Three Weeks Old
For most breeds, weaning puppies begins at about three weeks of age. You can start them off by offering a pan of formula in place of their mother’s milk. Next, replace the formula with a combination of thin cereal and formula.
Hand-fed puppies may be removed from the bottle, and meat or high quality canned dog food may be offered in addition to the cereal/formula mixture.
Five Weeks Old
At five weeks, discontinue the cereal and replace the formula with a solution of equal parts evaporated milk and water. A high-quality dry puppy food can be mixed into the meat and canned food.
To avoid digestive upsets, be sure to introduce all changes in food or feeding schedules gradually.
Find Loving Homes
A responsible breeder makes sure that every single puppy goes to an owner who will provide it with the same love and devotion for life that the breeder has provided for the first eight or ten weeks. This means careful screening and evaluation of each person or family interested in getting a puppy.
By this time you have learned everything you can about your breed, and you know all the pros and cons of ownership. It’s important to share this information, including the negative aspects with prospective puppy owners.
You should be ready to explain why a dog requiring a lot of coat care or training is not the best match for a workaholic, or why a tiny dog may not be appropriate for a family with small, active children. You must be absolutely committed to placing your puppies only in homes you believe will provide excellent care. Many breeders have buyers sign a contract that defines the type of care they expect, what to do if they can no longer care for the animal, and guarantees regarding genetic defects.