The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

Raising Puppies at Ten Days Plus

Sassy the English Mastiff

After ten days, remove the pups’ heating pad. They do not need it if the room is warm. Most breeds can regulate their own heat at eight days old. (Some toy breeds need a heating pad for four weeks.)

By giving them more room, removing the one source of heat (heating pad), and supplementing, they are now going three to four hours between feedings.

They are not waking each other up. Puppies cry for three reasons: too hot, too cold, or hungry. Mine were too hot and still hungry after nursing.

Dam is putting her head in the plastic bins, and licking her puppies

Day 10—she is actually putting her head in the buckets and licking her puppies.

Sassy the English Mastiff laying down next to her puppies who are in plastic bins

At 11 days old, I find there is not enough milk; they are crying and crying. Last night was the worst. The pups wanted to eat every hour! So I am giving goat’s milk a try.

Goat milk label

Goat’s milk is 14% fat—wow! Gonna buy me some sleep tonight.

Puppy trying to climb out of a plastic bin

Looks like I need higher-sided bins soon...

Dam licking a puppies head

Day 12—she will help me clean some.

Sassy the English Mastiff nursing her puppies

Sassy the English Mastiff and her 12-day-old puppies

Sassy the English Mastiff licking a puppy

Sassy licking her puppy

Sassy the English Mastiff licking another puppy

Sassy kissing her puppy

Sassy the English Mastiff licking a puppy being held by a lady

I pre-potty and poop them, and then Emily gave each one to her, to polish up.

Sassy the English Mastiff sniffing a puppy Close Up - Sassy the English Mastiff sniffing a puppy Sassy the English Mastiff sniffing a puppy on top of a towel 12 day old English Mastiff Puppies inside of a small x-pen

Three boys have the blue teddy, and eight girls on the right have the pink teddy.  At 12 days old, they are all 2 to 2.5 lbs., gaining lots. They were waking each other up all night long, so they got a bigger room this morning, as feeding them every two hours all through the night is brutally hard on me.

Sassy the English Mastiff feeding her 2 week old puppies

Sassy the English Mastiff and her two-week-old puppies

Finally, the puppies are two weeks old.

With a top-off feeding just at bedtime (goat’s milk, or puppy replacer), at 10-11 p.m., they should be able to go five to six hours at night, and things should be a little easier.

You should try to get them on a routine of every three to four hours in the day, and every five to six hours at night.

REMEMBER to trim the nails every couple days so they do not dig out mommy's tummy.

Also, this would be the time to give them a mild wormer.

Eyes should be opening very soon, and as soon as they do, a paper potty station can be added, along with a shallow water bowl. Also, you can start slowly adding solids. Mush.

At two weeks old, puppies should be content enough to not cry, and sleep most of the night. If they are not, then you need to find out WHY. Remember puppies only cry for a few reasons: hungry, sick, too hot and too cold.

I am sooo pleased. This is a new breed for me, and if it wasn't for my mentors, I could have lost puppies.

I have a BRAND new respect for breeders that whelp giant breeds.

Feedings last night—8 p.m., 10 p.m., 4 a.m., 8 a.m.—ALL content and I only supplemented on the last three days, on the last feeding of the day with 2 to 2.5 oz. of goat’s milk on top of the nursing. (Pups weigh 2 lbs. +, so I offer 2 oz. If pups were 1 lb., offer 1 oz., etc.)

I have NEVER been so sleep deprived in my entire life, even with childbirth.

In my case, I had a sick puppy. It was the red girl, in pain, uncomfortable, and whiny, combined with not enough space for them to find a spot to stretch out, and too much heat for this breed. (Some breeds like more heat.) AND, most breeds will die without it. Heat is one of the most important items needed to make a litter survive.

Because the dam would not care for her puppies, I had to intervene. TOO MUCH human intervention is not a good thing. Whenever possible, nature works best. In my case, I had no choice.

I obviously did not stimulate the puppies enough, and the temperature was too hot, so I got constipation; between the crying puppies and my giving enemas by rubbing them to poop, I got two very sore, diaper-rash bums, which meant two uncomfortable puppies and antibiotic cream.

Then, after the dewclaws were done, and because of the dam not cleaning, one puppy got an infected dew claw, so I had one uncomfortable puppy and antibiotic cream.

On about day three, I discovered two puppies had blood in their urine; I was rubbing them to go potty too hard, and with too much abrasiveness. Fingers are more abrasive than the dams tongue, so I had two uncomfortable puppies and liquid antibiotics.

Then red girl got an eye infection, so I had one VERY cranky puppy, liquid antibiotic drops, and warm compresses.

All in all, these were all minor ailments, and will not affect them in the long-term. All these things usually happen in human babies, but your time spent caring for them is about a year or more like this, whereas these puppies needed intense care for only two to three weeks.

At two weeks of age, the pups are wormed with a mild dewormer; this will be done again at three weeks.

Courtesy of MistyTrails Mastiffs

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