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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Solid decision

Dear Dogs Today,

I picked up your magazine as we’ve put our names down for a Cocker Spaniel pup when the litter is born later in the year and before we welcome him into our family I’m doing all the research possible. I hope you can help me please.

We’re first-time dog owners and I’m unsure of how best to introduce our pup onto the food we’ll be feeding him. At what age do pups start eating dog food, and should I ask the breeder to start feeding our choice of food while he is still too young to leave his mum? If so, what age is this?

Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanking you in advance.

Sarah Lane, by email


  1. Christine Bailey3 July 2013 at 04:14

    This really depends on mum - usually she will start to nurse less when the pups are around five weeks I think - when they get teeth and it becomes more painful to suckle! Breeders will introduce a puppy feed around this time to supplement the milk. I am getting a pup soon; mum was still giving the odd short feed at seven weeks. Whether you can take your own choice of feed again depends on the breeder - if she has a litter of eight and each owner wants different ones it could get a bit complicated! The breeder I am using is great and is feeding my own - a raw complete puppy feed.

  2. It depends on the mother and puppies in question but most puppies will start taking more solid food at around 4 weeks of age when their teeth start to erupt and suckling becomes a little painful for the mother. Most breeders will have a tried and tested food that they like to start their puppies on and will often recommend this continues once you bring the puppy home.
    It depends on the breeder but I don’t see any harm in asking them to start your puppy off on your food of choice. Puppies usually stay with their mother until they are 8 to 12 weeks old again it depends on the puppy your breeder will be able to advise on this.

  3. I would expect your pup to come with a decent amount of the food he is used to. Don't change it all at once - it should be a very gradual introduction. Bit difficult to ask the breeder to feed different pups different diets! I would also hope you would feel confident with the feeding programme your breeder is using.