Puppy's First eight weeks
Going Above And Beyond For the Welfare of dogs
The most important stage of a young puppy’s journey to a long happy healthy life.
As in every life journey, this journey begins with parents. A puppy’s parents especially the mother play an important role in the life of a puppy. A breeder will select two healthy adults a male and a female with the goal of having a litter of strong healthy puppies. The breeder’s second goal is to uphold generations of breed standards based on confirmation and temperament. Before this process, both parents have undergone a health check and visit with a licensed vet to ensure the adult's health and wellness are at a high enough standard for raising a litter of puppies.
The mother dog specifically by ODA (Ohio Division of Agriculture) law must have a veterinary health check and the okay given before she is allowed to be bred. She also in accordance with Canine Care Certified will have no more than six litters of puppies in her lifetime. These laws and other guidelines are important to maintain the health and well-being of all dogs in Ohio. Responsible breeders have worked closely with lawmakers to achieve these standards and will continue to work together with the ODA on continued training and implementation of best practices. Voluntarily working with Canine Care Certified only solidifies Ohio breeders' commitment to the welfare of the dogs in their care and shows forward thinking and continual improvement. More information about this program can be found on their website by following the appropriate links.
After it is determined that the mother dog is, in fact, pregnant she and her unborn puppies will be monitored closely. She will be fed special supplements with her daily diet giving her extra sustenance and assisting in the development of her unborn puppies. Two weeks before the expected birth date the mother is moved to a special whelping area where she is alone and can begin to prepare for the coming birth of her puppies. She will have continued access to the outdoors at all times during this period. She can come and go from the whelping area as she pleases, and she receives extra attention and comfort. She will also be given a prenatal vitamin to assist in the development of the mother’s milk.
At the birth of the puppies the breeder is there to assist as needed and for certain breeds of dog special operations and procedures are carried out by a licensed veterinarian. After birth, the puppies are licked dry by the mother and within hours are nursing. For the first three to four days the puppies will be checked every few hours by the breeder. The breeder makes sure that everyone including the mother is eating and in good health.
Within 24hrs after birth, the first human contact is made with the puppies and will continue until they go to their forever homes. Socialization time with both parents and puppies is one of the most important factors in the life of a dog. Vaccination protocols and supplementation is given as prescribed by a veterinarian. A daily cleaning, grooming, and play routine is begun and maintained.
At 15-20 days the puppy’s eyes begin to open and they are moving more around the nest area. At 20 – 25 days most breeds begin to walk. At this stage during socialization, the puppies are exposed to grass and other surfaces for the first time. This is the time of exploration and learning about the world around them. Along with the mother’s loving guidance, breeders do their best to prepare the puppies for their new homes. Mother’s pass along many traits to their puppies and not just physical ones. Social behavior and trust are also passed down. That is why all dogs at all stages in life in a kennel are loved and taken care of. It is a process that is upheld and maintained by all responsible breeders. To love their pets and treat them with care and compassion.
Soft food is introduced at three to four weeks and at six to seven weeks dry kibble. At seven weeks the puppies are weaned and interaction with their mother becomes less and less. This is in preparation for going to their new homes. Before leaving for their new homes every puppy is checked and given a certificate of good health by a licensed veterinarian. At eight weeks the puppies are now ready to be adopted to new homes and be on their way to a life of health and happiness. Learn more about puppy and dog welfare.