4 1/2 week old pitbull puppies
(rocky mount, nc usa)
I wanted to know if the puppies will continue to suck on the mother if her milk has dried up?
We have started feeding the pups puppy food in the morning and evening but still wants to suck when she comes back in to do "clean up"...
does the mother know when the puppies are done nursing completely?
Hi LynnIt sounds as though you're on the right track, and so are your puppies.
When puppies are somewhere between 3 and 4 weeks old the momma dog usually starts to wean them herself by refusing to let them nurse for long periods as they've been doing.
Often she won't lie down with them, but will remain standing and walk away after a few minutes. It's important that she has a way to leave the puppies 'den area' without them following her so that this natural process can continue.
Once this happens it's time to begin feeding the pups a premium dry puppy food soaked in warm water and giving them water to lap. They will be very messy at first but they'll soon figure it all out.
Yes - the momma dog does know when it's time to stop and the less she nurses them the less milk her body will produce. It's not an overnight process, but after a time she will have no milk for them and they will stop suckling. If one or two are stubborn and keep trying to nurse she will eventually tell them to stop with a snap or growl. Totally natural.
For more information on raising young puppies you can check out my New Born Puppies and Puppy Development pages.
It looks like you've got a lovely, healthy litter there.... best of luck with it all.
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