I know it’s really hard for everybody on the list that is anxiously waiting to hear puppy news. When the time comes for a litter to be born, I usually give some indication that they are on the way.
And then you’re probably thinking, “Why hasn’t she given any details? I want to know how many puppies were born, what colors and how many boys and girls! Come on, what’s the deal?!”
But I’m so mean, I wait to give details! Let me explain why.
Every litter is excitedly waited for around here! There is planning and preparation and tender care given to our moms.
Delivery can be a short, simple affair or it can get complicated. Sometimes moms have problems and need veterinary intervention or even a caesarean section. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen very often. Sometimes we have an experienced mom and we know what to expect because we’ve been through this before with her. And sometimes we have a new mom that is delivering her first litter so everything is a surprise. There’s absolutely no way to know how she will do.
And then after delivery we need to make sure every puppy is nursing, especially getting that first milk with the all important colostrum. Sometimes moms are great about letting puppies nurse. They lay down and spread out so everybody can latch on. Other moms (especially new ones) tend to lay more curled up, which makes it difficult for babies to get access to all the “faucets”. 😉
If we have a big litter or a tiny puppy or two, I will supplement them with puppy formula. They will still be with mom and their litter mates, but they will get a few extra meals and calories from me too. A smaller puppy won’t be able to push his or her way up past the big pups to get the same time on the milk line. After supplementing for a few days, they have gained enough strength and weight to be at a more evenly matched with everyone else.
Each puppy is weighed at birth and then usually morning and evening the first couple days. I want to make sure each one is gaining weight and getting enough groceries. After a few days, I weigh them once a day and continue to daily monitor their weight until they are two to three weeks old.
Our puppies are born in a big whelping crate in our living room. I park it between our wood stove and the couch. The couch, which will be my “bed” for probably the first week of the puppies life. I hear just about every squeak and cry throughout the night. But that’s okay. I want to. I’m usually up frequently to make sure that squeak or cry isn’t a puppy that is getting squished under or behind mom (especially a new mom) or has gotten pushed away from her and isn’t getting his turn at the milk station.
So the first few days after a litter are very busy, sleep deprived and critical for puppy care. I like to make sure everyone has a good start and all the pups are doing well and gaining weight before I make the big announcement with litter size, color and genders. My priority are mom and her babies (and my sleep). 😛
And yes, sometimes we lose a puppy. It’s unfortunately a fact of life. And the last thing I want to do is amend an announcement and tell you all that a puppy has passed. 🙁
So hang in there! Give me a few days and you’ll all get to share in the details and excitement! Thanks so much for your support, prayers and loving thoughts!