A day in the life of 2 week old puppies

What does  typical day look like of us when we have a brand new litter of puppies?
Well lets take a look. This is what an average day with 2 week old puppies looks like in our home:

First of all you may ask where are our Frenchies kept? They are all part of our family and are living in our home. We do not have any kennels on our property nor we do use dog crates inside or outside the house. Very rarely we will use a crate when have have an older puppy and we feel they cannot be trusted for extended period of time when we go outside of the home. but we always strive to keep all our Frenchies roaming freely around our home.
Thankfully French bulldogs are not a destructive breed so there isn't a high chance of you coming home to the staircase being eaten..

Well back to the day of our 2 week old litter:
We stay with our Newborn puppies 24/7 the first 3 days of their lives. Then between week 1-3 we are with them all day and at night we set the alarm for every 3 hours to check on them. Yes we don't get much sleep at this time and this ( and biohazards) is why we don't welcome any visitors at this age.  Puppies and their mom sleep in what is called a whelping den. It looks something like this:

On the bottom there are few layers: a soft base layer, heating pad, and towels.
The heating pad is only on 50% of the whelping den, and is always turned on for the puppies 3 weeks of life. This is so the puppies do not get cold as they have a hard time keeping their body temperatures on their own at a young age. If they feel too warm they are able to move away to the part of the box where there is no heating pad as well.
The railing that is around the perimeter of the inside of the box is to prevent the puppies from getting stuck underneath their mom, it creates a pocket of space for them so they don't become squished. 
Towels are changed daily so the puppies and mommy always have a clean bedding.  There is always a ton of laundry to do and we spent almost as much on cleaning supplies as we do on kibbles!

First thing on the agenda in the morning is to check the puppies-are they warm, not crying and then it is time to feed all the puppies by placing them gently on mommy, making sure each puppy is getting adequate nursing time.  After feeding the puppies it is time to feed all of the adults, including mommy.
In our home our Frenchies get fed and taken care of before we eat ourselves. 

Our adult Frenchies get 3 walks a day, but when a dam has puppies we don't take her on walks, and she just goes to the bathroom in our backyard. This is for 2 reasons: 
One is hygienic reasons-she doesn't step on something/eats something on the walk that could be potentially dangerous to her puppies. She also wouldn't want to be that far away from her puppies for that long when thy are very young.

After breakfast, it is weighing time. Puppies are usually weighed every day until they are 4 weeks old and start eating a mixture of solid food. This way we can see who is gaining the fastest and who is lacking behind. If a puppy starts to loose weight more than 1 day in a row, they need to be bottle fed in addition to their regular nursing.

At this age puppies sleep 95% of the time and the rest of the time they are eating or very slowly trying to engage their little muscles to lift their heads or scoot over to the other side of the whelping box. 
We handle our puppies often and provide early neurological stimulation, and of course lots of kisses as they are just too irresistible.

Rest of the day is a lot of checking on the puppies...are they nursing well, and are they always warm.
Sometimes their mommy has had enough and needs a little break and time to herself. But if she is gone for too long we have to put her in with the puppies and close the doors. Motherhood is hard sometimes...
Mommy always has 24/7 access to water and food that is in her den.

At this age all poop and pee is cleaned by the mommy. She has to stimulate their bowl movements by licking the puppy's belly. This is why all dogs love belly rubs! It reminds them of their mother's love when they were babies.
Around 4-5 weeks of age puppies start their potty training and at around 4-5 weeks of age we introduce them to the doggy bathroom trays with alfalfa pellets. We have had amazing success with these trays and puppies use them 100% of the time.

Baths are not given at this age, as all cleaning is done by mom.

At around 4 weeks of age puppies are big and strong enough that they can be moved into their own puppy play pen. They have their own food and water dish, toys and a bed to sleep in and begin their potty training. Mommy still feeds them until around 5-6 weeks when the are fully weaned off. At this age we only check on them once a night. We can begin to sleep through the night once puppies are 6 weeks old.


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