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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
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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.

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folder What do I need to know before I get a new pet?

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folder Companion animals -> Dogs -> Puppies

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