Puppy talk…

May 16th, 2019

The last two weeks have pretty much revolved around Martha’s puppies. A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to them as they are two weeks old today! 😊

When puppies are born they are functionally blind and deaf. Have you ever wondered why? I have, and here’s the answer. It’s actually a part of the evolutionary trade-off.

Because pregnancy could affect carnivores ability to hunt, dogs evolved to have short gestation periods. This meant that dog moms wouldn’t need to take very long breaks from hunting. However, because the embryo spends such a short time in the womb (57 – 70 days), puppies are not fully developed and neither are their eyes and ears.

New-born puppies must consume colostrum, the first thick milk produced by their mom, within their first 24 hours. Colostrum is full of antibodies for protection against disease and the protein concentration in colostrum is substantially higher than in milk.

Newborn’s, and not only puppies have very immature and small digestive system and colostrum delivers its nutrients in a very concentrated yet low-volume form.

For the first week or so Martha’s puppies were feeding about every hour but we’re now on every two hours and overnight the stretches are even longer. New-born puppies are quiet, and if they cry you know they are either hungry, too cold, too warm or ill. Fortunately, we didn’t have any ill puppies.
 
Martha’s pups will start opening their eyes pretty soon. During the first days of opening, they aren’t yet capable of seeing too well and their vision is fuzzy or blurry but by 4 weeks the puppies should be able to see clearly.

Even though they don’t do much at this age, it’s fascinating to watch how they crawl to look for their mom and siblings. They move in circular movements, as they know they’ll eventually find their mom and the food. They can also be surprisingly strong when it comes to pushing each other away from a nipple and getting their fair chance at food! 😂

We only have one girl, who is slightly smaller, so we have to make sure no one pushes her away from her milk supply. We always try to place her on the back nipples as those have more milk. She’s catching up really quickly and when they’re lying down we can hardly recognise her.

We decided to try and put puppy collars on, as they’re all black, but Martha wasn’t happy and took them all off 🙈. She did it with her first litter too. We recognise some of the puppies, which have small marks of white hair on their chins or toes, but when they are older they will be easily recognisable by their mannerisms.

I can’t wait for it! 😊 

  Jitka xx

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