Puppy Progress Week 4 - Teeth, Running and Food Experiments

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Monday, 20 February 2017

Puppy Progress Week 4 - Teeth, Running and Food Experiments



Who could have thought that just 4 weeks ago these bounding, rolling, fighting, yapping, playful young dogs were helpless scraps of fur paddling blindly a few centimetres at a time. I mean, you read about how fast puppies grow, you can watch movies on YouTube, but to see it in the fur (so to speak), has really taken us aback. The changes are happening so fast at the moment. Every time we think we are getting into a routine that works, it's time to reassess and evolve once more. So, a quick recap of what's been happening in Puppy World over the last week?



Not to break with my habit of reporting on how much the little lumps weigh, here is an update on the past 4 weeks of growth.....

DayGeorgeJessTeddyRosePatiBella
2195272254230240275
7355491445387440540
14510770695720695830
2176010851015116510351220
2894012901250151012401500
x Bigger4.84.74.96.65.25.5

....and as the table clearly shows it's Rose who is racing away and even now pipping Bella as the biggest of the bunch. Not bad for the puppy who was second smallest and spent 48 hours crying in pain as we thought we might lose her completely. We had been a little worried about George finding it difficult to get on the teat at food times and although we weren't sure if we should have done, we did move him around a little to get him on an empty teat if he was pushed out of the way. Leela hasn't seemed to mind, although we do worry about interfering too much with her natural instinct.

 

 

 

However, milk is no longer the only food stuff the pups have been trying. Having seen that Leela appeared a little reluctant to nurse sometimes and having read that weaning could start from 3 weeks onwards for some pups, we have also been offering the little ones some milky 'porridge' made from puppy milk replacement formula and ground up kibble a few times a day alongside their Leela feeds. 




Results were encouraging to start with as all the pups tried and seemed to like the mix, however, the quantity they have been taking in has been pretty minimal. Usually they have a few licks and wander off to fall asleep. Sometimes they come back for a little more, often they don't bother and get busy playfighting or pawing at our legs instead. Probably it has been a little early for these pups and, thankfully, since Leela is still nursing and they are growing we're not in a massive rush for them to be on more solids. We'll just keep an eye on their weight and based on what we've seen and read we expect they will transition naturally more and more in the weeks ahead (weeks 5-6). 

Also related to food, we've also been quite surprised to see how fast teeth have been appearing in the puppies mouths. One day they were gumming us playfully, the next we had little pointy daggers pressing lightly on our fingers. Other than George I think the rest now have pretty much a full set of gnashers to enjoy so we'll be keeping an eye on those.
In other news the pups were pretty happy to have their nails clipped last week, a delicate operation with a pair of human nail clippers that turned out to be much easier than we thought it would be. They're also far more mobile, running and even doing some small jumps around their pen which is going to have to be made bigger in the week ahead I think. They've also been getting a bit more fuss from us as well now they're more interactive and seem very happy to be handled, some even pawing at out legs for some extra fuss already....which we try not to give into too often :) 

As you can probably tell, although we're very busy with them, it's also a lot of fun to see them grow. Rose continues to be Miss Independent, Bella and George can still be found close together, as can Teddy and Jess as well although they mostly enjoy playfighting with each other, while Pati seems to balance independence and snuggling up depending on the day. Leela also seems more relaxed, probably as we have relaxed more a well. Over the first three weeks we were worried things were building up too much for her and becoming overwhelming, but that energy seems to be dissipating now and she is happier to be in with them, playing and nursing more naturally. Again, it's probably as we have stopped worrying so much and she's no longer picking up on our insecurity and naivety.

....Oh and we almost forgot. Leela and her puppies are famous! The Costa Almeria News ran an article on them during this week.



I wonder what changes Week 5 has in store?













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