Week by Week
Week 1 is crucial to keeping puppies alive. The puppies are completely dependent on their mom for food and care. The puppies eyes and ears are still closed. I sleep near the puppies whelping box the first few weeks to help avoid mom laying on them and supplemental bottle feedings every hour when necessary.
Goals: Keeping up with the daily weights, keeping the puppies warm, supplementing with additional nutrients as needed. Weights are recorded daily for the first week.
Week 2 is similar to week 1.
Goals include making sure the puppies are gaining weight. They should be double the weight they were when they were born. Keeping the puppies warm is crucial so we keep the puppies on a temperature controlled heating pad set to mom's core temp. They are still not able to regulate their own temperature. Babies nurse often and start moving around more. Weekly individual portraits are shared with the family in additional to live pup cams.
Mama Poodles- My mama poodles are working hard to keep their babies alive. I will give them a light bath frequently to wash away the birth mess as mom recovers.
Eyes are opening and we are starting to litter box train. As soon as the puppies feed from their mom and scoot away to potty, we place them in the litter box to release. Early training is so important to increase the chance of successful trained puppies. The puppies are now eating every 3-4 hours.
Goal: Mother lead weaning, and introduce the litter box.
Week 4 is so exciting! Everyone is alert. Eyes are open, and the puppies are curious. They are awake longer, learning and hearing new sounds. Mental stimulation overload this week! Instead of scooting, the puppies are standing up and wobble walking.
Deworming is administered and feeding is every 3-4 hours still. Puppies are still getting help with litter box training.
The puppies are fully mobile and gaining independence. They are playing with their littermates and learning to use their voice (bark). At this stage depending on their size, we will transition them into a larger playpen. The puppies become more curious and want to explore the world beyond the whelping pool.
Week 6 we will start the weaning process. 1 meal will include warm water diluted puppy food. This is where the fun starts for us! Once the mama realizes her puppies are weaning and don't rely solely on her as a food source, she will stop cleaning them and will rely on our family to help. The kennel is introduced.
Goals: Slowly wean puppies, and deworming administered. Introduce the kennel.