The puppies are growing fast 🍼 Part 3 of 4
Now it's full speed at home - the puppies are growing so fast and you are in full swing to take care of both mother and babies. Time goes incredibly fast, from little potatoes who mostly just sleep to completely crazy little ones escaping from the puppy pen and chewing and pulling in everything they come across. Lots happen in the little bodies, and soon it's time for them to get their first taste of real food!
In this article we will cover the weaning of the puppies, the importance of good calcium balance in the mother, the puppy's development in its first eight weeks and meet another kennel in our breeder's program.
Time for little puppy mouths to taste food for the first time!
When the puppies are about four weeks old, they can begin to be weaned gradually. In the first days, only small bits are given to slowly but surely get the stomachs used to solid food. When you start with dry food, it should be really soaked the first few times. It is good to feed the puppies often, at least 4-6 times a day while they are still nursing, to slowly but surely reduce the dependance on milk and and increase the intake of food, until eight weeks of age when they must be completely weaned to be able to move to their new home.
The vital calcium
The fact that the mother gets enough calcium during the last part of the pregnancy and lactation is vital. Calcium deficiency during pregnancy can lead to complications in labour, and during lactation, calcium deficiency can lead to life-threatening conditions. Signs of calcium deficiency in nursing mothers can be behavioral changes such as that she neglects or even becomes aggressive towards her puppies, or gets muscle twitches and moves stiffer. In these situations, you always need to see a veterinarian.
Calcium deficiency can be prevented with a well-balanced puppy food for the mother during both pregnancy and lactation. petgoods puppy food is developed with veterinarians and dietitians to contain recommended levels of calcium and other minerals needed for a good mineral balance in the mother. Adding additional calcium supplements is not recommended, as this interfere with the sensitive mineral balance and can instead cause complications.
The puppy's development in the first weeks of life
0-2 weeks: The puppy gets the vital colostrum, full of nutrients and antibodies from his mother. The puppy nurses and sleeps most of the time and stays close to its mother where it is warm and safe.
2-3 weeks: The puppies open their eyes and their vision and hearing develop fast. They are slowly but surely starting to become more mobile. Milk is still the most important source of nutrition.
4-8 weeks: Now the tempo in the puppy pen is really increasing! The puppies grow and develop, and start playing and exploring their surroundings. They become more curious about solid foods and begin to switch more and more to feed as their main source of nutrition.
Björkelunds Rottweiler - a sunshine story
Johanna and her mother Inga-lill have been running the Björkelunds Rottweiler kennel for over 20 years; a kennel with a focus on well-built, strong dogs with a good mentality, and we are happy to have them in our breeder's club. Get to know them a bit better in the full breeder's story here.
One of the kennel's males has also been put on petgood. In the background you can hear the result of his participation in the kennel, seven just over a week old Rottweiler puppies are now crawling around and sniffing in the puppy box, taken care of by their mother Björkelunds Bra-ssa, also called Mio. The very first litter of puppies came already 20 years ago, a year after the kennel was founded. The choice to work with Rottweilers for Johanna, was more or less a coincidence...