Waiting for your new puppy to come home is like waiting for your favorite holiday! You’re excitedly preparing with toys, a collar, leach etcetera; but what is your puppy doing before it comes home?
Well first thing’s first, your baby is being born! It’s an exciting time for everyone, the puppies are now on their journey in the outside world. Now begins the first eight weeks before they join you for a wonderful life. Let’s dive right into the neonatal stage!
The neonatal stage goes through the first three weeks, your puppy’s eyes and ears are still closed so they are only able to experience touch, smell and taste. During this period of time is where ENS will be performed by your breeder if they include it. What is ENS? It stands for “Early Neurological Stimulation”, simply put this includes exposing your baby to various sensations to get their little brain and nervous system up and running to its full potential!
Somewhere between two to three weeks old is when your puppy opens their eyes and begins to hear the world around them; it can be a bit scary at first but they adapt fast! The puppies start to find their voice and learn to walk. It is always abundantly clear when a litter has begun to hear; they can’t get enough of listening to their own puppy growls and barks!! This is the catalyst to developing some independence. They begin to become curious about the world around them and want to play with their littermates.
Between week 3 and 5 begins the weaning phase. Momma dog still nurses and cleans her babies, but is far less enthusiastic about it. In fact, she is typically the one who begins weaning by making them go longer stretches between nursing. The breeder begins to soak puppy food to make “Puppy Mush” so that your puppies can eat it (those sharp little teeth still haven’t fully come in yet!). Also your babies are introduced to a litter box! This is a great way to teach them to potty in a designated place to make it easier for you to potty train at home.
Over the course of a few weeks the food is less soaked until it’s completely dry and the momma dog is done nursing her babies.
By week 5 the puppies are obsessed with human interaction and LOVE to play with anything and everything! Now they start to learn how to play properly with their siblings and teach each other how hard to bite and when enough is enough. The energy level of the pups is growing day by day until it’s hard to keep up with them! By this age, we can really start to see little individual personalities come to light!
We’ve made it to week seven, one more week before you say “welcome home!” to your new furry companion. What’s going on to prepare these little puppies to go home? Let’s start with a vet visit to make sure they’re all healthy and to get their first puppy booster, ouch! Once that’s done, here at Sweethaven we microchip your babies so they can always be found if they ever get away, but hopefully that never happens.
Whew, we’ve made it to week eight! Your puppy is all prepped to make the journey home! They’ve grown up and been raised just for you, they’ve been given a nice bubbly bath and had their little nails trimmed so they don’t poke you. The next step is to go home with you and live their best life giving you all the love they have.