Fat and Happy

Weaning is going well, Annie’s milk production seems to be going down and the pups are eating well on their own more and more frequently. They are fat and happy. When I walk into the room they gather around me and bite (hard) on my legs, ankles and feet. I have to really control myself so I don’t kick out reflexively and send one of the sailing! Today I imagined their first time outside in the snow and got really excited. Of course that will have to wait until they are a bit older and hopefully the weather will cooperate. In the summer I’d have had them outside by now, but they are just too small and it is just too cold and so my instinct is to wait.

Read on for more photos! (more…)

December 19, 2008 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: Annie, nutrition, pups • No Comments

Pups getting the hang of it

Today Annie got to show off her stuff to an interested family. She did great and I was very impressed by her easy going nature. Now if we can just figure out this Kong obsession! Really, though, she was friendly, open and happy to let them interact with her. I couldn’t have asked for more.

The puppies have really gotten the hang of eating, as the photos show. They just put their heads down and lap it up. It’s funny, but they lap for a bit and then get distracted and wander off. But if you put them back to the bowl they react like, “Say! Where’d this come from? Food! Yahoo!” and start lapping again, only to get distracted and wander off again. They have mastered the ins and outs of climbing the board that separates their bedding area and now when I enter the room it isn’t unusual to see one or two pups out wandering around, exploring the space. However, the room (more…)

Puppy Chow Time

Here is the video I referred to a couple days ago. Here the pups are eating (and wearing) solid food for the first time…

Make sure your sound is up for puppy noises!

December 12, 2008 • Tags: , , , , • Posted in: nutrition, pups, video • No Comments

Puppies First Solid Food

So, this morning I’m hanging out with the puppies and they seem to want to walk around so I take them all out of the bed area and put them into the puppy play room. They wander around, crying less than usual, and Annie is eating and they all walk over to her food bowl. Instead of nursing, they all crowd around her bowl and start trying to eat her dry kibble!! She was tense and growling at them but stopped when I (more…)

December 10, 2008 • Tags: , , , • Posted in: Annie, nutrition, pups • 1 Comment

Ravenous Mama Dog

Annie’s cold is getting better – finally. Have I mentioned that yet? She came to us with the beginnings of kennel cough and has been on antibiotics since. She has stopped coughing and now just sneezes huge amounts of snot everywhere. It’s gross but I’m glad she’s getting better.

She continues to gain weight. I was talking with a friend and when I mentioned how much she is eating she was shocked…so I thought I’d let you all know. Normally, a lactating female dog needs 3 to 4 times their regular food intake. Annie is eating the following each day – 2 cups puppy formula, 6 cups dry puppy food, and two cans of puppy food. I guess that is a lot. She is still ravenous at each feeding so I haven’t noticed how much she is actually eating until I listed it out. It is sort of crazy. But she is trying to make up for her lean times before coming to us and in addition she’s feeding 8 pups.

Annie nursing pups

Annie nursing pups

Nursing takes a lot out of a mama! It gives a lot too, though. The hormones, prolactin and oxytocin, that are released help mellow out the mama dog and make her more attached to her pups. And the immunity that is transferred during nursing is invaluable. Even though Annie is sneezing all over her pups (and then dutifully licking them clean) they are not getting her cold. The antibodies her body is creating to fight her cold are going directly to her pups as well, keeping them safe. And don’t think that because we have puppy formula we will be using it with the pups – it is simply a fast way to get a high quality balanced meal into Annie. I strongly believe in letting nature take its course and letting mama wean her pups. It happens easily enough because at 3 weeks the pups get their sharp little teeth and start using them on everything. That shortens the nursing sessions abruptly!