Usually, the puppy's mother begins the weaning process when the puppy is around 3 to 4 weeks old. By the time a puppy is 7 or 8 weeks old, it must be completely weaned from its mother and stop breastfeeding. Orphaned puppies can be weaned around the same age. Once a doggy mother begins to wean her beauties from exclusive breastfeeding, the weaning process begins.
According to the ASPCA, this usually occurs when a litter is between 3 and 4 weeks old, although it varies slightly. However, the process is not instantaneous. Even after puppies have started eating some solid foods, the mother usually breastfeeds from time to time. The Humane Society of the United States says that weaning is generally complete when a puppy is approximately 6 to 7 weeks old.
Once the weaning is fully done, the puppies finally stop drinking their mother's milk, period. They begin to move from breast milk to solid foods, a process known as weaning, around 3 weeks to 4 weeks of age. Before long, those little ones aren't going to breastfeed their mother at all. Instead, they will eat puppy food.
The recommended time to wean puppies is from 3 weeks of age and can last until puppies are around 7 to 8 weeks old. The exact age at which a puppy should stop drinking milk and switch to solid foods will vary depending on the dog's breed, but it's usually between 6 and 7 weeks after birth. During the first month of your puppies life, there is no need to give them anything other than the milk they receive directly from mom. Puppies need food and warmth, so when the mother temporarily moves away from them, they group together to compensate for the loss of heat provided by their fur.
Puppies will drink milk for the first few weeks of life until they are old enough to make the transition to solid foods. Puppies are born with very little natural immunity and will not fully develop immunity until around 16 weeks of age. Puppies younger than 12 weeks of age should eat foods specifically made for them, rather than food for adult dogs. It is very important for puppies to follow a healthy diet, as they grow very quickly and require a lot of nutrients.
For the first few weeks of life, newborn puppies rely on breast milk for food and survival. Puppies should be fully weaned by 8 weeks of age, so there is usually no need to moisten their food or give them formula. When they are approximately 3 weeks old, you can introduce water to puppies by providing them with a shallow bowl of water outside the farrowing box or sleeping area. During the early stages of weaning puppies from wet food, you will notice significant changes in them, which can occur from day to day.
At this point, milk is no longer needed, and puppies are ready to start “real food and water only” diets. At this point, puppies should have developed full teeth and be able to eat dry food without any additional fluids.