|Barked: Wed Feb 28, '07 8:18am PST |
|Ok here we go, as a follow on to "So You're Going to Have Puppies..."
Everyone's here, Mother and puppies made it through delivery just fine. You are still sleep deprived.
Mom likes to take the pups and new Mom to the vet the day they are born (or next), get them checked over. Make sure everything's as it should be and the pups get a clean bill of health. Your basket comes in handy here. Mom also has dew claws taken off then. Her Siberian puppies are very robust and can handle having them off at that young an age, some breeds should wait a few days. Important, make sure to clean Mom's feet off after the vet before she gets back in with her puppies.
Ok, everyone has been vet checked, Mommy loves her puppies, now what?
Mom weighs them every day to make sure everyone is gaining properly. If a puppy needs extra help then she knows. She does daily weighing for 2 weeks, the every 2 days for a week then once a week.
Mom does everything she can to make sure the puppies have the proper upbringing to be well adjusted adults. From 3 days to 16 days old she uses the bio-sensor method:
At 2 weeks Mom starts worming, then also at 4,6 and 8 weeks.
Then the eyes start opening and they start walking. They are starting to get really cute now and hey lifes still good, Mommy is still cleaning them for you. Mom still changes blankets and cleans the whelping box once a day.
Mom usually start weaning puppies at 4 weeks. Soon after the pups start 'escaping' from the whelping box. Once that starts Mom moves it out and they stay in the ex-pen. Then that fateful day comes. The day Mommy decides she not cleaning poop anymore...........
4-5 times a day the blankets are changed out and newspaper consumption goes into overdrive. You will not have enough, you might think you do, but you don't. Puppies 'read' a lot;-) There will be a point you're forced into skulking behind a book store waiting for them to put out the old newspapers as trash. You will beg neighbors, co-workers. They become a precious commodity.
Once eyes and ears are open and they are getting about pretty good, they need stimulation. The puppies are kept in the house, in the middle of activity. Mom runs the vacum near them (even leaves it running by the ex-pen until they ignore it). They get to hear a CD of baby noises every day. Try to think of everything a dog might come in contact with in their life and expose them to it by 8 weeks. Funny hats, coats, boots, people of all ages and sizes. Open umbrellas towards them, pop balloons, drop cooking pans. By 7 weeks they should have been exposed to at least 7 different surfaces under their feet.
Thank goodness they get cuter the older they get. Mom's convinced it's to keep you from killing them;-) There will be the day you forget to take the trash bag of dirty papers out, or leave the paper towels too close to the ex-pen............
Oh a word on using an ex-pen, for small breeds not an issue, but for larger ones, one word TETHER. Lash it to something heavy that you don't mind getting chewed on. Puppies taking the ex-pen on a walking tour of destruction through the house....not good.....
Mom starts vaccinating at 8 weeks (then 12 and 16). You should research, talk to your vet and do what you feel comfortable with.
And remember there's nothing more affectionate than a puppy(s) covered in poop!
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