With three weeks to go, mom's belly begins to expand. Her food intake increases and she remains on prenatal vitamins. Keeping her happy, healthy and comfortable will help when its time to deliver.
The last two weeks and mom is gearing up for the big day. Not sure she always likes me following her around taking pictures!
Before mom is due to deliver, I construct a whelping box and bring all the essentials that will be needed for delivering the pups.
The day before her due date, Piker heads to the whelping bed and gets very quiet. I soon see the contractions and anxiously anticipate the arrival of her puppies.
With fingers crossed and many prayers, Piker comes through and starts delivering her puppies!
Piker delivers beautiful puppies! She adores them and cares for them on a 24-7 basis. We check weights, cuddle, stimulate and talk with them during this time.
After the first week, mom will start to venture out of the whelping box while the pups rest. She may decide to take a quick nap outside the hallway, but the first sounds of the pups beginning to stir, she dashes back in the whelping box. We will spend more time with the pups letting them hear our voice and get use to our touch.
Around the second week the pups eyes begin to open and the world will soon be changing for them. They no longer lay in one big pile, but now seek their own space.
We spend more time with the pups and notice they start wagging their tails when they hear our voice. We keep up with their daily health checks and spend more time interacting with them one on one.
The pups learn that having their mouths checked, coats brushed and nails clipped can be a good thing. Making these early exposures as pleasant as possible goes a long way into adulthood.
At three weeks they are ready to move to a new place. A new 10 feet by 12 feet puppy arena is constructed. This location allows for the pups to have plenty of space and be exposed to all the new sights, sounds and smells that a rapidly expanding world has to offer. The pups also start learning how to use the litterbox full of wood chips.
In addition to the new home, new foods start getting introduced. The pups will get exposed to chicken, beef, lamb, fish and an assortment of vegetables. Early exposure to different foods may help prevent any food allergies down the road.
The new home will start being filled with new toys, objects and surfaces. Numerous noises, music and people contact helps make sure the pups get a good start on adjusting and thriving in any environment.
At four weeks more visitors come to start the human socialization. Puppy hugs and kisses are exchanged for handling, talking, cradling and bonding.
Mom still cleans and feeds them, but spends more time watching TV and resting outside the nursery. She has a new bed near the bigger nursery and sometimes rest away from the pups, but always close enough so she can see, smell and hear what’s happening.
The pups begin to adventure and explore the outdoors. They enjoy playtime, especially with their two-legged friends! Fresh air, birds singing, wind blowing, running and playing make for a healthy heart and mind!
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