Suckling is an annoying and potentially harmful activity that pups tend to indulge in. So how do you stop a dog from suckling? We have all the answers you need below.
The first three to four months of puppies after their birth are an important phase of their development and a time when we should be paying proper attention to their diet and health.
Puppies learn a lot from their mother, and we must give them enough time with their mother who can teach them to be independent. After the first three weeks, you should start weaning your pups away from their mother’s breast and towards solid food, so that they can learn how to survive.
In this article, we will discuss what you should keep in mind while weaning puppies and answer questions like how do you stop a dog from suckling and other essential matters.
Why Does My Dog Try To Nurse?
It is a familiar feeling, like suckling on their mother’s milk.
Puppies find it easier to feed on their mother’s milk and it is part of their instincts too. The habit of suckling is more visible in dogs separated earlier from their mother.
They tend to suck on blankets and toys that give them a familiar feeling. This may not be a problem at first, but excessive and improper suckling can also cause them to harm if they chew or suck on dangerous items.
The suckling process in dogs can be categorized into Canine compulsive behaviors and Flank Suckling.
Canine Compulsive Behavior
Canine behavior is expected and easier to control behaviors in which the dogs tend to suck on objects occasionally like blankets and toys.
Flank suckling is an obsessive behavior and is why you worry. It is characterized by addictive and compulsive behavior toward suckling and can be a reason for you to worry. You should consult your vet if you can find your puppies or dogs to be over-sucking on objects that they find nearby them.
Why Do Dogs Flank Suckle?
Stress and anxiety are the common reasons behind why dogs start suckling
As we have mentioned, suckling is not a harmful behavior, but if it is a case of flank suckling, then you need to be more careful with your dog. Let’s discuss some of the reasons which have triggered the flank suckling in your dog:
The most common reason behind this behavior is stress, anxiety, loneliness, and boredom. If your dog has to be alone for extended times, then it may develop unusual habits as time-pass.
A premature separation from their mother can also trigger the process of suckling. Most dogs start suckling on soft objects like blankets and toys to experience a similar feeling as breastfeeding, and as time goes on, this habit becomes permanent in them.
Early weaning and past trauma can also cause this disorder in dogs. Most puppies have to go through a rough childhood feeding experience due to the number of cousins.
Should I Stop My Dog From Suckling?
If it’s a controlled manner, there is no need. If it is happening too often follow the steps given below.
Suckling is quite common, and you may find your dog suckling on objects like blankets, toys, soft things, and even on their own body.
If the suckling is not too often and in a controlled manner, then it is not a problem. Problems arise from the upbringing they received in their childhood and how their mother fed them, and whether or not they were weaned away properly.
How to stop dogs from suckling?
There can be a lot of reasons that can trigger suckling in dogs. In puppies, the most common cause is the treatment they receive while breastfeeding. Some puppies have to fight off their cousin for breastfeeding, making them a little more inclined toward suckling.
If you have an older dog, you may have to look for reasons behind their suckling to prepare a cure for them. You should follow the points given below to help your dog from stopping unfettered suckling:
- Give them proper attention and time, as some dogs might also start suckling on objects out of boredom or anxiety.
- Give your dog a good chance to socialize and meet other dogs as most little dogs imitate their parent’s behavior and learn a lot from them.
- If your dog is still at a growing age, then it is better to give them as much time as possible with older and well-mannered dogs.
- You can also try looking for hints in the object they suck on and try finding a typical pattern behind their behavior.
- Try spending more time with your dog and keep them distracted from their suckling habits.
- You can also try replacing the familiar toys they suck on with new ones to change the environment.
What Is Nooking?
Nooking is the same as suckling, but specifically for Weimaraner dogs.
Nooking is a state of behavior in which the dogs suck on stuffed toys and other soft objects around them. This behavior is a little species-specific as it is most common in Weimaraner dogs.
This behavior is not a dangerous trait, but the pet guardians should keep a close eye on them, and if the cases seem to be more frequent, it is better to consult a vet.
Suckling Habits in Weimaraner Dog
Weimaraner dogs are slightly different from usual dogs. These puppies are born with striped skins, and in most cases, the strips disappear a few days after their birth.
They also have very particular eye color, as it can change as they mature. Usually, a Weimaraner dog is born with blue eyes, which later change to gray or amber.
Suckling is a common trait among these dogs, and they tend to pick up habits more quickly than the others. If you have a Weimaraner, then you can easily prevent the bad habit of suckling by keeping them in a controlled fashion during their development age.
Other Questions About Nursing in Dogs
How long do puppies try to nurse?
Ideally, nursing should slowly reduce after the first three to four weeks.
Puppies are very tender creatures, and if they are not given proper care, they may also develop some permanent issues like malnutrition and lousy digestion. It is necessary that you let your dog feed for 3 to 4 weeks only on mother’s milk and don’t feed them any extra food.
As they grow, you can start by adding tiny doses of hard food materials to their diet. You can boil them or soften them or mix some puppy food for your younger dogs to make them independent and give them proper nutrients for their growth.
How often should 5-week old puppies nurse?
Feeding your dog properly at an early age and helping them build a proper eating habit is very necessary while you still have the chance. It would help if you aimed to feed them at least three times a day.
Try bringing food near them in timed intervals and observe the amount they feed on and how much time they take before getting hungry. You can time their meal according to their hunger pattern and provide them with an essential diet and nutrients so that you don’t overfeed them and neither causes any malnutrition.
A Few Final Words
Puppies are the easiest to drain, and with a well-mannered dog by your side, that process becomes far easier. Suckling is a prevalent trait among puppies and dogs, and there is nothing to worry about until it becomes aggressive or offensive behavior in them.
By spending some time with your dog, you can observe them more closely and prevent any unhealthy habits from developing in them.
The responsibilities of a pet guardian are many, and taking care of their mental state is undoubtedly one of the essential ones. Habits and traits in dogs and other animals are triggered by their experience and traumas, and we should avoid making them go through that can cause any long-term effect in them.
Thank you for reading the article, You might also like to read about: How To Stop Puppies From Trying To Nurse