Round The Table

Question: How early can I feed my puppies wet food, and will it harm them if I give at too early of an age?

In my experience as a dog breeder the litter will give plenty of indications when they are ready to start eating a soft food often called a “gruel”. I often find this time/age can be different based on several factors.

Answered By: Stacy Mason

In my experience as a dog breeder the litter will give plenty of indications when they are ready to start eating a soft food often called a “gruel”. I often find this time/age can be different based on several factors.

1. The breed – Some breeds start to wean earlier than others.

2. Size of litter – Small litters and large litters can affect the weaning age of a litter

3. Quantity of milk – Some Dams would keep their puppies until they are old and grey if they could. Some Dams just don’t have a good milk supply, so this can necessitate earlier weaning.

4. The puppy’s tummy – Puppies are born to drink their mother’s milk and as they grow and have changes in their bodies which allow them to process, digest and utilize food other than milk. This change will be different in every single puppy. Trying to wean a puppy too early can be fatal.

5. Availability of milk – Some Dams want the litter to wean earlier than others. If the Dam no longer wants the puppies and they are not physically ready to move to a more solid diet you may need to bottle feed or pan feed a milk substitute until the puppies are ready for a gruel.

I like to crush the puppy food I will be feeding into a powder. Then I put 4 to 6 tablespoons of the powdered puppy food into a low sided dish. Then I add some lukewarm water. The younger the puppies and the first feeding or two I make the gruel thinner and then thicken it up as the puppies get better at eating. I prefer to use a “flying saucer” type of a dish. This type of a dish has a raised center, which helps to keep the puppies out of the center of the bowl and it does help to keep them a little cleaner. I introduce the puppies to the food one at a time.

I do this by tapping on the food dish 3 times with a spoon and say “Here puppy, puppy.” Then I sit the puppy in front of the dish. I use the spoon to bring food up to the puppy’s mouth. This helps to teach the puppy that food comes from humans and food is good. It also teaches them to sit for food. I do this with each puppy. Next, I let them eat what they want. Because wet food can spoil and/or go rancid very quickly, I NEVER EVER leave the food down for more than 20 minutes. This 20-minute time includes the soaking time, which is why I prefer to powder the food in the beginning. After the puppies have had time to roll around in, sleep in and eat what they can, I let the Dam back in with the puppies and let her clean up the puppies and the dish. Be careful, as some Dams do what we call resource guarding (which is not a desirable trait) around food and will even do it with their puppies. If you have a Dam like this, move the remaining food to her and then let her in with puppies to clean them up after she is finished cleaning up the dish of gruel.

Hungry dog with sad eyes is waiting for feeding at kitchen. Cute labrador retriever is holding dog bowl in his mouth at home.

What is the CHIC Certification Program?

The OFA created the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) by partnering with participating parent clubs to research and maintain information on the health issues prevalent in specific breeds. We’ve established a recommended protocol for breed-specific health screenings. Dogs tested in accordance with that protocol are recognized with a CHIC number and certification. 

At OFA, we recognize that the more information stored and accessible in these databases, the better it will be for every breed. And so, we encourage all breeders to attain CHIC Certification if their breed participates in the CHIC program. A dog achieves CHIC Certification if it has been screened for every disease recommended by the parent club for that breed and those results are publicly available in the database.

Core to the CHIC philosophy is the realization that each breed has different health concerns. Not all diseases have known modes of inheritance, nor do all diseases have screening tests. Some screening tests are based on a phenotypic evaluation, others on genetic testing. With all these variables, a key element of the CHIC Program is to customize or tailor the requirements to the needs of each breed. These unique requirements are established through input from the parent club prior to the breed’s entry into the CHIC Program.

Breed-specific requirements typically consist of the inherited diseases that are of the greatest concern and for which some screening tests are available. Each parent club also drives specific screening protocols. As an example, one parent club may allow cardiac exams to be performed by a general practitioner. Another parent club may require the exam to be performed by a boardcertified cardiologist. A club may also use the CHIC Program to maintain information on other health issues for anecdotal purposes. Later, as screening tests become available, the disease may be added to the breed-specific requirements.

Test results from the OFA databases are shared automatically with the CHIC program. There is no additional fee nor additional forms to fill out for CHIC purposes once the results are registered with the OFA.

All regular OFA fees apply in order to register the results with the OFA before they are shared with the CHIC program.

OFA: 573-442-0418

[email protected]

What is the google voice scam?

Answered by: Chuck Holt/New Now Services

  • Google Voice scams occur when fraudsters link a Google Voice number to your phone number. All they need is a unique verification code (6 digits) that they get from you. This allows scammers to forward all calls and texts made to your phone to a number that they control. 

How does it work? 

  • First, scammers visit online puppy listing marketplaces and pretend to be interested in your puppy. 
  • At some point they will let you know that before they make the purchase they need to “verify” that you’re a real person. 

What will they ask of me? 

The scammer will ask for you to send back a 6 digit code they will send you to verify you are legitimate.

Why do they want this code? 

The scammer sets up a Google Voice account and links it to your cell phone number (which they got from the listing). The Google authentication process prompts the scammer to prove that they own the number by entering a six-digit code sent to the victim’s phone. The scammer tricks the victim into sharing the verification code, then uses this to “prove” they have access to the victim’s U.S. number. Once the verification process is complete, they can use the Google Voice number to scam others. 

When they ask for the code, what should I do? Do not respond. It is a scam. They do not want your puppy, they want you to verify the phone number.

What if I gave the scammer the verification code?

Google recommends doing the following: 

1. On your computer, go to 

2. At the top right, click Settings . 

3. Under Linked numbers, click New linked number. 4. Enter the phone number to link. 

5. To verify your number, Voice provides a six-digit code: 

  • If it’s a mobile number, click Send code and Voice sends the code in a text message to the phone. 
  • If it’s a landline number, click the verify by phone link, and then click Call. Voice calls the phone number and gives the code. 

6. Enter the code and then click Verify. If the number is being used by another account, you get a message asking if you want to claim it. 

7. Click Claim. The number is linked with your account again. 

Looking For More To Read?


Customer Survey: Issue 4

For this issue of The Dog Journal’s Results section, we’re going to talk about something a little different! In issue two, we did a giveaway drawing, and on the entries, we asked two questions. Everyone that entered for the drawing needed to fill out the answers to the questions, and the answers that came back were so interesting we decided to share them with our readers.

How to Tube Feed a Puppy

Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 35+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019.

Global Pet Security

Interview: With Paul of Global Pet Security

Ok, so as being a dog breeder and having a kennel, you always get the questions when people pick up their puppies that involve things like vet info, nutrition questions, microchipping details, etc. One question I got asked a lot was, where do I register the microchip?

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