The Transition from Liquid to Solid Dog Food
If whole cow's milk is used, one-half teaspoonful of butter should be added for every eight ounces of milk.
After the puppies have lapped fluid only for two or three days, a small amount of the meal fed to the grown dogs is sifted into the milk through a fine-meshed sieve. This addition is in a very small amount at the start and is increased from day to day. By the time the bitch has stopped feeding them, they are getting a large percentage of solid food.
When the transition from liquid to solid food is gradual and is carried out while the puppies are still receiving an appreciable amount of milk from the dam, the chances of digestive upsets are much smaller. This method also affords the bitch more comfort, for if the puppies are left to feed on her alone as her milk supply is dwindling instead of growing to meet their increased appetites, they not only lacerate her nipples badly but they drain her system of a great deal of vitality. This energy could well be used to her own advantage in re* covering from her whelping.
My puppies are fed four times a day from the time they are weaned until they are three months old, and their feeding schedule begins when they are first taught to lap. They get their first meal of the day in the early morning, the next at noon, the third when the older dogs are feeding around six o'clock, and the last one around midnight. These times may be set to suit the individual breeder, but adhering to a rigid schedule is very necessary. Do not feed at one hour one day and at a different time the next. Puppies are like babies—the more care taken to provide proper diet and regular feeding, the healthier the growing youngster will be.
I do not advise confining the bitch with the puppies. They will only make her life miserable, and she is more likely to turn against them. Neither should she be shut away from them. The best plan is leave her free to come and go, so that she may feed them when she feels the desire to do so.