Puppy Love!

What is cuter than a new puppy?  Puppies are adorable, loving, smart, furry, fun to play with and excellent family members.  Always dedicated to their families, there are a few things to remember as puppies grew into adult dogs.  We’ve listed a few facts here and hope your experience as a pet owner is a joyful one!

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A puppy is a juvenile dog, born approximately 58-68 days after conception. Puppies can weigh 1–3 lbs at birth, while larger ones can weigh up to 15–23 lbs!  All healthy puppies begin to nurse almost immediately and grow quickly after birth.  If there are more than six puppies in the litter and one or more are “runts”, human intervention in hand-feeding the stronger puppies is necessary so that the runts get proper nourishment and attention from their mother.

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At first, puppies will spend the majority of their time sleeping and feeding. They instinctively stay together and become distressed if separated from their littermates, even if it’s only a short distance.

Puppies are born with a fully developed sense of smell and use their noses to locate their mother and littermate.  But they can’t open their eyes. During the first two weeks of life, a puppy’s senses develop rapidly and most will open their eyes when they are 9-12 days old.  At first, their vision is poor but as they grow their eyesight begins to focus clearly.  In addition, puppies are unable to hear.  Their ears are sealed shut but begin to open between 13 and 17 days after birth.  When they are 2 to 4 weeks old, puppies usually begin to growl, bite, wag their tails, and bark.

As puppies reach one month of age, their mother begins to gradually wean them and they are introduced to solid food. The mother dog usually refuses to nurse her puppies at this stage, although she may let them nurse occasionally for comfort.

Puppies develop very quickly during their first three months and are no longer dependent on their mother.  Their coordination and strength improves and they begin exploring the world outside of their den while beginning to establishing their role in their new forever family.  At this stage, puppies love playing fetch and tug-of-war games.

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Puppies also like to chew and dig which usually does not make their owner very happy.  To help your puppy mature while reducing damage to your home and backyard, create a little space where your puppy can dig in the fresh, cool earth.  Giving your puppy a piece of fresh water driftwood will allow him to get through his chewing stage while saving plants and patio furniture.

For more information on helping your puppy become the best dog, please check out the expert, Cesar Millan:

 

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