How Our Puppies Are Raised
Puppies are weaned by their mothers when the dam is ready, which is usually when the puppies leave us. Even though 95+% of the puppies’ nutrition comes from solid food, at 8 weeks they still appreciate the closeness of nursing on their mom.
At 3 weeks, puppies are introduced to semi-solid food – plain yogurt, raw eggs, and raw ground meat — which they all love. By 4 weeks, they are hungrily chewing up chicken wings, small hunks of raw chicken and beef in 4 or 5 feedings per day. They eat the same raw meats I feed the adult dogs, along with probiotic sprinkles on their food (I use Wysong’s “Call of the Wild”, which has calcium, other minerals, and vitamins just to make sure they get all the nutrients they need).
By 6 weeks, they are chomping up raw chicken drumsticks, large hunks of beef heart, and meaty beef bones in 3 meals a day, which I maintain till about 4 months of age. I also give them raw eggs with some of the shell smashed in the bowl (egg shells are calcium carbonate) and yogurt from time to time. Because we grow avocados, papayas, and bananas, puppies are introduced to fruits in small quantities, which they generally like.
As the puppies grow larger from 6 to 8 weeks, the chicken pieces need to get bigger (thighs and drumsticks, not wings) and they need larger hunks of other meats and meaty bones. Do not give puppies small pieces they are tempted to swallow whole, or they may choke. They need to chew up their meaty bones.
By 4 or 5 months of age, puppies are usually ready to go to 2 meals a day until 12 months of age. Individual puppies may need to keep a 3-meal a day schedule until 6 months. If they are hungry in the middle of the day, it’s okay to feed them.
Puppies get their first inoculations and thorough vet examinations at 8 weeks. They are sent to their new families with health certificates and a schedule of inoculations at 12 and 16 weeks they will need to be fully immunized.
From 4 to 8 weeks, the puppies are introduced to the other dogs and put in the house yard to play (dig, wrestle, jump, chase, etc.). They are socialized from birth to be friendly, calm, fearless, and well-behaved (mostly) babies. They know the sounds of the vacuum cleaner, telephone, television, children’s voices, and many adults in conversation. In brief, they are prepared to be family companions.