Puppies are loved by everyone which is exactly why a national puppy day exists on March 23. Besides the cuteness and fun, they require a lot of work like little children.
Here are 10 facts about puppies you probably haven’t heard of.
1. Puppies can be born green
Yes, you heard that one right. There have been occasions where puppies were born with green fur.
The fur of a light-haired puppy can be stained by biliverdin which is a pigment in the dog placenta. But sadly it disappears after a few weeks.
2. Puppies can be twins
It is extremely rare that puppies can be born as twins though.
Scientists have first discovered this during a C-section on a pregnant Irish Wolfhound. They saw that two puppies were sharing one placenta and were actually genetically identical when tested at the age of 6 weeks.
It is interesting to see how identical puppies will differ from each other when they grow up in different homes. Will their fur change or their behavior? Will they love to play the same games and have the same peculiarities?
3. Puppies can be born by C-section
Which brings me to the next fact that certain breeds are usually born by C-section.
More than 80% of bulldogs and terriers with bigger skulls are born by C-section as their proportions could lead to conflicts during natural birth.
As the mother is given anesthetics during surgery, she will have to be monitored closely until she is completely awake so she doesn’t hurt the newborns when accidentally rolling over them.
She can eat a few hours after surgery but you should be giving her only small amounts of food and water at a time, so she doesn’t vomit. She will need about one and a half times her normal food intake.
4. Size of litter varies from breeds
Small breeds usually have lesser puppies than larger breeds.
It also depends on how old the dog is. The younger the bigger the littler. The largest litter in the world consists of 24 puppies born to a mastiff breed dog.
The rule of thumb for wild animals is producing offspring half the number of the mother’s teats.
But domesticated animals were bred to have a bigger litter nearly up to the number of the mother’s teats.
The pomeranian has the lowest litter on average with 2,4 pups per litter while the Rhodesian Ridgeback had the biggest with 8,9 pups per litter.
Read more about when a dog is too old to have puppies here.
5. Newborns cannot poop
Newborn puppies are not able to poop by themselves. They need their mother to stimulate the process until they are 3 to 4 weeks old.
If you are hand-raising the puppies this means that you might have to take over that part.
The mother licks the puppies around the anal area, so grab a cloth dipped into lukewarm water and massage it around the anal area. The puppies should have some bowel movement after 2 minutes.
6. Puppies have baby teeth
Puppies are born toothless and first develop baby teeth when they are 2 to 4 weeks old. Just like humans, they will start to lose their teeth when they get older, around 12 to 16 weeks old.
When they reach the age of 6 months old their 28 baby teeth will become 42 adult teeth.
Between this time, provide your puppy with plenty of chew toys to soothe the hurting teeth. It is normal that he might eat less at this time due to mild pain.
You can buy a toothbrush specifically designed for puppies and gently rub it. It will make later dental care so much easier if your puppy got desensitized to toothbrushing
Recommended Reading: How to stop Puppy Biting
7. Puppies sleep…a lot
Like human babies, puppies need a lot of sleep.
Sleep is essential to their physical and emotional development. Too little sleep will result in stress, anxiety, illness, growth issues and much more.
8. Puppies love it when you talk to them
Puppies love baby talk and really enjoy it when you tell them something. Studies have shown that they especially react to high pitch voices and happy sounds.
Puppies get much more stimulated by baby talk than adult dogs do. To this day, researches couldn’t find the reason for this phenomenon.
It might be linked to oxytocin which is a hormone that gets released while social bonding or childbirth. But whether you have a deeper voice or not, dogs love to listen to their well-known voices and they get really excited when hearing it.
Even if your dog is deaf, you should still talk to him as it will seem more natural for your dog.
9. Their coat changes
Puppies are born with soft fur and their coat actually changes as they get older.
Around 4-6 months of age, puppies will shed their old fur and get a thicker two-layered adult coat. The different coats can also differ in color which you will be able to see if the parents don’t look like their offspring yet.
Dalmatians are born without any spots and they will become more and more over time. Especially long-haired breeds might not shed evenly leaving them with some weird looking patches of fur.
10. It’s never too early
Many new dog owners write to me and ask when they could start with puppy training and the answer is always immediately.
Young puppies are eager to learn and now is the time where they
They can also learn simple commands like “sit” and “come” which can be taught in a couple of days.
Let me know in the comments which of these facts you find the most interesting.