To quote my six year old daughter “Mom the puppies are so cute I could never stop petting them!” They are incredibly cute, and when we enter the room walk up to us with wagging tales and happy yips. It melts your heart every time.
At four weeks old, the pups have reached a series of exciting milestones that mark a crucial stage in their early development. One of the significant achievements during this period is the introduction to solid food. We have given the puppies their first tastes of food (ground beef in beef bone broth). It never ceases to amaze me how they know what to do right away. The moment you dip their noses in the new food they eagerly start to nibble and lick up their first meal. Over the next few weeks will will slowly transition them from solely relying on their mother’s milk. This introduction to solid food is a key step towards fostering independence and providing the necessary nutrients for their growing bodies.
Another notable milestone at four weeks is the emergence of tiny teeth. Last week they were all gums, this week is a different story! The development of teeth allows the puppies to explore a wider range of textures and engage in more varied play, contributing to their physical and mental growth. We have started to add toys to their play sessions, which they pounce, shake, and chew on.
Socialization takes center stage during the fourth week as well. The puppies are very obviously aware of their surroundings and are now interacting not only with their mother and littermates but also with our family and visitors. Their curiosity and playfulness become more evident as they explore the environment and engage in gentle interactions. This is the sweetest time to sit in with a litter of puppies. Their movements are still a little slower, but they are happy to see us and playfully ask for pets and join in on simple games, like follow the toy. This socialization phase is crucial for building positive relationships and ensuring the puppies grow up to be well-adjusted and friendly companions. We make a point to pick up each puppies numerous times through out the day. We take them to new rooms in our homes, we touch their paws, gently tug their tails, examine their teeth, ears, and eyes. We let them try walking on the tile, hardwood, carpet, and blankets. New sounds, smells, and textures are carefully added to their experiences in a calm, positive environment to help build confidence as they grow.
I would summarize the past week as a time of exploration, transition, and social growth. From tasting their first solid foods to the emergence of tiny teeth and increased social interactions, these milestones pave the way for the puppies’ continued development and set the stage for the exciting weeks to come.
Thanks for following along! If you would like to see updated pictures of the puppies we have added many to our account over at GoodDog.com.