Click on the photos for more photos of each puppy.
The puppies are at the one week mark! Though they may look similar to the newborn photos, they have all nearly doubled in size. Tachi is doing a fabulous job as a mother - she keeps the puppies spotlessly clean, toasty warm, and well-fed. In her first days as mother, she was so focused on her babies, we had to remind her to eat and drink. Her appetite and thirst are picking up now as she is the sole nourishment for her little ones.
The puppies' days are full of eating and sleeping at this stage. They cannot see or hear, but they can move! They move through a motion best described as "swimming." They propel themselves all over the whelping box without getting their bellies off the ground. They know to move towards warmth and food. Below is Mary swimming while I was trying to capture her one week photo.
Our care for the puppies right now involves several aspects. Perhaps the most important is weighing them. The best way to know if the puppies are "getting enough" milk is to chart their weights. We weigh them morning and evening. We look for the puppies to double their birth weight by 7-10 days old. Several of the puppies have reached that mark, and the rest are on track to hit it before day 10. They all weigh around 13 ounces right now. Angel and Noel are a bit smaller at 11 ounces. Below one of the salt & pepper boys gets weighed.
Another aspect of their care is keeping their living area clean. Tachi takes care of their needs. So, we change their whelping bedding a few times a day to make sure everything is dry and clean.
And, of course, to take care of them we need to take care of Mama. Tachi gets to each as much as she wants right now. We keep food and water with her at all times. In addition to food, we supplement with her Life's Abundance wellness vitamin, eggs, and goat milk. For the first few days, she didn't leave the puppies except to eat and go outside. At the one week mark, she is starting to leave them for short periods of time (10-15 minutes), but she still spends nearly all her time with them. We have our whelping pen arranged so that she can get out of the box, but the puppies cannot. Therefore, she can get some time away if she needs it.
As we care for them, we look for certain signs, in addition to weight gain, that shows the puppies are healthy. We watch them to be sure they are getting a good latch as they nurse. Below is puppy with a perfect latch in which you can see just a bit of their tongue.
We also watch them while they sleep. Sleeping in a pile is a good sign. In addition, twitching in their sleep is a sign of a happy, healthy puppy.
We feel blessed to have this healthy litter of puppies and watch them grow. Our children are eagerly awaiting for their eyes to open because they know they can then begin to hold them. Come back next week to see them with their eyes and ears open! I'll close with a favorite snapshot from the week.
Thanks for stopping by!
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