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Video: Maintenance And Feeding Of Puppies During The Suckling Period
2023 Author: Molly Page | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 22:49
Puppies are born blind (their eyes are closed) and deaf (with closed auditory canals). They gradually open their eyes from the eighth birthday, and the ear canals from the fifth. The eyes and ear canals are fully opened by the 14-15th day of the puppies' life. However, even after opening the eyes, puppies in the first days are able to distinguish only bright moving objects and gradually become completely sighted. Puppies are born with a poorly expressed ability to thermoregulation.
Thus, puppies after birth are helpless and their normal existence in the initial period of life is entirely dependent on the mother. They are not able to empty themselves from urine and feces and do this only with the help of the mother, who licks and massages them, activating the contraction of the corresponding muscles.
At the same time, immediately after birth, they have the innate ability to determine by the smell of the mother where she is located, move towards her, find and suck the nipples. This allows babies to meet two vital needs - food and warmth. The main internal stimuli in a puppy are hunger and cold. When hungry, he crawls and finds a nipple to get enough milk, when cold he crawls to the mother or other puppies - sources of heat. If he soon fails, then he whines, and the mother pushes the puppy towards her with her muzzle, and if he crawled far away, she grabs him by the scruff of the neck with her mouth and brings him back to its place.
Bitches usually have eight teats, of which the hind teats are the mildest
Stronger puppies, especially in large litters and with insufficient milk production of bitches, actively oppose other puppies, removing them from the mother. Therefore, it is necessary to periodically put less strong and underdeveloped puppies on the hind teats and make sure that all puppies are getting enough milk. The greatest attention should be paid to this in the first two to three weeks of puppies' life, when in most cases the puppies are not yet fed.
Newborn puppies crawl initially only with the help of their front paws, which during this period are more developed. The hind legs bend and drag, almost not participating in movement. Inexperienced dog breeders are often thoroughly concerned about this, raising the suspicion that the hind legs of the puppies are paralyzed. However, as a rule, there are no grounds for alarm. Gradually, the hind legs will get stronger and will actively participate in the movement of the puppy. If this does not happen, then you need to seek help from a veterinarian.
From the first days of life, puppies give the mother sound signals, in which she is well versed and to which she responds accordingly. If the puppies are hungry, they whine, experiencing pain caused by the mother from careless movements, as well as from accumulated urine and feces and the inability to get rid of them, they bark and bark. When the pain is severe, the puppies bark loudly and move forward. If the bitch turns and crushes the puppy, he squeals, and she immediately releases him.
Dog breeders should understand the sound signals given by puppies, and if the mother does not respond to them, which is extremely rare, then immediately help them. Most often, the need for such help arises in the presence of nursing females with a large body weight (Moscow watchdog, Caucasian shepherd dog, etc.), which often press down on their puppies.
In the first two to three weeks of the puppies' life, their mother takes the main care of them and, obeying the maternal instincts, she takes care of diligently, faithfully, selflessly and skillfully. The obsessed bitch constantly licks the puppies, licks their urine, eats their feces, which is natural and normal during this period. Eating feces is believed to stimulate milk production. When the puppies are transferred to feeding with cow's milk, meat, etc., the bitch stops eating feces from the puppies, which contributes to the reduction and then the termination of her milk production.
Consequently, in the first two to three weeks after whelping, the owner should mainly take care of the whelping bitch, her normal maintenance, timely and full feeding in order not only to maintain her life and work capacity for caring for puppies, but also to produce milk for the puppies. Drinking water should always be near the bitch, the animal should be regularly cleaned, walked.
The growth and development of puppies during the suckling period depends on the milkiness of the bitch and on how much her maternal instinct is developed and manifested. The bitch's milk production and maternal instinct depend on hereditary inclinations, as well as on the conditions of keeping and the quality of feeding. Full-fledged timely feeding, good care, favorable placement conditions contribute to high milk production and the active manifestation of the maternal instinct, and therefore the normal growth and development of puppies.
Feeding puppies, providing their growing organisms with all the necessary food components, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, in the first two to three weeks of life are provided by mother's milk, which is very rich in composition.
The development of puppies, from birth to the end of the suckling period, and especially in the first two weeks, depends mainly on the proper nutrition of the lactating bitches. In the first two weeks of newborn puppies, the mother's milk is the only food
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