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When a litter of puppies is born, potential pet owners are only too eager to bring one of them home. Mother dogs often don’t get to raise their puppies because breeders and pet owners usually sell or donate their puppies. Although it’s tempting to want to give the puppies away to loving families, it is crucial that dog litter separation occurs during the most appropriate time.
This crucial time period occurs from the moment the puppies are born to the day when they’re old enough to separate from their mom. It’s necessary for the puppies to spend a certain amount of time with their siblings and mother, prior to separation. If this special time is not given, the puppy may develop various physical and psychological problems later on. The same effects can occur in the mother dog as well.
When Is The Right Time To Separate A Puppy From The Litter?
Just like a human baby, puppies are entirely dependent on their mother for nourishment and physical contact. This dependency lasts for a couple of weeks. It is during this time that the puppy will learn valuable social skills from his siblings and mother. These skills are necessary for good social development. For instance, a puppy will learn by playing with his/her sisters and brothers. It will learn things like when playtime is too rough or when biting is not good.
It is also during this time that pet breeders and dog owners should interact with these newly born puppies. It will help get familiar with human contact. Each puppy should get quality individual attention on a regular basis. Engage in an interaction like cuddling, playing, petting, etc. This positive interaction will enable them to interact with their potential owners.
Therefore, the best age for separating a puppy from its mother and siblings is between 6 to 8 weeks after its birth. This time frame is also on par with the mother’s supplemental feeding; a time when the puppies start to wean off their mother’s milk supply. To improve weaning, you can supplement the puppy’s diet and reduce the frequency of nursing by introducing food. This helps the mother’s milk supply dry up naturally during the 6 to 8 week time period.
When Is The Wrong Time To Separate A Puppy From Its Mother & Litter?
When a puppy is weaned abruptly from its mother’s milk supply, it will lead to congestion of the mother’s mammary glands. This is a very painful condition that can lead to mastitis or inflammatory mammary glands.
Other behavioral and health problems that might occur in later life include:
– The puppy may have reduced learning ability.
– The dog may develop nervousness from the trauma of early separation.
– The puppy may become vulnerable to disease due to a lack of nourishment from absent mother’s milk.
– The puppy may also inherit poor health. When you bring your puppy home at the right time, he or she will have an easier time adjusting to your family.