The first week

Since we only have one litter all by itself this time, I’ll have more time to share the ins and outs of the whole puppy process that pretty much happens with each litter.

So our new babies were born a week ago yesterday. Here they are at a week old. You can see they’re a bit bigger than the first picture I posted of them. I laid them out in their birth order just for fun.

So what happens from “birth” day through the first week you may ask?

After the birthing process is finished, the mess cleaned up and mom and puppies settled into a clean bed we leave her alone to take care of things and bond with her puppies.

I always start a log when I see mom is beginning the stages of labor. On that I write down the time that pups are born and their description (color, markings, gender). Each pup is weighed also. Later I’ll add the ribbon color that I assign to each puppy if necessary and other notes.

I will weigh the pups twice a day for the first few days. This tells me if they’re getting enough groceries and whether I need to supplement with a little extra food. Or if I have a small pup or several small ones, I will supplement until I see their weight starting to steadily increase at each weigh-in. This litter had a couple big ones and several on the smaller side. So the first few days I supplemented the little ones.

About day two or three is when dewclaws are removed. Since Cavapoos are a breed that requiring grooming we think this is an essential process.

Then usually starting on day three (but not the same day as dewclaw removal), we start ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation). More on this later, but it’s basically putting each puppy through a very short, stress period (through different types of handling) that will actually make him or her a healthier dog for life!

This first week finds the puppies just eating and sleeping. They fuss and cry a bit when they can’t find mom (remember their eyes and ears are still closed). And scoot and roll around until they find her. She cleans them and keeps them fed.

Each morning her bed is changed (and evening if needed)and the pups are weighed and handled. Mom has food and water in front of her at all times and gets her daily supplements (which include a mulit-vitamin, NuVet supplement and calcium). Depending on the mom and litter she would possibly also get her “pudding”.

Around the first week mark, it’s time to change ribbons as the puppies have grown and also do their first toenail trim. They are sharp little things that can be uncomfortable on mom’s tender belly if we don’t  trim them.

And that pretty much wraps up the first week. 🙂



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