Weekly Litter Update - December 3, 2022
Once again, Oakley has impressed us with how great of a mama she is! She has been so attentive to her babies, and is taking such great care of them. The puppies love to snuggle next to mama and each other. We couldn't be more proud of her! This week we started ENS and ESI exercises, we weigh the puppies twice a day, and keep an attentive eye on each puppy to ensure they are safe.
Puppy Weight Tracker
During the first two weeks we weigh the puppies twice a day. After that we transition to a weekly weigh in. In the chart below we only display the average of the two weights for that day.
ENS & ESI Started
This week we began our ENS and ESI training. This article is focused on what ENS is, and the benefits of these exercises. Next week we'll go over ESI.
What is ENS?
At Oak and Magnolia, we conduct Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) exercises once daily from the 3rd to the 16th day. This is a period of time that scientists and doctors believe to be a time of rapid neurological growth and development for the puppy.
Fun Fact: This program was developed by the US Military to improve the performance of future military working dogs.
ENS requires handling the puppies one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in order of preference, the handler starts with one pup and stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:
Tactile stimulation – Holding the pup in one hand, the handler gently stimulates (tickles) the pup between the toes on any one foot using a Q-tip. It is not necessary to see that the pup is feeling the tickle. Time of stimulation 3 – 5 seconds.
Head held erect – Using both hands, the pup is held perpendicular to the ground, (straight up), so that its head is directly above its tail. This is an upwards position. Time of stimulation 3 – 5 seconds.
Head pointed down – Holding the pup firmly with both hands the head is reversed and is pointed downward so that it is pointing towards the ground. Time of stimulation 3 – 5 seconds.
Supine position – Hold the pup so that its back is resting in the palm of both hands with its muzzle facing the ceiling. The pup while on its back is allowed to sleep. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
Thermal stimulation— Use a damp towel that has been cooled in a refrigerator for at least five minutes. Place the pup on the towel, feet down. Do not restrain it from moving. Time of stimulation 3-5 seconds.
What Does ENS Do?
When performed correctly, ENS is believed to impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected, the result being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance, according to Breeding Better Dogs. ENS is time sensitive and must be performed from the third to the 16th days of a puppy’s life.
The exercises are not a substitution for daily handling and stroking of young puppies.
Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to ENS, including improved cardiovascular performance (heart rate); stronger heart beats; stronger adrenal glands; more tolerance to stress; and greater resistance to disease.
In tests of learning, ENS stimulated pups were more active and exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates, according to Breeding Better Dogs.
Next week we'll go over what ESI is and the benefits derived from these exercises.
Puppy Health and Nutrition
When it comes to feeding your new puppy there are many options available. From dry food (kibble) to wet food and many options in-between.
If you choose to feed your dog a raw food diet, be aware that there is no scientific proof that a raw diet offers more advantages than a dry food diet. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association cautions against feeding any "animal source protein that has not been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens." If you do choose to feed your puppy a raw diet, do so only after consulting with your veterinarian and with a full understanding of safe food practices and common risks.
When buying dog food, it's important to look at the nutrition label and ensure nutritional adequacy. Make sure you pay attention to the life stage the food is intended for. Pet food comes in a variety of formulas, including growth (for puppies), maintenance (for adults), senior, low fat, low calorie, low protein, grain free, limited ingredient, small breed, large breed, and more. Talk to your veterinarian about the best formulation for your puppy.
One question a lot of new puppy owners ask is how much to feed their dog. This is a difficult question, but one thing we've discovered is that the feeding amounts listed on the label are nearly always way too much food for healthy pets. Work with your veterinarian to determine what a healthy weight is for your puppy/dog and then tailor your feeding amount accordingly (if your puppy is losing weight feed her more; if she's gaining too much weight, feed her less).
When it comes to how often to feed, we recommend that you feed your dog twice a day. Which means you would give half the recommended daily amount for breakfast and the other half for dinner. Puppies less than five months old should have an extra meal around lunch. Most vets don't recommend "free feeding" your pets as this can be a contributing factor to obesity. Deciding when to feed may be driven by your lifestyle, but ideally, twice a day is best for domestic pets.
Puppy Comfort Packs
If you are on our waitlist for a puppy from this litter, and you would like to purchase this comfort pack email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be sure to purchase one for you. You won't need to pay for this until you pick-up you puppy.
New Litter Webpage
Live today you will see our new Winter 2022 litter specific page. In addition to our weekly newsletter (what you're reading now), we'll also update this page weekly with new photos and a growth progression photo for each puppy. We hope you'll enjoy watching these little ones grow and develop over the coming weeks as much as we do.
O&M Community Pictures
We love seeing pictures of O&M families from previous litters!