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