.Sorry I missed posting the 4 week update here because I was having technological difficulties. During week 4 Puppies were started on puppy soupy-mush 1x/day which we have gradually made thicker over the week, and then added a 2nd meal. Mama Hope has been weaning them and spending less time with them, and big 'sister' Nova (unrelated) has been allowed to play with the puppies for short supervised periods. We took the puppies to different rooms in our house for play and exploration. At 5 weeks we began bringing the puppies outdoors to a penned area for them and they LOVED it. No hesitation about exploring and being out on the grass. We started with short playtimes but have extended their outdoor time more and more. During the heat wave last weekend we had them outdoors early in the morning and brought them in to the AC with fans on indoors. The puppies each received their second dewormer, and 2 quick baths in the sink in the last week. They love playing in the big yard now, and playing in the kitchen where we bring in new objects to investigate each day. They have been introduced to the riding lawnmower (not too close to their pen) and while unsure of it at first, were quickly distracted and gave me their attention when I brought out cream cheese treats.
The Sweet 7 are 3 weeks old! Now that their eyes and ears are open, they are so much more interactive and playful! They still sleep MOST of the time, but they wake up for 15 minute spurts and toddle around, chew on each other, try to play or wrestle, but it's in slow motion and so cute. They are finding their voices and have started howling, that's our favorite, there's not many things cuter than 3 week old puppies howling together. Their teeth are starting to erupt, and they have tripled and some almost quadrupled their birth weights so we have begun feeding them once a day a puppy milky-soup of puppy milk replacer and soaked puppy food blended together. They loved it right away and were lapping it up so we knew they were ready for it! In a couple days we will go to feeding twice a day, and gradually make it thicker, then 3 times a day as mama Hope gradually weans them and they need more than just milk. We've made several changes to their area, removed the box, removed most of the towels and replaced with pee pads, made a distinct sleeping area and potty tray area, and add/change out different items and toys several times a day. We've also been holding them throughout the day, had family and close friends over for very short supervised visits to hold them (we have a process and protocol for visitors to manage incoming germs/puppy viruses/careful handling). We continue to trim their claws, and introduced them to the nail dremel tool. All sounds are new to them as their ears have just opened and we will be introducing new ones each day-the vacuum cleaner, blender, loud children (lol), classical music, hair dryer, as well as recorded sounds of animals, alarms, thunder, etc
Puppies are 2 weeks! They are all gaining weight and growing well each day. All have their eyes open, within the last few days, we can see they are beginning to explore their world in a whole new way. Super fun to watch. I've been trying to post lots of photos and video clips to Facebook and Instagram so you can follow along (sorry I can't post videos here). They are almost finished up with ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) in 2 days, and we are beginning to add new stimuli to their area, one or 2 toys or objects at a time throughout the day. They are very curious and already coming up to examine and explore these new items. The most interesting thing is watching them discover each other, chewing on, looking at, and interacting with each other. They are beginning to use their voices more with little growls, barks, yaps, cooing (sounds like a bird, so funny). At this point in their development their vocalizations do not really mean anything- they are just finding their voices and discovering the sounds they can make. Their ears are just beginning to open, and they are not quite responding to sound regularly. We currently have them in a corner off our kitchen where there are lots of different sounds (and smells from cooking!) all day long. We've been trimming their claws every 3-4 days to keep from scratching up Mama Hope, and to get them used to the process. We are beginning to hold them more often for short periods of time, and sometimes they are wriggly and sometimes snuggly and fall asleep, so this is really good for them. Pretty soon this week we will change up their living area a bit-remove the whelping box and enlarge their area. Once puppies begin walking and can eliminate on their own without mama stimulating them (as they are now) they will naturally walk away from their sleeping area and eliminate. The idea is to start them early by setting up a 'potty area' and a 'nest area' and while it's really hit or miss, they eventually start to hit the target more and more and potty where it's appropriate. More on that in the next 2 weeks.
Puppies are 1 week old! All are doing well and thriving! They currently range from 1lb 14oz to 2lb 5oz. They are getting up off their bellies and toddling around on their wobbly legs! Mama hope was dehydrated over the weekend, we took her to the emergency vet Saturday to get blood panel and calcium levels checked, just to be sure she didn't have any infection, eclampsia, or something else going on. All checked out ok, just really dehydrated so she was given an antacid injection for her upset digestion, and sub-q fluids to help her bounce back. By Sunday afternoon she'd turned a corner and was drinking and eating small amounts of bland foods. She is now eating normally, along with her probiotics and calcium supplement. Here are the puppies' 1 week pictures:
Red boy Black boy Purple girl