From Birth to 3 Weeks

By Kit Arthur

This section will cover simple methods that will help your puppy grow and develop the best way possible to encourage a happy canine with a great personality development. However it will require a lot of time and a LOT of work.


At birth, you (or the breeder) will have to sleep by the Dam's side and listen carefully (much like you would a newborn baby.) If you hear muffled cries or yelps, you will have to react quickly to investigate and help the puppy. A mother dog will shift while lying with her puppies. As a result (even despite the mother's best efforts) a puppy can get sandwiched in between the mother and the bedding - effectively suffocating the puppy.

While puppies are born deaf and blind, they need to feel safe and secure throughout their life to prevent faulty behavioral development and possibly death.

Sanitation and Health

Every time the mother gets up to go to the bathroom or eat (although you may have to sit by her side and feed her by hand in order to get her to eat for the first week or two), remove the puppies and place them in a basket or some other safe container so that you can clean their bedding. 

When the mother returns, have her lie down and give her one puppy at a time (smallest ones first so that they have a better chance to nurse). Ensure that she is licking each puppy so that it can properly defecate. 

You'll also want to watch the mother as well to ensure that her nipples aren't showing any stress and that she is producing enough milk for the size of her litter.

Note:  If the puppy's tails have been docked, check to make sure that there is no infection forming and that it is healing properly. 


Contrary to popular belief, even the most expensive commercial dog food is unhealthy for your dog. This is most important while the dam is pregnant  or nursing and when the puppies start to eat (at about 3 weeks). 

As a result, you will need to make your own dog food. This is the only way that you can ensure that your dog/puppies get food that is not filled with man-made vitamins, tons of preservatives and harmful ingredients. 

Best food ingredients for dogs (and especially puppies):

  • ORGANS! organs! organs! 
  • Bones/Cartilage (you can grind up egg shells as a bone replacement, however, make sure it hasn't been sprayed with chemical first - which is a common practice among store-bought eggs)
  • Chicken/Beef Broth
  • Variety of meat (beef, deer, pork, chicken, etc.)
  • Dog-friendly fruits and veges (bananas, apples, kale, spinach, carrots, etc.)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Coconut Oil
  • Oil Olive
  • Raw Eggs

I prefer to cook it (except for the raw eggs) all at once in a big pot. Kind of like a soup. My dogs like cooked meat more, and seem healthier. As opposed to raw meat which tends to give them very bad gas and dulls the color of their fur. But I'll let you be your own judge on that one. Cooked or raw - making it at home is by far better than buying it burnt, dehydrated and sprayed with synthetic vitamins.

Potty Training/Sanitation

When the puppies get closer to 3 weeks old, they are going to be crawling (not quite walking) around quite a bit. As a result they will defecate everywhere and roll all in it if you're not on your toes. 

This is the time to start an early potty-training phase which will ultimately make it easier for you in the long run.

Dedicate a specific pee spot in their whelping bin. I don't recommend shavings (messy and the puppies will eat it) or newspaper (slides around too much and doesn't absorb very well.) The best method I have found was to use a towel. They can be washed and reused so you don't have to worry about trying to make it go farther.

Here is the trick, keep a slight urine smell on at the dedicated potty spot and the rest of their whelping bin needs to remain spotless. Puppies follow their nose from birth. They will pee the most where the pee smell is. Every time you see one relieving themselves, put them on the pee mat. You'll have to consistently do this quite a bit before they get the picture. Remember that they are still very young and will learn faster as they get older.

Note:  If you buy a puppy from us, you can be sure that it was cared for in a manner very much like this.

Ready for the next lesson?

We share our opinion only and none of our content should be considered fact, lawful, legal, or medical advice. Your results are in no way guaranteed and will depend on several factors including your willingness to plan ahead, study and train.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}