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Weaning

Weaning a Chihuahua Puppy

Overview 

A Chihuahua pup is a tiny dog: only 1/4 to 1/2 pound (.11 to .226 kg) in weight and extremely sensitive to the new world that he has entered.

Weaning this little dog is an important aspect of helping him grow from puppy to adult dog.

From 18 months until 3 years old, your Chihuahua will be considered an adolescent; Nevertheless rules and guidelines for an adult dog will apply such as feeding, grooming, vet visits and more.

A Chihuahua puppy should never leave its litter before 8 weeks old. If undersized, a Chi puppy may need to remain with the dam up until he is 12 weeks old. The pup will receive the nutrients it needs from dam's milk and have time to become skilled at some behavior rules to grow enough to join your family. 
Tiny Chihuahua newborn puppy
Chihuahua Weaning Age & Early Weaning

As time is moving forward for a Chihuahua puppy to leave its mother, between 8 to 12 weeks old ( the older age of 12 weeks being for very small Chi) there will be a big change to make. 

The pup will be going from the security of lying close to its mother to being out in the "real" world with its new owner. 

One of the biggest adjustments will be the switch of weaning the puppy. This begins when the puppy is 3 to 4 weeks old. Never begin this process earlier than this

If you are in charge of the weaning process, it is up to you to make sure that it is done properly. If someone has no practice in this responsibility and does not carefully follow the step-by-step procedures of this weaning method, the Chihuahua being weaned will be in danger.
Not only because the puppy must have the proper amount of nutrients but because early weaning can result in health issues later. A pup that is weaned premature and does not have a smooth changeover from mother's milk to solid food can end up with food allergies.

Canines allergies can become a big concern for the owners of the dog; as they must be extremely attentive in regards to what the dog eats most likely for the rest of his life.

If you are owner to both mom and pup, be very careful when you feed the mother. A puppy can eat her food out of curiosity and end up with a very upset tummy at the least. It is the water dish that poses the most danger.

Chihuahua puppies are so small from just 1/4 pound to 1/2 pound (.11 to .226 kg) and can very easily drown in the water. If it seems unlikely, think again. All a pup must do is play around, crawl on top of its brothers and sister and end up in the dish.
So, to take all correct precautions, you must keep the adult dog food and water away! Only take it to the mother dog when it is feeding time and keep your eyes on the Chihuahua puppies at all times.

How to Wean

The adjustment of weaning a Chihuahua puppy from milk to solid food is a huge step. It is a good idea to carefully chose the brand of puppy food that you wish the Chi to be on.  That will be your base for weaning. 

The goal is to add warm water or milk replacer to the food.  You will want to mix it thoroughly, adding liquid as you go. 

The right consistency will be akin to a mushy, thick soup. 

The very first bite will be not much more than a tiny nibble.  The pup will sniff and be very curious, but sometimes shy about chewing and swallowing the food.  On Day 1, be please if a teaspoon is ingested. This is just the beginning and is a good start. 

Every few days, add less water or replacer to the food.  As you go along, you will find that you do not need to put any additional liquid in the dish.
Remember just how tiny the stomach of a Chi puppy is... It is very common for owners to worry that the puppy is not eatingwhen in fact he or she is. The fact of the matter is that a tiny 4 to 6 week pup is only going to be able to ingest perhaps 1/8 to 1/4 cup of food per meal.

While you are paying attention to feeding the Chihuahua puppies, this will give the dam a good opportunity to leave for a bit. She will be very exhausted and in need of some alone time; much like a human mother who just needs to get away for a few moments to regroup.  Separating her from her pups will also allow her body to gradually stop producing milk.

As time goes by, the weaning puppies will become accustomed  to having their mom gone for a longer and longer period of time.

Simultaneously, the weaning puppies will become more adjusted to your presence. This will continue on like a domino affect, until they are completely ready to move out on their own.
To Recap

This is a slow, gradual process and while you will want to see improvement and tolerance with solid food each day, it is not uncommon for a Chihuahua puppy to have little set backs.  Transitioning from a liquid diet to a solid one may have its hiccups along the way.

Never rush things and don't hesitate to put things on pause if the pup needs a few days with no increases of solid food.  It is important to find the right balance of offering a bit more, a little at a time but being aware of what a tiny pup can handle. 

Don't forget, that with the The GIANT Book of Chihuahua Care you'll learn all of the details of newborn Chihuahua care & tons of information that only the Pros know.
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