I’m pretty sure each litter we have grows faster than the previous one. Our sweet setter pups are already nearing five weeks old! These sweet red babies are becoming so energetic and fun! They still sleep a lot, but they are slowly demanding more and more attention and interaction. It’s such a fun time!
Here is a recap of the last two weeks.
- The puppies are beginning the weaning process. Yay! At this point, the care of the puppies slowly shifts from Mama Duchess to me. In the last weeks, I have been caring for Duchess, providing clean bedding, and monitoring the puppies’ growth. Other than that, Duchess has done the rest. As the puppies begin to wean and become more independent, I’ll take over a lot of the care- feeding, cleaning, training, socializing, etc. This is where my work truly begins! I always start the puppies off with raw goat milk with a little bit of softened and mashed kibble. Goat milk is a really amazing thing! I’ve heard it called the “universal milk replacer.” Many kinds of animals are able to digest and live off goat milk. It’s much gentler on the digestive system than cow milk. When bottle feeding a puppy, I chose to use raw goat milk over store bought puppy formula, because it’s easy to digest and it contains good bacteria that a store-bought formula would not have. To help puppies learn to eat solid food, I soak kibble in goat milk for the first while. They love the taste, and the liquid is easy for them to lap up while they practice chewing the harder kibble. This insures that the even the puppies that are a bit slower at picking up the chewing part are getting plenty of fat, protein, and nutrients. It also helps keep them hydrated as they transition off of mama’s milk.
- Socializing also starts at this age. I am trying something new with this litter. I found a playlist of videos on YouTube specifically for desensitizing dogs to noises. Each video focuses on certain sounds, like rain and thunder, cars and trucks, vacuums and household noises, fireworks, crying babies, and other noises that dogs may find frightening. The idea is that if you play these kinds of sounds at a low volume it helps to get them used to it, making it less likely for them to startle or be frightened when they experience these sounds in real life. So for an hour or two a day, I am playing some of these sounds tracks to help get the puppies used to a variety of different noises.
- We are working hard on potty training. Right now, the puppies do excellent with not peeing on their bed, but they still often pee anywhere in their play area. I’m trying to get them to use a certain area for bathroom needs, so that the play area stays dry and clean. That’s going to take a few more days of messy work, but we will get there!
- The puppies got the chance to venture into the great outdoors for the first time this week. They were THRILLED! However, the weather has turned cold and snowy again, so it will be a few days until the puppies are able to go outside again.
- Remember the little sweetheart with the torn ear? That was April. This is what her ear looks like now.
If you look closely, you can tell her ear is not quite perfect. The stitches only stayed in a day or two, but the glue the vet also put on held fairly well. The end result is an ear that is MUCH better than it was right after birth, but not totally perfect. The back of her ear has a slightly uneven edge. However, as the feathering comes in on her ear, I don’t think it will be very visible (if at all) as an adult. Even now, if you didn’t know anything was wrong, you would never notice. At any rate, I am very pleased with how her ear healed.
Other than that, we have just been playing with the puppies and enjoying the brief time we get to spend with them! Five of the seven puppies have homes, which is so exciting! We still have two boys that are available. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and I hope all of my north-eastern friends are enjoying the snow!