So much has happened from 10 days to this 3 to 4 week stage. The eyes opened at 11-13 days and this was quickly followed by the ears starting to drop and the pups responding to sound. It takes awile for the eyes to focus and for the pups to figure out the direction of sounds.
The noses are getting blacker. When Katy's eyes opened there was a pinpoint of black on each lid edge. This usually becomes a lovely black ring resembling mascara. One thing you can't see is the needle sharp teeth that started erupting at 3 weeks. Skeeter is seriously thinking of weaning these pups. At around 7-10 days they outgrow the incubator and move into a #300 VariKennel with heating pads attached to 2 inside walls (NOT on the floor of the crate). The crate is set on top of Skeeter's crate for easy handling and viewing. When pups start moving around they spend days in a plastic wading pool - papers on 1/2 and bunched up blankets and toys on the other half. They learn to use the papers right away. This is a very stressful period for the pups. So many big changes in such a short time.
For the first few weeks their nails are cut with a small people nail clipper. At the 3-4 week stage they are introduced to the Dremel. We use the battery Minimite at low speed with fine sandpaper disks. It is gentle and quiet. Be careful of generating heat. Also, we think the drums are too coarse. Always spend time each day cuddle clutching. Put them on their backs and rub tummies and massage pads on feet. Cradle in your hands and gently swing the pup back and forth, all the time talking to them.
Introduction to food starts now!
4 weeks old
Pups have doubled their weight the past few weeks. Think about that; bones, muscle, skin, and all the goodies that go with them. At about 3 1/2 weeks the pups started lapping formula and worked themselves up to a full course puppy menu by 5 1/2 weeks. Mom was thrilled. Those needle teeth that start coming in at 3 weeks can be brutal.
The kitchen belongs to the pups and Skeeter when she wants. Pups play and run and have fun. When the gate to the living room is opened, they explode. Kind of sad to think of pups that spend their puppyhood in a concrete/chainlink environment.
The next couple weeks mom will teach them some of the rules of life.