Congratulations on finally taking the plunge on bringing home a puppy! Now begins a fun journey that will bring forth loads of unconditional love, laughter, naughtiness and learning too! The first few weeks of your puppy are absolutely crucial in terms of proper nutrition and health. Till your pup grows from a newborn to a toddler, you will not have much interaction because it is the crucial time when the puppy should remain with his/her mother. Here’s what to expect during this time:
At 0 to 2 weeks, your puppy will be at a neonatal period wherein they will be closely in touch with their mother and siblings. At this stage, they will be blind and deaf and can only have a sense of touch and taste. Expect the puppy to be asleep 90% of the time and eating for the rest.
From week 2 begins the transitional period, wherein their eyes would open and they will begin to stand and walk. Their sense of smell and hearing will develop and the first set of milk teeth will start to grow. They will also be able to see and hear on their own.
By week 3, they will start responding to sound and will start engaging in playful time with your siblings. They will still rely on their mom for food and by the end of week 3, you can start introducing your pup to moist food for some meals while still receiving their mother’s milk.
Your Puppy at Week 4
By Week 4, puppies will have much better vision and will be responding to sound actively. Although it is best to bring home a puppy at 8 weeks, some often bring home a puppy at week 4. Here’s what to expect when you bring home a 4-week-old pup!
A 4-week-old puppy will be much more independent and will be eager to experience his/her surroundings. Here’s what you can expect in the initial weeks:
- Loads of sleep
At week 4, puppies will start exploring but will often spend their time sleeping, as they will be tired easily. A proper sleep helps to keep your puppy’s immune system healthy and ensure proper brain and neural development. So let your puppy snooze as those precious ZZZs will keep him healthy and strong.
Maintain a liquid based diet and feed your puppy at regular intervals. Puppies at week 4 will need to be fed at least 3-4 times a day. If your puppy is away from her mother and cannot be given their mother’s milk, then you must feed your pup a puppy formula that is designed to provide proper nourishment as a mother’s milk would.
- Socialising your puppy
At four weeks, your puppy’s senses are developed to start interacting with other beings. Socialisation can start at Week 4 and puppies should receive a lot of mental stimulation and also learn to behave in front of other puppies. Socialising from an early age can help your puppy to gain the confidence to have a friendly personality. The correct way to start socialising a week 4 pup is to always have a positive association with his surrounding environment. However, all the socialisations at this young age should be indoors as your puppy won’t be vaccinated yet. Always keep a hand sanitiser handy for anyone who will be in contact with the puppy to keep infections at bay.
Start grooming early so that your puppy starts associating it as a pleasant activity. At week 4, the grooming isn’t going to be much. Just a gentle brush every now and then is enough for your puppy to be comfortable with the grooming process.
The first four weeks of your puppy’s life lay the foundation towards a hearty and happy dog. Always keep them warm and cozy as young puppies are unable to maintain their body temperature all by themselves. It is imperative that your puppy stays with his mother during this crucial time. Countless studies suggest how the early life stages of a puppy with their mother can help them develop into a healthier pet!
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