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A Healthy Puppy

Want to know if your puppy is healthy? First look at it's environment...is it clean? Is the mother in good health (don't go by coat as all bitches blow out their coat when nursing and look pretty skanky!!). Mom shouldn't be too thin, and though her hair may be short, it shouldn't be patchy or look too dry. Mom and pups eyes should look bright, not runny or cloudy. Mom and pups feet should be neatly trimmed and she shouldn't have too many coat blowing tufts (she may not be too cooperative about grooming, after all she's a busy girl, but there should have been an effort made!).

the alien 11 litter

Unhealthy Puppy Signs

  • Bloated stomach
  • Runny eyes, nose or ears
  • Scruffy coat
  • Persistent lack of appetite
  • Reluctance to move
  • Diarrhea (more than 24 hours)
  • Mucus or traces of blood in the stool
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Constant scratching or licking
  • Head shaking and pawing ears
  • Loss of hair
  • Pain and discomfort

Puppy Schedule

  • Gestation can range from 59-66 days but the average is 63 days.
  • Rear dewclaws (if they have them - many lines of Mals don't) are removed at 2-4 days of age. Unless working in harness extensively, front dew claws are left on to act as "thumbs".
  • Eyes and ears are sealed at birth and begin to open about 10 days.
  • Puppies are born without teeth and first ones appear at 3-4 weeks.
  • Weaning can begin at 3-4 weeks, though may continue much longer - depending on the mom. Most pups are weaned at 4-6 weeks.
  • Dogs lose their baby teeth and begin to acquire permanent ones at 4-5 months.

Puppy Teeth and Bites

Puppies will sometimes fail to lose their baby or first set of teeth. Often this is the large canines. If these teeth are not lost before 5-7 months of age they prevent the adult teeth from coming in correctly. Crowding occurs pushing the adult teeth too far forward. Improper bite not only affects chewing, but it also affects the natural cleaning action of the teeth as they are used chewing rawhides and (safe) bones. In Malamutes, a correct bite is where the front teeth fit tightly over and in front of the bottom teeth - they should mesh together perfectly. Common problems are "overshot" or buck teeth, and "undershot" where the lower teeth are in front of the top teeth. Neither is correct. If baby teeth do not come out on their own by 6 months of age, it is best if they are removed by your veterinarian.

Puppy Language

You wouldn't think of puppies having a language but they do! Even as newborns different squeals can mean very different things if you take the time to pay attention.  There is the "can't find the nipple" whine....the "I'm hopelessly lost" cry....the "I'm hungry looking for a nipple" fuss...the "why isn't this nipple working" grunt.....the "Help mommy is sitting on me" scream....the "I'm getting chilled" cry....and more.  I don't know if this is true of all dog breeds, but after having slept next to many moms with newborns I'm beginning to tell the difference and they ALL do it.  Wouldn't it be cool if WE had a universal language like that?