Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More changes

Almost 3 weeks old, eyes are wide open, but still only limited hearing. Ear canals should be open by this weekend. They are becoming accomplished walkers, and waddle over for attention if you step into the puppy pen. Willow is already trying to ditch this litter. Willow needs considerable encouragement to go into the pen to nurse the pups.

The puppy pen now has a small litter box (a plastic appliance pan) lined with a thick layer of flat newspapers. The pups were champs at using the potty pads, and are quickly adapting to the litter box. Chester was the first potty pad champ, I saw him go over twice to urinate that very first evening. Just this evening, I saw Sequoia march over to the new box to take a bio break. It is amazingly easy to litter box train baby puppies if you take advantage of their early instinct to toilet away from the "den" (would get rather messy in a true den otherwise). As soon as the pups start walking, you will see them wake up and make a deliberate effort to move away to toilet. When in the plastic puppy pool, I have seen a few pups frantically circle around the pool, looking for a place to toilet. A clear signal it is time to upgrade to the puppy pen.

Last night was the first night the pups spent out in the puppy pen, instead in the bedroom pen. The bedroom pen was getting too small, and the pups too noisy. This is a vocal litter. They are doing enjoying the extra space in the bigger pen and are quite interactive with their toys. The other adult dogs periodically go in to visit, especially my German shepherd Tacara.

Willow is now up to 9 cups of food per day. Her milk supply was tapped out this weekend, and I was a bit worried about the pups getting dehydrated, especially since they were eating some canned food. All their fluids come from what they eat and baby puppy kidneys are still underdeveloped. So I increased Willow's chow from 8 c to 9 c, much to her delight, and her milk supply noticeably improved. She is now quite the milk cow. These pups are very well fed, they look like little butterballs. In fact, they are so well fed that they are the first litter to be only minimally interested in their first offering of mashed soaked puppy kibble. This evening, I dished out their first kibble meal, and only a few pups nibbled at the puppy mush. Pups from other litters have dived in and thoroughly enjoy the new bounty. The pups are currently getting approximately 1 tablespoon of canned food 3x daily, and they are eagerly accepting that food.

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