New Puppy Litter Blog - Stage 2: Transitional
Truffle's litter have now entered the second phase of their development. Known as the transitional period, it is the point at which the puppies start to explore and learn about their new world! The duration can vary, depending on the breed, but usually lasts from day 13 to day 20.
During this period, the eyes and ears start to open, and little teeth begin to push through the gum. Truffle's puppies won't be able to see or hear fully yet – but these senses will develop very fast over the following weeks.
The litter will start to develop some control over elimination and, as they do, Truffle's job to keep her puppies clean will become a little easier. This is an ideal time to begin introducing a 'set' toileting area with puppy pads.
At around two weeks of age, the puppies will need to be 'wormed' with a puppy worming cream. They will then continue to be wormed, every two weeks, up to the age of 3 months.
The puppies will start to be more mobile and they will learn to walk forwards and backwards. They may be a little wobbly at first... but practice soon makes perfect!
During the transitional period, puppies start to develop their play behaviour, and by 4 weeks old they can have quite a sharp nip!
As the puppies eyes and ears begin to open, they start to learn about their environment. Introducing the puppies to different stimuli each day enhances their development and helps to prepare them for living with humans and other animals.
Sounds of life: Try to play various noises to the puppies such as traffic, children playing, fireworks, groups of people, thunderstorms, music, hair dryers and the hoover! All of these important (and soon to be familiar) sounds will help to develop their auditory senses.
Feel the world: Puppies feel the world through their paws! It is important to introduce the litter to different textures in order to develop their feel of the world. Allow them to walk and explore on different surfaces such as tiled flooring, carpets, flagstones, and grass.
See the world: Try to introduce some visual stimulation for the puppies. Puppy toys, children's toys, brushes, mops, hoovers, shadows and light will all help to develop their visual senses. Gently dropping and rolling items along the floor, will help the puppies to become familiar with movement.
Other pets in the house: Now that the puppies are becoming more mobile and their ears and eyes have started to open, they will become more adventurous! Introducing the puppies to any other pets in the household such as dogs and cats can be helpful. Be careful to maintain a safe distance between the pets and puppies, so that they stay secure. Here is Fudge getting to know the litter
Getting to know people: This stage of puppy development is also an ideal time to begin introducing them to people. Try to invite family and friends, of all ages, to meet and handle the puppies in this transitional phase. Frequent visits will allow the puppies to experience regular contact with different people. Asking visitors to sit on the floor will allow the puppies to approach when they feel ready. The puppies should only be handled very gently. Letting the puppies lick something tasty from the visitor's fingers, will help to build their confidence around meeting new people. Visitors wearing items such as sun or reading glasses, hats, bags and brightly coloured clothing are also a great way to get the puppies used to different shapes and appearances!