Step 8: 5-7 week puppy care
this week you can up the ammount of soaked puppy food you feed them 2 tablespoons per puppy. This week the pups will decifer a "pecking order" there will be allot more growling, but it's nothing to worry about. Try to find a more heavy weight bowl or the puppies will drag it around and sloosh water everywhere (although the slooshing shouldn't be a problem due to the newspaper) At this age, allow the dam to have an escape from the pups, they only need her about every hour and a half now, so let her come into the rest of the family if she wants, or let her sleep away from the puppies, everyone needs a rest from time to time!! At this age, you can create a small safe area of your garden (caged, no escapes please!) and let the pups out for 10 SUPERVISED minutes a day. any family member should be handling the pups at this point.
This week you can give more puppy food, still soaked but 3-5 tablespoons per pup and the ground meat should be added too (pea sized amount per pup) you can add a little un-soaked food in this week (a very small amount) The dam will only check the pups 4 times a day at this point but will still nurse them when she visits, try to keep her with them for a longer time then she would like, but her leaving them is no big deal. Move the pups into an area with higher people traffic (kitchen, family room etc) at this age, let people visit the pups (friends etc)important for socialicing the pups. This is also a great time for potential owners to visit the pups. Let the dam supervise but keep an eye on her. From this age till 9 weeks, you can bathe them weekly, and should groom them daily.
At this time, reduce the dams food back to the normal amount she was fed prior to pregnancy, and exercise as you did before pregnancy. Wean the pups at this age:
keep the dam away from the pups for 8 hours overnight, and then 4 hours in the morning, then let the pups suckle from her.
Make the next visitsixteen hours later, then 20 hours, then twenty-four hours.
Wait thirty-six hours and allow her back with the pups, then wait another forty-- four hours.
The next time dam see's the pups should be 48 hours later, by now the milk should be dry and she should have stopped producing it. Once the milk has dried up, the dam may play with the pups, discipline them, and go outside with them, she will be teaching them basic manners etc. Stop soaking the puppy food in water unless its absolutely necesary, but they should be eating 100% puppy food at this point.