This is typically the easiest week with a litter of puppies. Their mother is still doing the lion's share of the work in feeding and cleaning up after her little ones and my role is to support her in her efforts. I'm washing the bedding in the whelping box daily, feeding her plenty of nourishing food and making sure she has lots of cool fresh water to drink.
A quiet moment in the whelping box with Gracie's pups at 15 days old.
This is always an especially exciting week because this is when all of the puppies senses seem to come on-line. Now their eyes are all open and they can see (near sighted and blurry vision but nevertheless it's there) and they can hear sounds. They can get up and move around the box with increasing ease and I always break out in a big grin when I catch them pawing and mouthing each other or the stuffed toys I've placed in their box. They are also beginning to experiment with their voices and little barks and woofs are heard from time to time.
|Belle on November 13|
|Everyone fits in this dog bed.....for now - Nov 16|
The puppies continue to be weighed two times a day and their nails are filed with the dremel every few days. They get lots of handling and cuddles. The other day I snuggled in with the pups in their whelping box and watched Disney's Cinderella movie. After a long and busy day it was absolute bliss!
Another big change this week is the addition of pee pads to the whelping box and we begin the process of potty training. It may seem early but now the puppies are able to eliminate on their own. Prior to this they relied on Gracie stimulating them in order for them to do so. The puppies have an innate desire to move away from where they have been feeding or sleeping to eliminate and so the habit of going potty in a designated area is reinforced with the addition of pee pads. The pads have a different texture to the fleece in the box offering a clear distinction of where to potty. The puppies have been very good about using the pads and with ten puppies using them they are replaced with fresh ones several times a day to keep the box clean.
|Ariel getting weighed on Nov 11 (She was 2 lbs 3 oz. At birth she weighed 9.8 oz)|
All in all it has been a terrific week and I hope you'll check back next week to see the recap of the puppy's fourth week...
If you would like to follow the litter's progress please join us on Facebook and like our Northrock Barbets page to see frequent updates and photos.