Elsa's Puppy Blog from her 2018 Litter
28th January - Birthday
30th January - Some sleep would be nice...
Phew, Well we are on day two of the puppies lives. Leading up to the birth and for the first couple of days after I feel anxious. I worry about mum's health and the delivery then, this switches to the health of the puppies and mum after they are born.
The first couple of days are full on checking on the puppies every couple of minutes. Carl and I take it in turns to sleep. This will go on for about three weeks when the puppies are old enough to move into the lounge.
We keep the room very hot at about 30 degrees this is to reduce the chance of infection and because the puppies can't regulate their own temperature yet.
Puppies are born with only taste and smell and they find their way to mum by crawling on the floor and smelling for the nipple where the milk is. We take advantage of this and each day we pick them up and hold them up to our faces and chuttle at them a similar sound to the one they make more because of the vibration than the sound. It is now that the process of socialisation with humans begins.
We also check their bodies to ensure that they are healthy and we weigh them to check that they are getting enough milk. This gets them used to being handled.
31st January - Settled and growing nicely
1st February - time out
This is Yoyo, he is trying to find a nipple in the fluffy cushion. His sences are so limited that he can't tell the difference between his mums coat and the long cushion fabric. He is a lean mean eating machine having gained over 100 grams a day for the last three days. This is double what is expected right now weighing in at 774 grams. Little Tiger is 552 grams however he is healthy and strong and gaining his 10 percent body weight each day.
Elsa is spending a little more time away from the puppies now but still prefers to be in the whelping box most of the day even when the puppies are sleeping. Each day she takes more time for herself.
4th February - Hide and seek
Imagine my surprise when I checked on the puppies and there was only three. After a slight panic I lifted the bedding to find Elsa had covered them all up. She doesn't like it warm and we have to keep the bedroom at 30 degree for the puppies. She constantly digs up the whelping box trying to find the cool floor, however I often find the puppies on the floor and she is sat on the heat mat.
5th February - Tummy troubles
We don't get very much sleep at night for the first three weeks of the puppies life. They appear to get colic and we have to rub their tummies to comfort them.
This is Yoyo,who at the moment is wanting a lot of attention, sleeping on my pillow after a good tummy rub.
He is also a record breaker reaching 1kg at 7 days. Our biggest puppy ever!
8th February - 7 in a bed
It's hard to believe that the puppies are only 10 days old yet they now fill the bed that I use to put them in when I am chaning their bed. Most of them have doubled their birth weight with Tiger almost trebling his. Tiger is still then most forward of the pupies and his eye are now wide open although his sibblings are yet to open theirs.
10th February - Mummy cuddles
Elsa spends much more time sleeping outside the whelping box now. The puppies are tend to spread themselves a out the box to sleep then line up to feed. We ensure that all the puppies get to feed from the more popular nipples in this way we reduce the chance of their being dominent puppies.
There is a mix of colours in the litter, although there is not very much difference in the two girls there are 2 cream boys and 3 that are developing colour like their dad.
10th February - A spoon full of sugar?
Puddles not quite liking his worming medicine.
The puppies get wormed at 11, 12 and 13 days when they have to take a powdery liquid. They are very funny to watch when they take it. They will be wormed again at 5weeks and 8 weeks but they are much better at spitting it out then so we give them a tablet instead of liquid.
11th February - Morning cuddles
The puppies will stay in the whelping box at the side of our bed until they are three weeks old. We take it in turns to supevise them and ensure Elsa doesn't lay on anyone. It's always a pleasure on a morning to have a cuddle with them before the start of another busy day.
12th February - Big bro is staying
I love it when my puppies come to stay for their holidays and it is always amazing to see how much they grow in a relatively short time.
This is Albie who was the smallest puppy in his litter and he had to go to the vet as he got water on his lungs at birth. At ninemonths old he is a strapping lad. Seen here with Yoyo.
Two week weigh in!
We had a family birthday this weekend so the puppies weigh in was a little late. Everyone has grown well but Pepper, Bruno and Tiger have not ut on as much weightas I would like so I am going to top them up with a bottle for a few days.
There are 7 puppies in the bed but I can only count 6 they are so big now they have to lie on top of each other.
Nursery school - 21 days
The puppies are learning lots of new things as they begin to play. The nw puppy owners came to visit this weekend and with such a bust time they caught up on some growing sleep in between the visitors.
We use lots of bright colours to attract the puppies to look aound and to help them with the process of focusing their eyes.
Weaning - From three weeks
The weening process starts at three weeks when we introduce the puppies to raw mince which we hand feed. Once the puppies have got the hang of this we introduce Healthy Options kibble which is soaked in puppy milk to make a porridge. At first we add the raw mince to this however this is then replaced by raw tripe which will form part of their diet up until around six months of age when it can be dropped.
Hide and seek - Socilaisation period
Boxes are an important tool during the socialisation period. One of the aims is to stress the puppies only slightly to strengthen their personalities. This upturned box gives us that opportunity. The puppies learn to, run though it hide under it and when the fun is over it makes for a great sleeping place.
Problems problems problems - Socialisation Period
The same box has now been turned the other way up to make a new problem. Climb out of the box, it is just low enoght for the puppies to climb out. On this occation that was all but Pepper who stood and screamed at top pelt until she was rescued. Never mind next time she will make it!