Weaning, the process of teaching your puppy to eat solid food, is an important phase of Shih Tzu development. As the puppy grows, it will require more food than the mother can provide. The mother will begin to wean the puppy on her own; however, you can participate in the weaning process by offering your puppy a healthy alternative to its mother's milk.
Separate your puppy from its mother for 15 minutes a day. Place the puppy in an enclosed area.
Offer your puppy a mixture of water and canned puppy food in a bowl. If the puppy does not begin to lick the food from the bowl, put some canned food on your finger and place it up to your puppy's mouth. After licking your fingers, your puppy should be more interested in the food.
Reduce the amount of water that you add to the puppy food. You want to do this gradually as your Shih Tzu shows greater interest in the canned food.
Increase the canned feeding sessions to two sessions per day. Each session should last only fifteen minutes and occur at the same times each day. Immediately remove the bowl with the puppy food mixture after the 15 minutes is up.
Leave a bowl of food out, with no added water, during the last week of the weaning process. This will occur around week eight at which time your puppy should be eating solid food regularly.
You should start weaning your puppy when it is three to five weeks old. Be patient with your puppy. Moving too fast can cause stomach troubles. The weaning process is a gradual one and the more patience you exercise, the better it will be for your puppy. Buy high quality puppy food to prevent digestion problems or stomach aches. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.