Right now, this topic will have umpteen answers, depending on where you look! I have always been and advocated weaning onto species appropriate raw foods 4 weeks+, after further insight and a video via Healthful Dog’s Youtube Channel. I now know you can transition much earlier, from 2-3 weeks, as that’s exactly when Wolf Pups (And other wild Canids) start eating whole foods, in a form of “Regurgitation” from their father/mother, or they may drag a whole carcass back. (This has even been witnessed in Conservation (Captive) environments) They will still suckle from their mother within the period too!
Here is other videos of Puppies eating what Nature Intended! (Note: I may not agree with what their saying or i may, but its the weaning age that i’m highlighting)
What do the Conventional Vets recommend?
Most Veterinarians will advise AGAINST a species appropriate diet full stop, but there are some that just advise transitioning from a formulated dry food from 12 Months +, the reason behind this is because getting a Pups Nutrition right in development is 100% Crucial!! If you don’t get this right feeding a homemade or commercial fresh food diet, you can open a can of worms so to speak by kick starting predisposed (Hereditary) conditions such as Hip Dysplasia, Osteoporosis and many more, these are down to getting an imbalance of Phosphorus:Calcium!
Here’s an example of what can happen with this imbalance (But not the only cause), This dog suffers from a term called “knuckling under” but don’t worry, this can be corrected!
Now if you took the above dog to the Vets, and said you fed a fresh food diet, it’s no wonder they get their back up as this could of been avoided (in their eyes), if you fed formulated puppy dry food, which is how he’she has been trained to advise and recommend upon, now very few vets would know how to rectify this condition with a fresh food diet , therefore they only use dry foods, synthetically balanced and formulated to get the results, regardless of side effects such as yeast issues.
Here is the FEDIAF Nutritional Requirement Guide for Puppies <14 Weeks
Conclusion: Breeders can wean dogs from 2/3 weeks of age, If anyone has a pregnant bitch and wants to know more about how to give her the best Nutrition in order to support Gestation and Lactation, along with how to provide and adequate diet to wean her pups on to then please get in touch or subscribe.
Michael K A Bennett- BCCSDip.HthNut
Canine + Nutrition and Welfare Fanatic