Meet Sheerah's puppies at two weeks old! Click on their pictures for more photos of each puppy.
The first two weeks of a puppy's life are spent mostly in a sleepy dreamland with lots of food and growing involved. The puppies are in a main area of our house with lots of activity and noise. Yet, during the second week of their life they remained somewhat clueless to the outside world. A door slam, a radio playing, children being children – they slept through them all! However, they are far from helpless creatures-they have strong instincts to seek food and warmth. As soon as I wake them up from their adorable slumber in a pile, they instantly seek out Sheerah looking for food. If they find themselves alone in a corner of the whelping box, they propel themselves on their belly around the area until they bump into a sibling. When I take their weekly photos and have them alone on a blanket, they are constantly searching around food and friends. They may look sleepy and peaceful, but they are actively on the go when awake.
The puppies are growing beautifully. Everyone more than doubled than birthweights. This morning their weights were as follows: Bentley-1lb, 13oz; Scout-1lb, 12oz; Holly & Noah-1lb, 10oz; and Ivy & Buck-1lb, 9oz.
Sheerah is once again making mothering a litter look easy! We continue to monitor her, making sure she gets time outside playing in the sunshine, being certain she eats plenty of nutritious food, and making sure she always has fresh, clean water. She’s a real supermom – caring for all of their needs from eating to staying clean. Our care for the puppies at this stage involves caring well for Sheerah; she then takes care of all their needs. We also keep their whelping area clean by changing the bedding several times a day and spraying it with Life's Abundance Biodeodizer - a safe, gentle cleaning product that eliminates odors.
Another aspect of their care at this stage is weighing. At birth, I weigh them at least once a day. Now, I usually weigh them every other day. 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 the next week, we will be rearranging the puppies' whelping area as they become mobile. Some of them are taking tottering steps, but their little bellies barely get off the ground at this age. That changes quickly, though, and we want to take every opportunity as they grow to begin laying the groundwork of house training. In an effort to do so (and as we follow the Misty Method), we will add a potty box to their whelping area as they become mobile. They learn quickly to keep their bedding area clean (because we've kept it clean all along). We've found the Misty Method to provide great results when our puppies go home in preparing them for crate training.
I'll close this week with a few snapshots of the children holding the puppies for the first time. Our children are only allowed to hold them once their eyes open, which began happening Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week. Early, gentle socialization is best! Notice how the puppies like to snuggle in the crooks of arms. Puppies at this age naturally look for a warm place to burrow into, which is why they sleep in a pile. We keep the holding sessions very short, usually only a few minutes, because the puppies really only want food and sleep at this age.
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!
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