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Puppy Mush & Puppy Gruel Recipes

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Puppy mush is a soft food that is given to puppies when they start weaning off their mother's milk at around 3-4 weeks old
  • It's made by mixing dry dog food with puppy formula and water to create a consistency that's easy to chew and digest
  • Puppies should be fed 3-4 times a day and the number of wet ingredients should be gradually reduced each week, making the mixture thicker
  • Homemade puppy mush recipes should include a form of dry kibble, a high-quality formula for mixing, and water or puppy formula replacement
  • Puppy mush can go bad if it gets too moist or humid, breeders need to monitor its freshness and not reuse it
Breeding Business is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Tuesday 3 July 2018
Last updated on
Monday 22 May 2023
Puppy Mush & Puppy Gruel Recipes
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 Puppy mush is the first semi-solid food that nursing puppies will enjoy. At first, it is more of a puppy gruel that is very soft and milky. Week after week, the puppy mush will have less water content and become more and more solid.

Dog breeders have to monitor closely the food intake of the puppies from their mother and decide when it is the right time to gradually wean them off. A mother dog will, at some point after a month, decide that enough nursing happened and the puppies should be able to eat solid dog food. She will offer less milk for various reasons (weak lactation, puppies have teeth that cause her pain, etc). This is the perfect time to introduce the puppies to mush and gruel, generally around the third and fourth week of their age.

It’s not rocket science, really. Mix water, milk formula, and dry kibble. Let it cool and give it to the puppies making sure it is very mushy. If you prefer natural feeding, you can prepare a beef or chicken mush by grinding the meat finely. As time goes, ground the meat more coarsely.

What Is Puppy Mush

When puppies are around three to four weeks old, they start weaning off their mother’s milk and begin consuming a mixture called puppy mush or gruel. This process takes about 7 to 8 weeks. Puppy mush is a soft alternative to solid food that allows puppies to start eating on their own, without relying on their mother’s milk.
It’s made by mixing dry dog food with puppy formula and water to create a consistency that’s easy to chew and digest. Puppy mush is introduced gradually into a puppy’s diet and increases in thickness every week until the puppy can eat dry food.

[pullquote-right]Puppy gruel is a much softer and moister version of puppy mush.[/pullquote-right]

Also, puppy mush is a softer and more moist version of puppy mush that is specifically designed to help puppies transition from liquid to solid food more easily. These meals should provide all the necessary nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, for the puppies’ basic nutritional needs. Gruel contains more liquid ingredients like water or puppy formula replacement.

After the first week of consuming gruel, the amount of liquid is reduced, creating a thicker version called mush. These meals should include a variety of quality proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates to provide complete nourishment for each puppy’s growth and well-being

How Often To Feed Puppies Mush

When transitioning to solid food, younger puppies should be fed 3 to 4 times a day as long as they are eating well during each meal. However, if they are not, you should offer small amounts of mush multiple times a day to ensure they are getting enough nutrients.
It is important to gradually decrease the number of wet ingredients each week so that the consistency becomes thicker, which helps prepare them for a dry food diet once they have completed the weaning process. As they grow older, you can decrease the number of feedings to three times a day, and then finally to two times a day.
To determine the appropriate feeding frequency for your puppy, you need to consider its age, development, and growth. It is crucial to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding them. Weighing your puppy every week can help you ensure that they are gaining weight at an appropriate rate. If they are not gaining enough weight, you need to increase the amount of food.
Many commercial puppy foods come with feeding instructions, but you can follow the successful rule of thumb used by most breeders. Making your own puppy mush formula with all the necessary ingredients can provide a healthy foundation for your puppy’s diet. Knowing when to feed and when not to feed your puppy is also essential and can greatly impact a successful transition

