Puppies are much more active these days. They LOVE being outside to explore their surroundings!
LOTS of new experiences for puppies this week! Developmental leaps and bounds! Puppies keep us really busy along with caring for our other critters too! All the puppies are eating dry food now. I’m feeding a little over 1/2 cup per puppy three times per day now. When puppies go to their new homes, you will feed about 1 cup per feeding. I doubt they will eat the entire cup of food but you will know they’ve eaten enough (after 15 minutes of feeding or when puppy becomes distracted. Then just pick up the feeding bowl. Puppy has eaten his/her fill.) And again, when puppy shows little interest in that mid-day feeding, you will know you can eliminate that feeding and go to your permanent twice per day feeding schedule. (Usually at around 3-4 months of age).
Puppy poops are firming up more now too which is a good thing! We are in the process of drying up Deja who still wants to nurse her babies. And puppies LOVE nursing on Deja even though they bite her now.
Puppies weight this week has everyone around 8 lbs. Light Blue Boy weighed in at 7 lb 14 oz so he has effectively “caught up” to his siblings. Purple Girl and Dark Blue Boy have both hit 9 lbs (9 lbs 4.6 oz and 9 lbs even respectively). Pink Girl will hit 9 lbs today, I suspect, weighing in at 8 lbs 15.6 oz yesterday! Puppies are usually 10-12 pounds by the time they are 8 weeks old. We are right on target for those weights. And… All the puppies have had their third de-worming, dosage based on their individual weights. This is common practice with puppies to ensure their health. Roundworms are dormant and become “active” during whelping and through lactation. Treating them now as young puppies immune system are being built up fosters their health now. Later, puppies will start heartworm preventaive meds that will continue to prevent “wormy puppies”!
In other news…
Light Blue Boy went to the door this morning to be let outside to potty. I think he is absolutely BRILLIANT! Of course the other puppies went outside also and had to potty too but watching this bitty puppy sit at the backyard door and look up willing it to open/be let outside… BRILLIANT!
And just like that, it seems, pups are growing up! Puppies now go outside several times per day (and are doing a great job pottying outside!) They all have found the “hole” Deja has dug where she only THOUGHT she would have her puppies! Puppies like to dig in this hole unearthing the cool dirt. Fortunately, the area is dry so the dirt just brushes off puppies. This is a really good thing for folks to know… No matter how dirty puppy/dog seems to be, let them dry off and much of the “dirt” will fall off or be easily brushed off. Crate puppy/dog until they are dry and voila… clean(er) dog again!
Puppies have more toys now including a small child/toddler’s slide… They love climbing up the little steps and sliding down the slide! “King of the Slide” IS a thing here! And they now have yet another newcomer to play with… A rather large stuffed tiger that tolerates their tugging, climbing all over, and snuggling with.
Having them outside in our covered dog run is still iffy, in my mind. It really depends on the weather and heat. They are 100% safe in the run with LOTS of room to run and play except for the heat (and humidity). I’m really following the big dogs lead… If they don’t want to go outside, I figure they know best! Regardless, hubby has now put up additional shade clothes over the run to give puppies more shade but really… It depends on the heat! Pups still prefer to sleep on the concrete (cooler) and enjoy the AC in our dog room!
Deja continues to nurse puppies a handful times per day but puppies are getting the majority of their nutrition from solid food. And all are drinking from the water bowl although we still have a few who try to “swim” in the bowl! Regarding feeding, puppies go to new homes eating three meals/day. About one cup of food per puppy per feeding. They will probably NOT eat all of that food so don’t be alarmed if they don’t eat it all. I just figure it best for them to get their fill than leave feeding time “hungry”. You can always re-feed any leftovers at the next meal time.
At around three months of age, they will start showing little interest in the mid-day feeding. They may eat some then prefer to play instead of eating. That is when you will know you can quit that mid-day feeding. Puppy is just not that hungry anymore. That is the time you will go to twice/day feedings; still one cup per feeding morning and night.
