilac and powdered Esbilac 2nd Step. We usually start this around weeks 3 to 4. Right now the 5 puppies can nurse Anna dry in less than 10 minutes. Once we start feeding them ourselves, the time we spend goes up significantly.

I will be out of town with my family tomorrow and Kris will be here at home with her family and the puppies, one of the down sides of puppies over a holiday. Kris and I, Anna and the puppies would like to wish everyone Season's Greetings. Have an enjoyable and safe holiday.
MysticKnight Cavaliers
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Posted: 28 Dec 2005 02:22 am Post subject:

We have started the puppies on just liquid goats milk Esbilac once a day as a supplement to Anna's milk. We warm up the Esbilac to about 98 degrees F, Anna's approx. body temperature, in the microwave. It's a little hard to do because you don't want it too hot or too cold. It's heated in a measuring cup, then transferred to a very small, shallow bowl. We hold the bowl up to puppy's nose and away they go, lapping like a pro! Sometimes we have to start by dipping a finger in the bowl and letting the puppy suck on our finger (called finger feeding), but all of these puppies started lapping right away.

Right now we are only feeding them the liquid Esbilac once a day. We want to start them on other food gradually to try to avoid any issues with diarrhea or constipation. After a few days we'll add a little powdered 2nd Step to the liquid Esbilac. A few days of that and we start increasing the amount of 2nd Step and the number of meals.

This period of time feeding them is really time intensive because its one puppy at a time for maybe 5 minutes each, with time in between for re-warming the Esbilac. It will get even more time consuming when they go on 2 times a day. And I love every minute of it!!!

And then:


Puppies starting to get 3 meals a day in addition to nursing on Anna. In the morning they get straight liquid goats milk Esbilac, at noon they get a mixture of Esbilac and powdered 2nd Step, and in the evening they get puppy kibble that has been soaked in Esbilac til soft and mushy. The food is put in a shallow dish in the pen and the puppies eat by themselves now. After they are through eating, we put Anna in the pen with them and they nurse off her til she is dry.

31st July 2006, 11:10 PM

I have just found this from my breeder from when I got Maxx.

Breakfast - instant oats with warm milk and honey

Lunch and Dinner - Pedigree advance dried puppy food (soaked) and beef mince

Supper - Scrambled eggs with or without cheese or chicken and rice or anything else suitable and light.

Plenty of water to drink.

After each meal she'd put the pups in to suckle from Mum until she was dry which wasn't long at all.

Then as pups get bigger wean them off the normal human foods and onto only dried food (soaked).

Hope this might be of some help. I remember showing the Vet and he said it looked OK to him as long as the mince was thoroughly cooked.

31st July 2006, 11:20 PM
Cow's milk is often not used though now, as it gives a lot of puppies diarrhea (as with kittens they can't digest the lactase in cow's milk, I believe). I would guess that is why Bruce gives goat's milk instead. I know a lot of the old time breeders gave milk (that's in Sheila Smith's book for example). Jaspar's breeder also has them on (cow's) milk.

31st July 2006, 11:32 PM
:oops: Sorry, missed out a word - should read 'baby' milk! I had to go and buy him a tin of SMA as that's what she uses to mix the oats with :roll: She's as soppy as can be, bless her :flwr:

Cathy Moon
1st August 2006, 12:21 AM
In Sheila Smith's book, she says to give them goat's milk and 'puppy flake' soaked to a porridge consistency for the 3 week old puppy. Feed them little and often.

She does not offer minced beef until 5 weeks, along with minced chicken or rabbit, egg custard, or scambled egg with goat's milk.

1st August 2006, 11:21 AM
Thanks Cathy,

The sheet I got with Maxx was from when we brought him home. Obviously he wasn't a new born then!

Bruce H
1st August 2006, 06:51 PM
We use the goats milk esbilac for exactly the reason Karlin stated. It seems to be a little easier on their tummies. It is hard to get, though; we can only get it online and every now and then they are out. I believe we are one of the few breeders around here that uses the goats milk Esbilac, most others use the regular stuff. You could check with a vet, they may also have some suggestions. If you want to know where Kris gets the goats milk, let me know.

1st August 2006, 07:10 PM
Have you tried health food shops? They often carry it.

Surprisingly our local Tesco (big supermarket chain in UK/Ireland) carries fresh goat's milk and organic cow's milk from an Irish producer. hasten to add I am not in the most upmarket area on the city either -- this was at one time a very working class area though it is changing, full of immigrants and gentrifying too -- but their seems to be enough of a demand, possibly from immigrants and parents who give it to kids that have a lactose intolerance. Whatever about puppies, I was thinking of trying it last week! I love goat's cheese... :p

2nd August 2006, 02:36 PM
Thanks everyone, that's brilliant - sorry for the delay in replying, having some connection problems at the moment :(