Issue Two

Dog Blog Issue Two

The nature of puppy nectar

She is born! Mum, Pip, had her first pup at 2.56am and last at 8.06am, 15th March 2024, seven pups in all - 4 males and 3 females, (the wee golden treasure in the middle of the pile is one of the boys). One of these delicious bundles will be the new member of the K9MD NZ canine team, and we can’t wait to introduce her to you. But there’s a wee way to go before she can join us. She has some growing to do, and a good amount of brain development to be achieved before she’s clever enough to begin her journey as a K9 Medical Detective. We wondered what the first two weeks of the puppies’ life will be like.

The milk bar is open for business

The pups’ breeder, Claire Penno, tells us they weighed between 505 and 601 grams just 24 hours after they were born, but she expects them to have doubled their weight by the time they are 10 days’ old.

At birth, the puppies’ eyes and ears are sealed shut, and they experience their world entirely by smell from the moment they are born. This is their strongest sense, and the first thing they use it for is finding their mother and the only source of nourishment they need for the first three weeks of their lives. Pip would have produced colostrum in her milk for the first 24-48 hours’ after her pups were born, and this is essential for the puppies as it contains antibodies necessary for their survival in their new world. Colostrum has amazing properties, and you can read more about the science of colostrum, and why it’s so vital for puppies, on Royal Canin’s website, here:

Luckily, the pups have no teeth for a few weeks, so feeding time is comfortable for mum at this age. But Pip will need extra care, to ensure that she has enough energy while feeding her pups. Until the pups are weaned, she’ll need between and two and four times as many calories as normal. That’s a lot of food, so high-quality, high-calorie food will ensure she is able to eat the quantity she needs to produce sufficient milk, and maintain her own health. And letting her graze her food, as and when she wants to, ensures she can fit eating around frequent puppy feeding times.

The pups can’t support their own weight at this age, so they will be paddling around on their bellies. Still, they manage to get to mum’s milk bar efficiently enough! They will be totally dependent on Pip for the first three weeks or so, but that won’t stop them exploring as they get stronger, and sometimes getting a bit off course. Pip will need to keep a good eye on them at that stage to guide them back to the nest. At about a week old they will have built enough strength to be able to start to use their hind legs, and they’ll get plenty of exercise moving around as best they can, until they are strong enough to take their first proper steps at about three weeks old. 

During the first two weeks, puppy brain development is mainly focused on finding mum, eating and sleeping, but their little brains will take a huge leap of evolution when their eyes and ears open, and they can begin experiencing and discovering their world with these new-found senses. There will be huge changes to report in our next issue, including the beginning of the pups’ education! And we’ll bring you some more gorgeous puppy photos, with their eyes wide open and personalities starting to develop.