Visit the Puppies?
When I have a
litter I get asked that question many times a day, not just from puppy families
but from friends, neighbors and even strangers that have heard that I have a
litter of puppies. In my heart I really wish I could share this special
time with everyone, but for the safety and well being of the puppies and their
mother, I have to tell people "I'm sorry, but no." I know this
is hard especially for the families who are excited about getting their
new family member and want so much to see them. I hope you understand
that my puppies are more important to me than the chance of losing a
prospective family for not allowing a visit.
When a puppy
is born, they are called neonates and are considered premature.
Their ears and eyes are sealed shut, so they are both deaf and
blind and depend on their sense of smell to find their mother. They cannot
maintain their own body temperature, and are dependent on their mother and the
warming light to keep warm. A puppy that becomes chilled will become sick
and can pass away within hours. In addition a neonate puppy depends on its
mother to lick their stomach to help them digest her milk and stimulate
them to urinate and defecate. For the first 10 days the puppies are
totally helpless and dependant on their mother and my help. It is important
that I keep things clean, quiet and stress free for the puppies, their mother
and myself. Remember I have been through this all with my girl....I am
her nurse and her mid wife, as well as her loving owner. She has
just given birth over many long hours, hopefully a smooth delivery with no trip
to the vet for intervention. This maybe her first litter or she may have
had a litter before, but she is tired (as well as I am) and needs to
settle into her job of being a wonderful mother to 1-12 puppies, who can be
very demanding on being fed or "having their diapers changed"....and
of course everyone needs this done at the same time. Having people come
into my home can upset the mother; she is going to be very protective over her
"babies" especially if she does not know who are. This can cause
stress and affect her ability to produce milk, or create the possibility of a
puppy getting hurt if she stands quickly or tries to move them to a safe place.
There are other things a mother can do to a litter if she is stressed,
which I shudder to even think about and
is one of the reasons I stay with my girls, sleeping right next to the whelping
box for weeks following their birth.
puppies immunity is dependent on their mothers colostrum ( first milk) when
they are born and her milk that follows the colostrum. At 2 1/2 to
3 weeks I normally start to wean the puppies to puppy food. When the
puppies start to eat regular food, the need of their mother's milk decreases; this
also means their immunity starts to decrease, making them susceptible to
illness that their mother has protected them from. Most
illnesses and diseases are innocently carried on people’s shoes and clothing
and can be harmful for days if not weeks after exposure. Entire
litters of puppies can be wiped out within hours by diseases such as the "parvo virus". These diseases can be picked
up unknowingly by people in a school yard, a park, on a sidewalk, at the corner
store or even the neighbor’s yard. I will not take the risk of exposing
my dogs and my puppies to diseases that could cause them to
become ill or cost them their life. Remember if you are getting a puppy
from me, I am also doing this to protect the puppy you are getting.
Yes, I have heard that pet stores, other breeders, or
other kennels let families visit puppies; the reality is that their number
one concern is selling that puppy. Just because someone allows you to
see the puppy, it does not indicate the quality of that puppy, where it is
raised or the time and care that has been put into that puppy, that
can effect the puppy throughout the it’s lifetime.
When the litter of
puppies has received their first vaccine, I will consider allowing the families
to come meet the puppies. This is also dependant on how the puppies have
responded to their vaccine. If I believe any of the puppies are ill,
visits will be postponed. (sometimes a reaction to the vaccine may occur-
a vaccine is actually giving the puppy a weak dose of the disease so the puppy
can build up an resistance to that disease) I generally will invite the
families to a "Puppy Party" open house held during the weekend
following the puppies vaccine. This gives everyone a chance to
interact with all the puppies and their mother.
will need to follow these instructions:
- Wear freshly laundered
clothing, that you do not mind getting dirty.
You will be on the
floor/ground playing with the puppies.
- Come directly from
your home for the visit, do not stop and get out of your car on your
way for any reason.
If you need to stop to eat, please go through
the drive through.
- Upon arrival you
will be need to sanitize your shoes.
( dip soles in bleach water or
spray the soles of your shoes)
- Before being able
to pet or handle puppies you will need to wash your hands.
- This visit is for
families only, please do not bring your neighbors or their children.
you may bring Grandparents or significant others.
- Please remind
children that puppies get excited and may nip.
They are not allowed to
strike a puppy, for any reason.
- Children must be
seated to hold a puppy; they are not allowed to carry the puppy around.
- This is a
visit only; you will not be picking your puppy that day.
with all the puppies and do not get your heart set on just one.
puppies will happen the day the puppies go home in the order I received