When your puppy is getting their series of vaccinations from your vet, puppy will be weighed. So often, folks get caught up with the number. A better guide for weight is “how does the dog look?” I’m attaching two guides that I use frequently to gauge weight in my dogs. These guides have nothing to do with a number but more on how your dog “looks/feels”.
P.S. Sorry for being a day late! Computer glitch and internet down yesterday afternoon! Ahh… the love-hate relationship with technology!!
Puppies outside for the first time last night (once the temps cooled down a bit). They were fascinated by all the smells, the sensation of the wind blowing, and the feel of the grass beneath their feet! This was right after dinner so they WERE very sleepy but all enjoyed the experience.
In other news, they are now wearing their “large” collars; the smaller collars had no more room to expand so hopefully these collars will last for the next several weeks?
They are now eating/chewing solid food and doing very well! Granted the kibble puppy food is soaked/softened but they definitely have the hang of “eating” (and not just sucking). They are also now drinking water from a water bowl although yes, a few have decided to swim in it, LOL! But, they are getting the hang of that too.
Puppies have been moved to a bigger area! Their world just got even bigger!
I’m raising this litter “differently” than I’ve ever raised any other litter. In the past, I’ve set up my big whelping box on a linoleum remnant to protect my flooring and have had puppies in various rooms throughout my house. For this litter, Deja had her puppies in my “dog room” (the most amazing “utility room” and highlight, for me, of my house!) We’ve lived in our current house over ten years; I don’t know why I’ve never thought of doing this before?
I vowed to NEVER have puppies in the summer after last year’s litter! The linoleum remnant covered my ducts thus blocked the AC flow of cool air. Puppies were HOT! Everyone was HOT! My dog room is on its own separate heat/AC system! It has to get pretty darn hot for me to turn on our house AC but the dog room AC… it gets turned on for the dogs!
This room has been finished with indoor/outdoor dog runs. I can separate visiting dogs, girls in season, or in this case… Puppies! Yesterday’s brilliant idea was wondering if I could open up two runs to create a bigger area for Deja and the puppies? HUGE thanks to hubby who reminded we DO have an extra 5′ panel gate not being used. He switched out the plain 5′ gate for the 5′ door panel and voila… two runs opened up! One for puppies and one for Deja to be able to get away from puppies! While the door is open, there is a panel that Deja easily can walk over to get to the puppers but they can’t get to her. Every mother knows it is nice to be able to take a break from the kids!
Puppies now have a bigger area (and toys) to explore indoors as they may still be a bit small to take outside. Eventually, I will open up the doggy door for pups to learn to go through and have protected time outside too (the dog runs are covered specifically for puppies. Nothing can get to them outside. Remember I live “in the country”. We have owls, hawks and eagles that like to “fly over” looking for easy targets/meals!)
We will start weaning puppies onto solid food this week. We will also be getting puppies outside this week also. All puppies have now master walking on concrete (flooring in the dog room) which was no easy task… the concrete is slippery! They will do much better on grass. Puppies are developing their personalities more and more each day… All are curious, outgoing puppies and all LOVE to be petted/touched. They are almost as excited having me in with them as they are having Deja in with them… almost!
They were ready for the move to a bigger space. And Deja is ready for them to be started on solid food. Standing to feed puppies is our sign of that! Plus, Deja gets to “clean up”and eat any puppy food leftovers… I think she will enjoy that part the most!
Puppies growing and hitting appropriate milestones… YES!
All up and walking well. All learning their voice (a few howl because… they can!) They are starting to play with toys (and explore with their mouths). All are being individually handled/rolled in our hands. They LOVE being scratched/tickled under their chins, bellies, necks!
All are really good eaters! We will start weaning, for real, this upcoming weeks. They are learning to “chew”/”lick” and not just “suck” although nothing beats “mom”! Regarding weaning… we always let the mom’s determine when to quit feeding puppies. Deja has, in the past, nursed or tried to nurse her puppies up until the day they leave. She is an incredibly patient “mommy” even when they start biting her! Yes, teeth are coming in!