Birth to Two Weeks

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Newborn Puppies - Heat Seaking Milk Missiles

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Did you know that newborn puppies can’t see, can’t hear, and can’t walk?  They are super cute, and super vulnerable.  Newborn puppies also can’t regulate their own temperature so they could easily get cold or overheat.  We help  keep our mamas happy and their puppies safe by literally staying with them 24/7 for the first two weeks.  We monitor the puppies and weigh each pup twice daily to be certain they are thriving.   See the raised bed in the photo? That’s so we can sleep right beside the puppies and hear if they squeak or need us in the middle of the night.  Even a great mama can accidentally lay on a pup when she’s over-tired, and the puppies wouldn’t be able to crawl out from under her.

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Everything in the Puppy Room has systematically been chosen to help the puppies develop and thrive.  The puppy box (or whelping box) is lined with either VetBed or Steri-Lon fleece which keeps pups warm and clean.  It also has a long-term benefit in that it provides excellent traction for the pups, which helps them develop strong muscles and reduces the risk of later-in-life orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia.  

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Under the fleece is a temperature regulated heated “nest” that helps keep the pups just the right temperature so they thrive but mama doesn’t get too hot. The box is raised up simply for our convenience, we spend so many hours in and around it that we’d like to be comfortable too.  Whelping boxes and equipment have come a long way since the days of old towels in a box or kiddie swimming pool.

Puppies - First two weeks

Did you know that your puppy is developing it’s brain A LOT in the first two weeks of it’s life?  Neural pathways and neural synapses are forming even before the puppy is walking, seeing, or hearing.  We implement Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) developed by Dr. Carmen Battaglia and Avidog’s Early Scent Introduction (ESI) with our puppies from 3-16 days old.  Like a lot of things related to dogs, there isn’t much hard scientific research proving or disproving these practices but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that it works and there is no risk to the pups, so we do it.

The video below show the ENS process with a 10 day old Whoosh puppy.

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Everyone knows dogs have a highly developed sense of smell, but check out the actual blood vessels!  Clearly, noses are very important.  Early Scent Introduction is a daily protocol from day 3-16 that consists of presenting the puppies with a different natural scent each day (Lemon is used in the video below).  The object is placed 1/2 inch from the puppies nose, and the puppy is allowed to explore the scent at its own pace for up to 30 seconds. This allows us to work the puppies noses and brains before their eyes and ears are open.

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© Greg & Robin Illchuk 2018-2024