How to Train a Puppy to Eat Puppy Gruel

To wean a puppy, you need to introduce them to solid food gradually, starting with a soft mixture of puppy mush and hard food. Puppy mush is a slightly drier option, while puppy gruel is more liquid-like. It’s essential to monitor the puppy’s weight weekly to ensure they’re gaining weight. If you notice aggressive behavior during feeding time, consider separating the puppies into their own bowls to prevent conflict.
When introducing solid food to your puppy, start with small amounts and be patient. It’s normal for your puppy to become agitated and resist at first, but with persistence and consistency, they’ll eventually accept the new food. Aim to feed your puppy 3 to 4 times a day, gradually increasing the amount and consistency of the mixture.
Remember that training a puppy to eat solid food takes patience and persistence, and it’s essential to keep track of the amount of food you give and when to increase the consistency and quantity. Be prepared for a messy ordeal and have cleaning supplies on hand. With proper care and attention, your puppy will successfully transition to solid food
puppy gruel vs puppy mush
Gruel for puppies is much softer and liquid-like. Puppy mush has less moisture but is still soft enough for young puppies to enjoy.

The best way to monitor the progress is by weighing the puppies on a weekly basis to ensure that they are, indeed, gaining weight. Furthermore, you may at this time separate the more aggressive puppies and give them their own bowls because this can cause some conflict for food and cause some puppies to eat less than they should.

Prepare your mix with the puppy mush formula and hard food until it is very soft and begin by scooping some up with your fingers and place it in his mouth. It is normal at this stage for the puppy to become quite agitated and begin to wrestle you. Just be patient and continue introducing the food to his mouth. This will take quite a few tries, each time he will start to eat a little bit more than before. If you are consistent with this, 3 to 4 times a day, the puppy will begin to recognize his new food and eat it regularly.

Training a puppy to eat puppy gruel is quite an experience and depends entirely on how well the breeder responds to any given situation. The dog owner must be attentive at all times and keep track of the amount of food is given and when to increase the consistency and amount.

What Superfoods Can I Add to Puppy Mush

In addition, you can also serve some broccoli and dog-friendly seeds which will add a whole new level of nutrition to your dog’s diet. While some dog breeders may be hesitant to feed their puppies offal, it is actually a nutritious meat organ that can benefit their health. When adding wet ingredients such as water to the dry food, it’s recommended to use a good quality puppy formula instead, or goat’s milk.


Goat’s milk contains more nutrients than cow’s milk and the latter can even have adverse effects on the puppy, such as diarrhea. Also, the milk will serve as their water for when they are thirsty as well. Puppies need 25 to 35 grams of protein to grow.

The transition from mother’s milk to puppy gruel is not only designed to allow a puppy to eat on his own, but to properly provide essential vitamins and nutrients it needs to grow. The food you give a puppy needs to be aligned with his physical needs and be proportionate to his age, breed, and health condition. Fortunately, there are quite a few ingredients available for puppies today that will hhelp support their healthy growth and development. When buying the dry dog food to mix in with the wet ingredients, opt for grain-free and corn-free dog foods to avoid abdominal issues in the puppy. Also, try to avoid cheap food because as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

How to Make Puppy Mush

It’s important to use fresh puppy mush and avoid reusing it to ensure its quality and flavor. What’s important is that you have the right ingredients and the right consistency. A nursing puppy who is used to drinking nursing milk is used to consuming liquids as complete meals.

Now that the puppy is going through a transition, he must become accustomed to the act of eating on his own and eventually relying on dry food. Puppy mush recipes should include a form of dry kibble, water, and a high-quality formula for mixing. Many breeders prefer to use a blender to mix their ingredients, however, there are other ways to obtain the same results without losing its function and palatability.

Homemade Puppy Gruel Recipe

Gruel recipes for puppies begin with the right ingredients. This is something you can easily make at home provided you have the right essentials. You want to first make sure that you have a quality brand of dry food that’s going to be used as the base of the ingredient. Next, you will need a good milk replacement formula and some water. Not all breeders use water as some may feel that the milk should be enough. This is based on personal preference. If you want to feed your puppies a raw dog diet, start with mushy ground beef for example.

Ideally, you want the puppy gruel recipe to be boiled and blended well. Additionally, you will need a bowl that will be easy for the puppies to stick their heads in and eat as they are small. A small, flattened bowl will work, or you can use pizza pans which are shallow and wide. Have some paper towels ready at your disposable because this can get quite messy.

