Raising Puppies Timeline

 

Week One (Days 1-7)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

90% of time spent sleeping

10% eating

Susceptible to heat/cold

Instinctive reflexes: crawl, seek warmth, nurse

They can right themselves if placed upside down

Needs stimulation for urination/defecation

Rapid development of central nervous system

Need constant care from bitch

Rectal temperatures 94-97 degrees Farenheit

Pups may lose 10% of weight after birth, but should start gaining again

Weight should double by end of week

CARE OF THE PUPPIES

Chart weight daily ( daily first 2 weeks)

Examine puppies daily

Trim nails weekly

Keep whelping box around 85 degrees Fahrenheit (this means if it's hotter than that out, put a fan in the room or turn on the air conditioning, if it's colder than that get a heat lamp to put above the whelping box)

When you handle the puppies, it's a good idea use a towel when you hold them. The puppies urinate upon stimulation and will inevitably find your attention stimulating!

If your breed requires tail, ear, or dew claw docking, schedule this with your vet.

CARE OF THE BITCH

Keep dam on fluids for first 24 hours (i.e.. chicken broth, etc.)

Feed three full meals a day after that

Supplement with 250 mg Vitamin C twice daily

If puppies are fussy, supplement bitch with Vitamin B complex

Check mammary glands twice daily (looking for signs of mastitis -- swelling, hardness, pus, etc.)

Keep an eye on vaginal discharge (looking for signs of infection)

Make sure bitch eats, drinks, and relieves herself -- once her mothering instincts kick in, you may have to force her to leave the puppies to do these things.

TO DO LIST

Keep detailed records on puppies' weight and behavior

Keep charting bitch's temperature

Call puppy buyers with results of whelping

Week Two (Days 8-14)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

Eyes should open around days 8-10

Ears should open around days 13-17

Temperatures should be around 97-99F

CARE OF THE PUPPIES

Keep whelping box around 80-83F

Begin holding puppies in different ways (applying light stress)

Trim nails weekly

CARE OF THE BITCH

Bitch should get three times her normal amount of food

TO DO LIST

Continue as above

Week Three (Days 15-21)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

Teeth begin to erupt

Puppies stand up and start walking

Begin to lap liquids

Defecate/urinate without stimulation

Start becoming aware of environment

Start playing with littermates

Develop sense of smell

Puppies will start to discriminate as to where to relieve themselves

CARE OF THE PUPPIES

Start adding stimuli (toys) to puppies' life

Start giving specific stresses when handling (i.e.. pinch an ear or toe gently).

Start giving pups milk replacer to lap for one meal a day -- after two days, add some very mushy food

Weigh puppies every 2 days

Give puppies a dirty shirt of yours to play with

Start weekly grooming sessions (brush, trim nails, look at teeth, etc.)

CARE OF THE BITCH

Continue as above

TO DO LIST

Purchase milk replacer to feed puppies

Week Four (Days 22-28)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

Begin to eat food

Begin to bark, wag tails, bite, paw, bare teeth, growl and chase

Use legs well

Tire easily

Depth perception starts

CARE OF THE PUPPIES

Keep mom with them a lot! Things can get overwhelming at this age and Mom will add stability for them

Each pup needs individual attention

Offer small amounts of food that is the consistency of cooked oatmeal (puppy food mixed with water and mashed up in a blender)

CARE OF THE BITCH

Continue as above

TO DO LIST

Start limiting bitch's access to pups before offering them food

Week Five (Days 29-35)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

Group activities and sexual play will begin

Dominance order starts

Rapid growth/development

CARE OF THE PUPPIES

Reduce fluids in puppies' food

Make sure other people start coming to see pups

Begin weaning

Play radio at normal volume near pups for 5 minutes at a time

CARE OF THE BITCH

Start reducing amount of food to discourage milk development

Keep a careful eye on mammary glands

TO DO LIST

Discuss vaccination schedule with veterinarian

Week Six (Days 26-42)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

Growth and development continue

CARE OF THE PUPPIES

Offer soft, damp food

Chart weekly weight

Individual attention crucial -- give each puppy time with you away from litter

CARE OF THE BITCH

To prepare bitch for weaning: Day 1 -- no food

Day 2 -- 1/4 normal maintenance meal

Day 3 -- 1/2 normal maintenance meal

Day 4 -- 3/4 normal maintenance meal

Day 5 -- full amount of normal maintenance meal

Keep bitch on puppy food for several weeks to help her recover from the strain of breeding, whelping, and raising puppies

Keep careful eye on mammary glands

TO DO LIST

Continue as above

Week Seven (Days 43-49)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

Total hearing/visual capacity

Will investigate anything

Can't respond yet to name

CARE OF THE PUPPIES

Pups should be weaned and on regular puppy food

Pups can go to new homes

CARE OF THE BITCH

Keep careful eye on mammary glands until milk is completely dried up

TO DO LIST

Week Eight (Days 50-56)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

First fear period

Starts learning name

CARE OF THE PUPPIES

Don't ship puppies

Can start training puppies in small steps

CARE OF THE BITCH

Continue as above

TO DO LIST

Continue as above

Week Nine (Days 57-63)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

Develops strong dominant and subordinate behavior among littermates

Begins to learn right behavior

Motor skills improve

Short attention span

Starts focusing attention on owner rather than other puppies

Separate littermates

Start house training

CARE OF THE PUPPIES

Continue lots of individual attention

Week Ten (Days 64-70)

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

Safe to ship puppies by air