During the early stages of its life, a puppy will live with its mother and
siblings. During this period they will not need to eat solid food, but will
exist on their mother’s milk. It is now that your puppy will begin to develop
their senses, which in turn will help them seek nourishment. Initially your
puppy will develop a sense of smell that will help them find their way to their
mother’s breasts, which they instinctively recognize as a source of nourishment.
During this early period, the mother cares for her puppies by keeping them warm
with her body and by licking them. She does the latter not only to clean them,
but also to help establish their basic physiological functions. Puppies need
food and heat, so when the mother temporarily moves away from them, they group
together to make up for the loss of heat that her fur provides.
Human contact is also important during this early period as, in being handled
and petted, the puppies will get used to there being a human presence.
Soon your puppies will be ready to begin weaning, which means moving on to solid
foods for the first time.