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Weaning Pomeranian Puppies


A Pomeranian puppy is a fragile, tiny creature: only 1/2 to 1 pound (.22 to .45 kilograms) in weight and extremely sensitive to the new world that he has entered. Weaning this fluff ball is an important aspect of helping him mature from newborn to puppy. 

A Pomeranian puppy should not leave its litter before eight weeks old. Doing so is a crime in many states. This gives the pup enough time to become strong, be eating well and to be able to safely leave the dam. 

If a Pom pup weaned late, into the 7 or 8 week range, some breeders will then hold onto the puppy until the 10 or 12 week mark, to make sure that he's doing well on solid food before going to his new home. 
newborn Pomeranian puppy
Happy Feet, 3 weeks old
Photo courtesy of owner: Lora Vadasan
Age of Weaning

When it is time for a Pomeranian puppy to leave its mother, between 8 to 12 weeks old, there will be a big adjustment to make.

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

Nature has some say in making this big step happen; the dam will begin to nurse less. Owners of newborns will then step in to gradually help the pup become accustomed to solid food. It is done incrementally since a quick transition would cause many issues. And this is the weaning process.
If this happens too early or if the transition from fluids to solids does not go smoothly, the Pomeranian can have stomach issues such as trouble holding down food and intestinal distress. It is also thought that early weaning may cause food allergies; though much more study needs to go into this theory.

Allergies can become a big issue for the owners of the dog; as they must be extremely vigilant in regards to what the dog eats, most likely for the rest of his life.

The normal age to begin weaning a Pomeranian puppy is at the 4 week old mark. If the pup is underweight, has health issues or struggles with this, it may be delayed until week 5.

A puppy will be weaned for just about 3 weeks. By the age of 7 weeks old, he should be completely on solid food. 
There are some late bloomers that will not be ready until week 8 or so, and those are the ones that usually go to new homes a bit later than others.

If you are owner to both dam and puppy, be very careful with the placement of the dam's food and water bowl. A puppy can eat her food out of curiosity and end up with a very upset tummy at the least. And adult sized water dishes are potential drowning dangers. 

Pomeranian puppies are so small from just 1/2 pound to 1 pound (.22 to .45 kilograms) 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.

It is best to feed the dam separately or only bring her the dish when she has her meals and keep your eyes on the puppies at all times.
3 week old newborn Pomeranian
3 week old newborn pup
Photo courtesy of Carol Keen
How to Wean

With healthy, standard sized Pom puppies at the 4 week mark, the dam will begin to nurse less and the puppies - now walking and able to explore more - will have enough curiosity to investigate and try to eat other foods.

The adjustment of weaning a Pomeranian puppy from milk to dog food is a huge step. To try and prevent possible stomach upset, it is best to use the same food brand that has been being fed to the dam. Mix a quality canine milk replacer with this and blend well. You will want the consistency to resemble a thick soup.

Place this into a shallow dish that easily allows the puppy to reach it. He may poke his nose into it and lap a bit to check it out... and in most cases he will try some.

If not, take a small spoon (baby spoons work well) and encourage him to have small tastes. While young puppies should be free-fed (food is left out at all times) when you first begin weaning, it is often best to supervise a puppy and then remove the dish when he is done. If not, he may make quite a mess playing with it as much as eating it. Offer this solid-mushy paste food every couple of hours.
5 week old Pomeranian puppy
Photo courtesy of owner: Kacy Watson
Every 4 to 5 days, add a tiny bit less milk replacement until the Pom is able to eat and digest fully solid food.

While you are paying attention to feeding the puppies, this will give their mother 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. 

As time goes by, the pups will get used to having their mother gone for a longer and longer period of time. 

Simultaneously, they 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.
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