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Puppies: When and How to Stop Nursing from Their Mother

The Importance of Weaning Puppies

Puppies are adorable little creatures that bring joy and warmth into our lives. As they grow, one important milestone is the weaning process, which involves transitioning them from their mother’s milk to solid food. Weaning is a crucial step in a puppy’s development as it helps them develop proper eating habits, strengthens their overall health, and prepares them for a life without their mother. In this article, we will explore when and how to stop puppies from nursing their mother.

When to Start the Weaning Process

The weaning process typically begins between the ages of three to four weeks. At this point, puppies’ teeth are starting to grow, enabling them to chew on soft foods. It’s important to initiate weaning gradually by introducing solid food while still allowing the puppies to nurse from their mother.

Introducing Solid Food

When introducing solid food to puppies, it is best to start with a high-quality puppy-specific food. These foods are formulated to provide the necessary nutrients for their growing bodies. Before serving the food, moisten it with warm water or puppy formula to make it easier for the puppies to eat. You can also try mashing the food into a paste-like consistency.

Creating a Special Feeding Area

To make the weaning process smoother, it’s helpful to create a designated feeding area for the puppies. This area should be separate from where their mother eats and should be easily accessible for the puppies. Use shallow dishes to serve the food, making it more accessible for them to reach.

Encouraging the Transition

At first, the puppies may not show much interest in the solid food. However, you can encourage them by dabbing a bit of the moistened food on their lips or allowing them to lick it off your finger. This helps them associate the taste and smell of the food with something positive. Gradually, they will begin to explore and consume the food on their own.

Phasing Out Nursing Sessions

As the puppies become more comfortable with solid food, you can gradually decrease the frequency of nursing sessions. Start by offering solid food before nursing, allowing them to fill up on the new food first. Over time, reduce the number of nursing sessions until they are fully transitioned to solid food.

Monitoring Their Health and Development

Throughout the weaning process, it’s crucial to monitor the puppies’ health and development. Make sure they are gaining weight appropriately and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns. Additionally, observe their behavior during feeding to ensure they are eating without any difficulties.

Celebrating a Successful Transition

Weaning is an exciting milestone for both the puppies and the pet owner. Once the puppies have successfully transitioned to solid food, make sure to celebrate their achievement. Give them praise and rewards to reinforce their positive behavior.


Weaning puppies from their mother is a significant step in their development. By gradually introducing solid food and reducing nursing sessions, we can help them transition to a diet that supports their growth and overall health. Remember to monitor their progress and consult with a veterinarian if needed. This journey may have its challenges, but with patience and care, we can ensure that the puppies thrive and grow into happy and healthy adult dogs.


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