Most of you probably would like to know how your puppy comes into the world and what happens before you get it home. On this page, I’ll try to give you a glimpse of that.
Our momma dogs are monitored closely before that impending day. About two weeks before the approximate due date she is given a safe de-worming medication. We want to give those babies a healthy start! Then about a week before her due date, we will begin to monitor her temperature. She will usually be given a bath then and any extra hair trimmed from her belly and surrounding areas. This is also when we clean out and prepare her whelping crate and gather our box of supplies we might need. Did you know that 8-12 hours before she gives birth (known as “whelping” in the dog world) her temperature will usually drop drastically? This helps us to know that things will be happening soon! And this is usually when I start sleeping on the couch next to her crate! 😉
When the puppies finally make their appearance in the world, I will be right there. (I’m a “hands-on” kind of person.) Each pup is weighed and time of birth, color and markings recorded. Each day after that for the first week or two, I will track each babies’ weight to make sure they are gaining and growing. If there are extra small pups or they aren’t gaining like I’d like to see, I will supplement them also.
The first few weeks are mostly spent eating, sleeping, pooping and peeing so this big, cozy crate is a perfect den. And yes, the crate will be in my living room with me parked on the coach at least the first week of their life so I can monitor things closely through the night.
Once they start toddling around (around 3 weeks of age), I will move them into the puppy playpen. They still have the crate to sleep in, but they will naturally start to toddle out of it to potty. This is where we will introduce the litter box and some basic baby toys. Mom is still there with them except for short breaks. The puppy pen is usually right in our living room so the pups will see/hear the comings and goings of the house, plus they have plenty of room to move around safely and explore. And handy for anyone walking by to pick up and love on!
As they grow and the weeks go by, they will go from starting to nibble on mom’s food along with nursing to eating all on their own and completely weaned around seven weeks of age. They will be introduced to more toys, different noises, etc. Depending on the time of year, they may get playtime outdoors and meet the big dogs, cats, and larger toys. They have playtime in the house also with bigger noisy toys, different types/textures of footing and our fun, play tunnel!
Of course, during those weeks they will go through our de-worming program, have a stool sample checked, have an exam from our vet, and start on their puppy vaccinations. They will be handled and get used to having their toenails trimmed, ears, teeth, and eyes looked at, coat brushed, etc. You can see those first few weeks are important and busy!
And lastly, (once they start moving around a bit) we will try to take weekly pictures and/or videos for all you anxious adopters to see!
(Stay tuned as we transition this page into more detailed pages with much more information under our new “Puppy Life” heading/pages.)