To make the puppy mush recipe at home, you will need a blender. This recipe can feed up to 6 to 8 puppies:

  • Place two cups of dry food of a very high quality
  • Place some minced boiled meat
  • Add in 12.5 oz of puppy milk formula
  • Fill the rest with warm water
  • Blend well

Not all breeders use blenders and that is ok. You can also make a homemade puppy gruel recipe just by manually mixing up some ingredients. What’s important is using a good quality of dry food for optimizing the puppy’s health. The consistency needs to be soft enough for a baby, similar to baby cereal, and it should increase every week. In this case, you can just add the wet ingredients to the dry food in a bowl and mash it down to the desired consistency.

Easy Puppy Mush Recipe

There are other methods available for creating a puppy mush recipe without having to depend on the fancy ingredients. If you do not have a blender, for example, mixing it by hand is the easiest form. It’s also possible to simply use some regular dry food instead of a higher quality. However, it is always recommended to use a higher-grade brand for its quality because that means the puppy will be given a higher protein count as opposed to regular commercial brands. In the case you cannot find a high-quality kibble, just buy some regular commercial puppy kibble and use it as the base for your recipe. For an easier mix, you may use just warm water to mix the ingredients as it tends to be easier on their tummies than milk replacer.

  • In a shallow bowl place 2 cups of dry kibble food of choice
  • Pour warm water over the dry kibble until it is completely covered
  • With a potato masher, smash the kibble and water until soft oatmeal-like consistency forms.
  • Place the bowls in their feeding spots and let the puppies have their fill. You will have to interject at times, so remain patient.

Allow the puppies to eat at their rate. This process can take up to a half hour or more depending on how fast they are progressing and how much you need to intervene. If they are not interested in the puppy mush, you can add a little bit of canned food as the smell may attract them more.


Preparing your puppy gruel recipe includes preparing for messy eaters. Have your paper towels ready and an effective bowl for eating. As mentioned, many breeders tend to use pie or pizza pans because of its shallowness and size. Again, this will depend on the puppies themselves and in the event you have some bullies in the litter, separate them and give them their own bowl. Depending on their age, you will have to tweak the consistency of the gruel regularly so that each week it is thicker.

How Long to Keep Puppy Mush

Mush for puppies needs to be watched for freshness and not used twice. You make one serving and then throw the remains away so that it is not exposed to air too long and lose its quality and flavor. The issue concerning store-bought, dry food is the lack of moisture contained within it. Manufacturers make dry dog food to last longer, which can affect its flavor and appeal. In doing this, the flavor and appeal are lost, therefore the moisture is at a minimum. Puppy mush can go bad if it gets too moist or humid.

Once water is added to the dry dog food, the mush may start to go off. It then is no longer safely edible. Of course, this all depends on the ingredients used as well, that’s why always check labels and be cautious of what you add to the mix. Knowing how to make puppy mush recipes and how or when to serve a puppy is not sufficient. In addition to knowing how to make puppy mush, breeders should also be aware of how to mix it and how long it stays fresh and nutritious.

8 comments on “Puppy Mush & Puppy Gruel Recipes”

  1. Tianamoreno

    Thank you very much for this . I found this article very useful

  2. Malik opeyemi joseph

    Good job there, I learnt a thing or two…

  3. AnatolianMom

    I will follow these instructions and hope for success. Thank you very much

  4. Linda

    What do you mean when you talk about the kibbles going “off”. Does it mean spoil. I have added water to the kibbles and let it set overnight to soften. Should I not do this?

    1. Diyanah

      Me to

      1. Amy Christiansen

        I soak dry kibble overnight in the fridge in a covered container with water Then mush it in a pan with a bit of canned food or hamburger for flavor Then I pour boiling water mixed goat milk to take the chill off the soaked kibble And feed They love it I always have fresh water available to pups as I wean And after 2 weeks put down a bowl of dry kibble after they finish the gruel I never feed dry food to hungry puppies Only after they are full of the soaked food

  5. Stacae D Guest Caldwell

    Thank you! This article and video of making puppy mush /gruel helped me understand the potency and moisture I needed to keep for our babies.

  6. Judyjacquard

    Pups are 3 weeks. How much gruel should they eat? I have been giving them 2 tbls is that enough? Should the mother feed 1st or give gruel 1st?

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