The gestation period for pregnancy in a canine, regardless of age, breed or size is 58-68 days from ovulation, though day 63 (9 weeks) seems to be the magic number for many breeders/pregnancies.
The big day we've been waiting for, puppies are born! After birth, it's important for us to closely monitor mom and puppies. Mom will spend this week recovering from delivery (whether it were a natural birth or a c-section) and bonding with her furbabies. This is a crucial time for her puppies, paying close attention to their growth rate and development is our priority. In some cases we will supplement the puppies with tube-feeding and/or additional nutrients to ensure they continue to thrive and grow at the same rate as their littermates.
If you've ever seen a newborn puppy, you likely noticed that their eyes were closed. If you didn't, chances are you were probably distracted by their undeniable cuteness, or just thought they were sleeping. While there's no question that puppies sleep almost constantly during the first few weeks, puppies are actually born deaf and blind. Puppies eyelids remain tightly closed/sealed until 10-14 days of age, to provide a barrier/protection for their developing eyes and eyesight. Even after opening, it will be several weeks before their eyes and vision are developed entirely. Likewise, their ear canals remain closed from birth until approximately 2 weeks of age. The puppies still aren't getting around too much just yet, but are getting stronger and wrigglier by the day. The puppies are being handled daily to familiarize them with human touch and interaction. They will also receive their first dose of Pyrantel de-wormer between 10-14 days of age.
Puppies can now see and hear their surroundings and are beginning to develop more obvious visual differences! They are starting to wander around more, interact with littermates and are becoming more vocal. We typically begin offering puppy mush and a water bowl towards the second part of week three, in addition to the milk they're still dependent on their mom for.
This is a fun week! The puppies are thriving and we begin observing some personality differences, wagging tails, barking and expressive behavior.