The period of breastfeeding is a key moment in a puppy’s life, which grows strong and learns behaviors for the future.
Weaning of puppies should not occur before the little ones reach two months of life. In this period, the mother closes strong ties with the infants through breastfeeding. Feeding on the dog’s milk helps puppies develop a stronger immune system while they learn to be self-sufficient.
After birth, the dog has the hard task of milk production. It is one of the moments of the animal’s life when it needs more energy: breastfeeding puppies is an exhausting job that will last at least six weeks. The mother’s good diet at this time of breeding should be taken care of with special contributions. It is a vital issue for her, since the supply of breast milk to newborns begins very shortly after birth, with all the wear and tear that will entail.
Breastfeeding strengthens the puppy
The dog’s first breast milk, also called colostrum, brings great benefits to the puppy, especially if ingested in the first 24 hours of life. Almost 90% of colostrum is water. And it is in the remaining 10% where the puppy finds the valuable nutrients it needs: proteins and fats, almost equally. Maternal colostrum provides antibodies to the still immature immune system of neonates and also agents that fight against microbes (antimicrobials).
Colostrum also enhances the bowel defenses of still vulnerable puppies and promotes their maturation. This immune immaturity requires that we maintain good hygiene around puppies. The growth of small infants also finds an ally in this first breast milk, which contains growth factors and actively contributes to tissue repair.
Distribute colostrum among all
All newborns should take colostrum and, later, breast milk, so it is advisable to monitor the feeding of the little ones in these first days of life and ensure that all reach the mother’s nipples. Puppies’ access to the necessary daily supply of milk is important for them to take the amount of sugars they require. Milk, which is currently their only food, provides them with lactose, or milk sugar.
Learning for the future
With three or four weeks of life, the dog puppy already begins to imitate his mother’s eating habits. It is not uncommon to start chopping solid food from the dog feeder. The female, as a good mother, will guide the pups to weaning with wise behaviors: she will regurgitate part of the food to give it to the little ones. This moment announces the sign of