Round The Table

Question: What is the best way to wean puppies

Answered by: Wayne King - King's Pet

Weaning puppies is a gradual process which usually takes place from 4-8 weeks of age. Puppies will initially start to investigate soft puppy food, in addition to suckling from their mother. It is import to introduce a good puppy chow at a young age.

Later in the process they will start eating kibble, although these are often soaked to begin with. By the end of the weaning process, the puppy will no longer be feeding from their mother and should be able to toilet independently. Different breeders might favor a different timetable for the weaning process, depending on the size of the litter and breed your working with.

From three or four weeks of age, encourage the puppies to try soft, moist puppy food, or prepare their dinner by softening dry puppy food with hot water, mash it up and cool to body temperature. Feed it in a wide, shallow bowl for easy access. It can be quite a messy process initially as the puppies climb into the bowl and explore their food. Be prepared to clean them up afterwards! Until this time, mother’s milk provides hydration and nutrition, so from around three weeks ensure the puppies have access to a shallow dish of fresh water.

The puppies may initially be a little apprehensive, but after watching their mother, they will get used to the new flavors. It’s best to feed little and often to suit their tiny stomachs. With time, the meals can be fed less often and the amounts increased, according to recommended feeding instructions. Puppies can gradually move away from eating moist or softened food to eventually only being fed dry food, by gradually adding less water, if that is your preference.

Additional Tips: Make Sure everyone gets their share

Don’t mind the mess

Use Heavier bowls for food & water

Jack russel eating from a transparent bowl

If a dog has brucellosis, can they still have puppies?

Answered by: Dr. Dianne: New Holland Veterinary

Breeding a dog that you know has brucellosis is a very bad idea, and should never even be considered. If you know or have reason to believe you may have a dog or any number of dogs that have brucellosis, working with a licensed vet that is capable of handling a brucellosis outbreak is the only right way to handle the situation. Because of the seriousness of the situation, euthanizing is usually the only option.

If the question is whether or not to use reproduction as a positive indicator that your dog does or doesn’t have brucellosis, the short answer is no. While brucellosis does affect the reproduction system in both males and females, them being able to reproduce does not make them brucellosis clear. A male or female can have brucellosis and not show any signs, so again, do not use their ability to reproduce as a sign that they are brucellosis clear.

I’m a small breeder in NY and would like to become licensed and inspected. What should I do and where should I start?

Answered by: Lawrence Weaver: NYPPBA President

The first thing we suggest is to reach out to NYPPBA at 607-243-3796 and talk to the KMA Chairman. The KMA program is set up to assist NYPPBA members with compliance and regulation issues and requirements. This is a great way to get started, as they can shed lots of light on what will pass, what it takes, and what to expect during an inspection.

One thing to check into is the township regulations in your area. They may require a permit in order for you to own or build a kennel. Making any type of blanket statements as far as township rules is not wise, as it varies greatly from township to township.

The state and USDA have specific requirements in order to be a licensed and inspected facility. Again, because of the various different things coming into play, such as retailing versus wholesaling, the best thing to do is to become a member of NYPPBA and utilize their great resources.

chocolate dog looking at the horizon
Different dog foods in bowls. Top view.

What do I look for in a good dog food?

Answered by: Chuck Holt: New Now Services

1. It is important to know where you protein is coming from. A single source protein dog food is best. Real meal, poultry, or fish should be the first ingredient. If the protein is chicken, for example, you want the first ingredient to be chicken. Chicken meal is also good. You want to stay away from chicken by product and meat meal or meat by products. 

2. Analyze the Kcal’s per serving. The higher the number, the less dog food the dog needs to eat. The number should be at least 400 or more. If going with a grain, they need to be healthy grains. No corn, soy, or wheat. 

3. Holistic and Natural with added vitamins and minerals. 

4. No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Medical Check

What do I look for in a good dog food?

Answered by: Ivan Lee Stoltzfus: Juru Industries

This question could be part of a bigger conversation, and can definitely be answered from a few different angles. The best way I can think to answer this is to break it down into a few different scenarios.

#1 You as the dog breeder have not insured that your puppy is free of parasites and things like giardia before it went to its new home. You have done what was required and nothing more. You have no signed contract or health guarantee stating clearly what is and what is not covered. In this scenario, the easiest and best way to handle this is to pay up and learn from the mistake, because you have nothing to go back to or stand on. It’s your word against the customer’s.

#2 You have a signed contract or health guarantee stating clearly what is and what is not covered. You have tested and confirmed before the puppy left that it has no giardia, and you have records of that. You have the puppy on a gut support or digestive health supplement, because you know that will decrease the odds of this happening. You make the diet that the puppy is on very available to the new customer. In this scenario, you have reduced the odds of this puppy getting sick dramatically, and you can usually explain to the customer that once the puppy leaves it is out of your control.

Either way, understand that having upset customers is not fun or sustainable in the long haul, nor is it “Christ like.” Be clear before you sell the puppy, and then regardless of what happens, treat your customers with respect.

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