When Do Puppies Start Walking?
There are many developmental changes and stages that accompany dogs throughout their life. When the birth of little puppies occur, for first-time witnesses, a lot of unanswered questions on the topic of care fills the mind. One major question that many are inclined to ask with great expectations and anticipation in their hearts is ‘How long does it take for puppies to walk?’. Luckily, this article helps maximally to answer this.
A Puppy’s Development From Birth Until Walking Stage
The question, ‘When do puppies start walking?’ cannot be adequately answered unless enough light is shed on the developmental factors attached to each growing stage of a puppy’s life. The events leading up to a puppy’s first walk, and insightful details that can be helpful after this occurrence, needs to put into compact details. Here are a few insights;
After Birth – 3 weeks
Between the time of birth of the puppies, and the next three weeks of life, as ironic as it sounds, the puppy will not require much human care, given that the mother is present to cater for the needs of her pups. During this period, she will be responsible for the puppies’ diet, since they will require no other source of food. It is important to realize that puppies are born with closed eyes, as well as being deaf, without teeth, and will require all the essential warmth for growth and health. This should not create any alarm, as with time, they will duly adjust to have normal functioning abilities like all dogs.
The first three weeks is also the phase where the puppies will be crawling and with swinging head movements, finding its way to their mother due to its existing sense of touch and warmth. Nature has designed it so that the puppies can only move in circular movements during this time. What’s more, they puppies are already memorizing the smell of their mother and mainly spend this time sleeping and sucking.
Also, in the third week of life, the puppies are in a transition phase. The word “transition phase” already reveals what distinguishes this week, which is very important for the development of the puppies. It is a relatively quick transition from the pure “sucking and sleeping stage” to the active discovery of the closer environment and the first contact with the siblings.
The puppies can now see and hear, the eyes and ears open between the 10th and 13th day of life, whereby correct vision and accurate hearing only start around the 17th / 18th day. By the 11th day, the first milk teeth are already breaking through. The puppies’ first activities among themselves begin around the 17th day of life. In this 3rd week of life they also show the first wagging tail. The puppies are now beginning to consciously perceive their environment.
3rd Week Onwards
The third week is often referred to as the transition phase. The time of passivity is now over, now the active exploration of the environment begins. From now on, the puppy can do something with his environment by correctly interpreting the sensory stimuli.
Also, after the third week, or perhaps sooner, the puppies’ are fully able to see. This doesn’t mean they will be able to understand everything they see, as it will take some time before their vision becomes very clear. This may take up to eight weeks before their eyes are assured of full and clear vision. After the eyes open in the early stage, their ear will also begin to open. This is still around the first three weeks of life. Full hearing will be attained around the same time that full vision is attained. Around the time that the eyes have just newly opened, strength would be built slowly to properly prepare the pup for the walking stage of life.
When do Newborn Puppies Start Walking?
‘When do puppies walk?’ many would often ask. The buildup process towards puppies walking happens around the first month of life. During the time the eyes and ears open, somewhere around the first 2 to 3 weeks, the puppies develop a sense of alertness, and an instinct to try to stand. This is what helps them to start developing the needed muscles and strength to walk and explore the environment.
The main method of exploration, just like in young children, is to mouth, nibble, and bite. They start walking when doing this, even if they often fall over. What’s more, they are not only interested in each other as littermates, but they also have their first experiences with humans and gradually take on a more active role in the interactions with the mother. Now they are also learning to handle their excretions independently without the help of their mother.
Before a puppy is fully developed to walk, it is important to note that at the onset of birth, and a few days into life, puppies will find it difficult to support their weight, and may generally move around on their bellies. This is natural building up process. However, it’s not until three weeks in, when the eyes and ears are still developing to full vision and full hearing capabilities, they should have fully adapted the methods of climbing, and their muscles must have been adequately built towards walking. By the fourth week, the ability to walk, alongside running, should be at an adequate level for the little puppies, with strengthened capabilities to do what they desire. This means that it takes approximately 4 weeks for a puppy to start walking.
It is, however, essential to keep an eye out for a puppy which fails to catch up with its siblings, or does not meet up with the average time given for a puppy to start walking. If this is observed, then a veterinarian should be contacted as soon as the observation is made without any hesitation. This is solely because the little pup could be at risk of suffering from an impairment, or in worst cases, could lead to death.
Puppy’s Diet for Optimal Development
For the optimal development of a puppy, good nutrition is highly essential and starts with its mother. A healthy, balanced diet is more essential for the mother especially, due to the fact that she would be feeding and taking care of her puppies for a period of time before they can handle it by themselves. Also, a tremendous amount of milk is produced around the third week of birth of her pups, which requires more food intake for her nourishment. Hence, adequate nutrition should be administered to ascertain an outstanding wellbeing. Change in diet should not occur too suddenly for the mother as this can greatly affect her stomach and cause upsets. A balanced meal should be given to her in appropriate sizes depending on her weight, physical condition and other factors. Dry food is a great choice for nursing dogs, alongside canned food.
When picking a suitable diet for a dog that is nursing, or perhaps, is still pregnant, one of the key ingredients to look out for is omega-3 fatty acid. This is essential, based on this ingredient’s incredible building up process needed for the mother, and the puppies she is carrying or feeding. It is also common for the mother to lose her appetite. This usually happens after whelping, however, loss in appetite is known to diminish in a day or two.
For the puppy’s diet, transitioning from the mother’s milk to a real diet may be the trickiest thing to master. However, with some essential information on this topic, it will be quite easy to implement without hassles. After 3 to 4 weeks of growth, especially when the eyes and ears have developed, and the teeth begins to grow, and this ascertains that the weaning process begins. This happens due to the fact that feeding, for the mothers, will be extremely difficult for her to bear, as a result of the growth of her pup’s teeth.
This spurs up the need for them to something aside from their mother’s milk. As this happens, milk replacers are an essential substitute. This should be given by mixing the milk with adequate proportions of water. It is advised not to administer either cow or goat milk.
Place the milk in a saucer, and gently put it on their mouth of the pup a couple of times in a day. With time, they will adjust to the idea of drinking milk replacers. The milk can also be served with some canned food in small rations. As time goes by, the amount of milk should decrease while the canned food should gradually increase. This paves the way for an easy transitioning process.
The time spent by a newborn dog without moving is short but extremely demanding. Puppies grow and develop rapidly in an incredibly short period of time. Although it takes weeks for a puppy to be able to stand up and walk, this is only the beginning.
However, for adequate puppy development, necessary care and attention is required at an early stage. This will ensure a healthy lifestyle as they grow. Vaccination doesn’t usually occur until the later parts of their puppyhood. This entails having a clean and healthy environment for your pups at all times.