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How old should a puppy be before they are adopted/purchased?

Article ID: 311
Last updated: 01 Sep, 2009
Revision: 1
Views: 78928

Puppies gradually wean off their mother's milk at around 8-12 weeks of age. By this time they are ready to eat puppy food and will be spending most of their time away from their mother, playing, eating and sleeping.

RSPCA Australia considers the minimum acceptable age for a puppy to be removed from the mother dog for adoption or purchase to be 8 weeks of age.

Waiting until the puppy is at least 8 weeks of age will help to ensure that the puppy has received an adequate supply of milk from the mother dog. Milk contains important nutrients needed for normal puppy growth and development and confers a certain degree of immunity to disease (puppies will still need to be vaccinated, please see your local vet for details). There may be certain circumstances where puppies are weaned earlier than this, such as when they are orphaned or require intensive care.

This website provides general information which must not be relied upon or regarded as a substitute for specific professional advice, including veterinary advice. We make no warranties that the website is accurate or suitable for a person's unique circumstances and provide the website on the basis that all persons accessing the website responsibly assess the relevance and accuracy of its content.
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document What do I need to know before I get a new pet?

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How old should a kitten be before they are adopted/purchased?     I'm looking for a new pet, where should I go?