We made it through the first weekend with puppies in the house. I thought I would share some of my
experiences of what it’s like to raise puppies.
The first week puppies are born you see a transformation in
the dog you thought you knew so well to something you almost don’t
recognize. It starts at the birth of the
puppies, when instinct takes over and I marvel how they ‘just know’ what to do. I have found the best bet is to stay out of
the way and try not to hover over her. The few days/weeks after the birth the mother
dog is very protective. When I try and
pick up a puppy, Scout will look me straight in the eye and I can tell I am
testing the limits of our friendship.
When my daughter had a sleeping puppy on her lap, Scout went over,
picked up the pup and took it back to the whelping box. The message is clear “Keep your hands off”. This will ease in the coming weeks. We will just need to wait for Scout to let us
know when she decides visitors are welcome.
After the whelping, my main job is to take care of the
mother dog. Seeing all these mouths to feed,
makes me realize that the mother is going to need to eat A LOT. I feed her yogurt, broth, rice, peanut
butter, canned dog food and heaps of dry dog food. Scout usually eats 3-4 cups of food a
day. I am trying to get her up to 16
cups of food a day. Like humans, a
mother dog will often neglect herself for her duties. Initially, she will nervously and obsessively
take care of her puppies. She will whine
and fuss, get up, lay down, repeat…
I have to encourage her to leave the whelping box to go
outside, get a drink and maybe walk around the yard a few times. If I slip the lead off of her, she will run back
to the house and pace and whine until I let her back in. If I manage to convince her that the pups are
fed and she can come for a short walk with me, she will go back to the house with
a better mental state – hungry to eat a meal, take a nap and continue her
Last night Scout was trying to relocate her puppies. Even though we are trying to limit activity
around her, there are 5 people in my house.
She was excavating a “den” under
a the roots of a dead tree in our yard.
She also was checking out if she would fit under a chair in the living
room. Apparently , the heated whelping
box with a comforter and convenient water and food where not living up to her expectations
and the neighborhood has been too noisy.
This was just too stressful for
Scout. I am glad we will be back at work
and school today. Several hours of quite
are just what mother and puppies need.