Click on their pictures above to see more photos!
One week old today! Though they may look similar to their introduction post, these puppies are growing and changing. Let me give you a glimpse into their lives at one week old - eat, sleep, and repeat all day long. If they are not sleeping, they are eating. If they are not eating, they are sleeping or searching. At one week, puppies cannot walk, see, or hear, but they sure can get what they want! They can propel themselves all over the whelping box using their paws in a motion best described as "swimming." In addition, they root for food and burrow in a pile for warmth. Below is Midnight determined to find a snack in my soft blanket.
The puppies' highlight of the week was visiting the vet for tail dock and dew claw removal on Tuesday. The rest of their week was centered upon gaining weight. Their weights as of this morning were Luna - 1lb, 3oz; Hiro and Midnight - 1lb, 1oz; and Bella - 14oz. Luna, Hiro, and Midnight have doubled their birth weight - a milestone we like to see by 7-10 days old. I expect Bella will reach the milestone within in the next 24 hours.
Our care for the puppies during the first week is making sure they have a clean, comfortable place to rest and making sure their mama is properly cared for. Sheerah, as well as all our dogs, has constant access to fresh water. She also has Life's Abundance food available at all times. Free-feeding (leaving food out all the time) is something we only do during the end of pregnancy and lactation. Otherwise, our dogs are fed on schedule. In addition to her food, we supplement her with a Life's Abundance vitamin and small amounts of goat milk from our goats. Sheerah spends nearly one hundred percent of her time with her puppies feeding and cleaning them. At the one week mark, she does leave them for periods of time to get her weekly bath and to play outside, but she's always eager to go back and check on them.
The puppies are handled several times a day by me. The children are only allowed to handle them when their eyes open up. I handled them to weigh them and change their bedding. You may be wondering why all this focus on weight. Someone once asked me as she was peering into the whelping box watching them competing for a spot to latch, "How in the world do you know if they all nursed?" The answer - by weighing them. You cannot know just by watching because it's hard to tell them apart when they are in a pile and it's hard to know how much they are getting. Weight gain is an overall good indicator that all is well. In addition to weight gain, we look for them to be sleeping in a twitching pile. Yes, twitching! Researchers think healthy puppies twitch due to activated sleep that helps with their muscle tone and brain connections. Whatever the reason, it's adorable to watch. Since the weather is warm, these puppies don't always sleep in pile, but they are often close to one another or Sheerah.
Since sleeping is the biggest part of week 1, I'll close with some interesting sleeping positions.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our joy! Blessings!
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
Independent Field Representative