Whelping and Raising Puppies: Week 5

Little puppies eating food out of a bowl in the back of a wooden whelping box. The dam is behind them watching.

At five weeks, the pen can be expanded to include a play area. 

Four puppies standing around a bowl of kibble on a tiled floor and they are looking up.

A bowl of fresh water and dry kibble are always available.

A Puppy is eating out of a bowl. Two puppies behind it are sitting and playing with each other. Behind them is the Dam watching.

Three puppies inside their pen eating their food as their mother watches.

The left side of a brown with black puppy that is standing across a tiled floor.

A five week old golden brindle puppy.

A litter of puppies walking around inside their pen in a kitchen.

Puppies want to chew. Chew, rattle and pull toys have been added.

The right side of a white with brown puppy that is eating food out of a bowl.

Feed three soaked meals of puppy food to pups daily. Start reducing the dam’s food to lessen her milk production, but keep her on puppy food for a few more weeks.

A large muffin tin with each individual pocket filled with kibble.

Feeding tip: When feeding the puppies, consider using a deep-dish muffin tin! They can't knock it over and each one gets its own little dish.

Six Shar-Pei puppies are eating out of a muffin tin.

Shar-Pei puppies eating from a deep-dish muffin tin.

Top down view of five puppies in the sleeping area of a whelping box. There is a second room behind that area with puppy pee and poop.

Five-week-old puppies learn there is a place to sleep and a place to potty.

A puppy is sitting against the wall of the wooden whelping box and across from it are four other puppies playing.

Make appointments for 7.5 to 9 weeks (first booster shots). Puppies should have been wormed at 3 and 5 weeks with a mild wormer, and will need a stronger one at 7 to 8 weeks. Talk to your vet about this.

Five puppies on a white tiled floor inside of a wooden whelping box.

Giving shots before 7 weeks is not advised. The second and third shot need to be done after 12 weeks to be most effective. The general guide is 8, 12 and 16 weeks for booster shots.

Two kids, a boy and a girl, are sitting on a couch with a couple of puppies.

It is VERY important that puppies get individual attention at this age, including time separated from littermates.

A girl is sitting in the back of a whelping box and four puppies are sitting and standing in front of her.

Pups getting socialized; notice one of the pups heading in to the paper area to pee. This early socialization has been proven to benefit the puppy in later years. Scientific studies have shown dogs that receive this early proper socialization actually have increased brain mass. They are also better at problem solving, and make much more enjoyable, intelligent companions.

Five puppies are sitting in the sleeping part of a whelping box after visiting the potty part that has poop and pee all over it.

These eight puppies are only five weeks old. There were 16 poops and pee in the night, and all of it is on the paper.

Puppy stool on the paper in the potty area of a whelping box with the puppies hanging out in the clean sleeping area.

"The stools are a little soft, as I just wormed them. It is important to worm your puppies every two weeks. I use a mild wormer at 2 and 3.5 weeks, and a little stronger one at 5 and 7 weeks."

Three puppies are in the paper area of the whelping box and 4 puppies are near the blanketed area. The potty area is all cleaned up.

"In the morning when I wake up to this poop, I quickly just COVER it with another piece of paper, as shown above. Then after they all say hi and have breakfast, I change all the paper while they are eating. Remember before five weeks, you leave the smelly poop there to attract them, and just cover it. But once they catch on and always use the paper you can keep it clean and change it more. Do not leave the exposed poop for the puppies to run through and track all over. You do NOT want the puppies’ feet to be covered in poop (or bodies when they start to play and roll). A sign that a puppy has not been raised in a clean environment would be yellow/brown stained legs. Remember, this EARLY training from a breeder makes it much easier for the new owner to train the puppy."