Hello, I am definitely new to this site and new to having puppies. We had our Dog Nala spayed after she had her first litter. This was a little unexpected and now have 5 little puppies roaming around :-) They are now 6 weeks and I have been trying to wean them since they were 4 weeks.
It has been a hard process, because every time they are done eating their dry food and Nala comes into the garage with us, they simply attack her and want to feed!!! is this normal? We have now started to feed the Mother 2 times a day again and slowly weaning her back to adult food. These puppies are stubborn. Someone had recommended taking the mother away for about 2-3 days and getting them used to their food without the mother. Is this right? The puppies are eating only 3 times a day and barely eat their middle of the day meal. Puppies are healthy and very active and not at all skinny. Any help would be AWESOME!!!! Thanks for the wonderful site.
I don't know anything about little dogs (we only have large breeds) so someone with more little dog experience might have different advice. But, here is what we do with our puppies. . . .
We start weaning them around 4 weeks old and will generally not be overly pushy about it until 6 weeks old. At 6 weeks old ours are no longer allowed to nurse off mom. Since you have a small breed dog a really good thing to do is to put a t-shirt on your momma dog or wrap a towel around her and clip the back to hold it on. That way the puppies can't nurse off of her but they still get their quality momma time that they need. Watch them carefully and make sure everyone is eating enough since they will no longer be nursing - some pups just refuse to eat and only want momma.
I would definatly think that at 6 weeks you could have them 100% off of momma but I know some people keep smaller breed puppies until 9 or 10 weeks old before they go to new homes. I assume they still wean them at this age but keep them longer to let them get a little bit bigger before shipping them off but I'm really not sure. I hope this helps. Good luck!
One more thing - you say they eat dry food? Is it really dry food or is it puppy mush - dry food mixed with formula to create a mush that is soft and easy on growing teeth? If you are just feeding them dry food you should still be feeding them puppy mush at this age. They usually really like the mush and when mom's food supply is gone they will start eating more and more of the mush. After about a week of mom not feeding them they won't try for her anymore.
I agree with the former post. Make sure the pups have their food soaked in formula, or you can make your own. One important thing to consider with a small breed like a Chihuahua is to feed the pups small amounts at least 4 times a day. Their blood sugar drops very easily. Keep fresh water handy at all times also. Good luck with the little guys!