|Sierra enjoying some R&R time at the cottage before the big event.|
As you can see, Sierra is a very happy girl. She is constantly wagging her tail and howling with joy. Pregnancy is certainly agreeing with her!
Sierra hasn’t skipped a beat when it comes to her enjoyment of food, nor has she suffered from morning sickness; quite the opposite really. She is eating two larger, nutritious meals daily however, in a couple of weeks’ time she will enjoy three smaller meals.
Sierra is sticking close to us these days. She prefers to remain inside on these cold winter days rather than play outside with the other dogs. She can usually be found curled up by the fireplace or nestled on our bed. She is a girl that enjoys comfort! At the moment, she is enjoying a marrow bone by the fireplace and tonight she will curl up beside us for her regimen of belly rubs.
Pre-natal period: It’s an interesting fact that a dog's tactile perception develops before birth, therefore unborn puppies can detect touch when the mother is petted from the outside of the abdomen. This establishes the basis for puppies to tolerate being touched, when compared to puppies born to mothers that were not petted.Pregnant dogs that are exposed to stressful events tend to release hormones that can be detected by the fetuses, which can negatively influence their future development. This underscores the importance of providing pregnant dogs a stress free and tranquil environment.
|Embryo at 25 days. Photo by National Geographic.|
|Sierra's ultrasound at 28 days. Can you see the resemblance?|
At this stage, the puppies’ eyes and spinal cords have begun to develop and the face is also forming. Fetuses are approximately 1.3 cm. This may seem small but they will triple in size in just one week. Between days 29 and 35, their toes, whiskers and claws start to develop. They are now beginning to look like dogs! Interestingly, their eyes are initially open but their eyelids fuse at around day 35 to protect them from contamination during development and remain closed until approximately 10 days after birth.
And so the journey begins. Stay tuned …..