We have now entered the stage where the puppies are fully active and independent. It is a very fun and interactive stage! Here is an overview of what the puppies have been doing in the past two weeks.
-We have nearly completed the weaning process. They still get a little bit of milk from Mia, but they are mostly transitioned onto Life’s Abundance Small & Medium Breed Puppy Food. The food is still softened to make it easier to chew; but within another week, they will be crunching away on the unsoftened kibble. We will also be starting them on NuVet Plus supplements in a few days. Once they are fully weaned off of momma’s milk, puppies’ immune systems become very vulnerable. The immunity they received from their mother’s colostrum (early milk that’s full of antibodies to fight infection and diseases) is already waning, and they become susceptible to bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. In fact, a puppy’s immune system does not become fully mature until 18-24 months old. To combat this, we use NuVet Plus, which is an immune system supplement designed to build and protect a dog’s immune system.
-We are continuing potty training. I have the puppies on a fairly strict schedule to help them master the potty training. For some reason, it seemed to take this litter a little bit longer than some to catch on to the “potty area” concept. However, we have FINALLY gotten to a point where I say that they all get it and are doing well. I’d say 90% of the messes end up in the right place. Woohoo! That means a lot less clean up for me! (And with my growing belly, clean up is becoming a bit cumbersome!)
-The puppies are getting to experience new sounds. Each day I try to expose to the puppies to some new sounds. I often use YouTube videos designed to desensitize dogs frightening noises. The idea is that playing these sounds at a low volume helps the puppies become accustomed to the strange sounds, and then they are much less likely to startle and become frightened when they hear similar sounds in real life. They have heard traffic noises, fireworks, and thunder. They also get to hear normal house hold noises like a noisy toddler, vacuuming, etc. All these things are good exposure and socialization for young puppies, and it gives them safe and positive experiences with noises that can sometimes be frightening.
-The puppies are also getting to experience some new toys and textures! They have a variety of toys that they enjoy playing with, but the most sought after one of all is a simple old sock. It’s soft, stretchy, and GREAT for tug-of-war. The other prized possessions are some of the Life’s Abundance chews I give them on occasion. They have had Buffalo Bully Sticks and Porky Puffs, and they LOVE them! (They will even abandon the sock for the treats.) Having healthy chews for young puppies is so helpful! It keeps them occupied, quiet, and gives them a good way to get all that puppy teething and chewing out of their systems. All puppies chew, and it’s important to give them healthy and constructive things to chew on.
-We had a brief reprieve of winter weather last week and the puppies got the chance to go outside for the first time. They had a blast! They loved sniffing in the dirt and grass, chewing on twigs and leaves, and simply getting some new sights and smells.
And here are some pictures to wrap up the post! Take special note of the pictures of Hobbes and Micky. They are the only two sweet boys that are still available!
Winnie & Lucy
The puppies love getting some extra play time in the living room. They especially enjoy crawling through the legs of the rocking chairs.
Hobbes & Winnie
Winnie (This little guy is so photogenic!)
Minnie, Lucy, & Calvin