Ten Days Old!

They are making noises that are almost barks now! They are also getting HUGE. There will be a point in the not-too-distant future when Alice is nursing more than her bodyweight in puppies. I can tell she is starting to ramp up her milk production (and milk production works on a strict supply & demand basis, so that means there’s increased demand obviously, since the puppies are growing). Usually around week 2 and again around week 4 is when the demand makes a jump. The dam’s appetite increases (Alice has been getting four meals a day of her usual ProPlan Sport kibble, plus some tripe and canned food, plus mother’s porridge to support lactation), and then I’ve been leaving a bowl of kibble out with her overnight just in case (I NEVER free feed my dogs as a general rule, but it’s a different story during lactation, if they start getting behind in terms of calorie intake when the demand on their bodies is high it can be really hard for them to get ahead of things again). Just the last day or so she’s been eating the whole bowl of overnight kibble, whereas before she’d just nibble at it.

While I’ve been giving her some calcium with each meal (I use Doc Roy’s Healthy Bones because it’s a balanced calcium/phosphorus supplement), around 2 weeks and again at 4 weeks tend to be the critical times for the risk of eclampsia, so we will be watching her closely to be sure she is getting adequate calcium.

As I’m sure I’ve said before: puppies who are comfortable are in a loose pile, puppies who are cold and huddled together, and puppies who are too warm are spread out. The heating pad is under the bedding in the middle of the box, and as you may have noticed, they’re almost never on it. It’s chilly here and our house is set at the same cool temperature it always is (other than the first couple of days when we crank up the heat a bit). Vallhund puppies tend to be quite cold tolerante (like adult Vallhunds are), and in fact they prefer cooler temperatures!

One of them HOWLED last night because he was stuck away from the rest of the litter. I try to let them sort things out for themselves most of the time, but if they sound genuinely distressed you bet I help!

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