What is Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) and Why Is It Important To My Puppies?

Every fur mom wants their dogs to be healthy, active, and sociable. We want them to grow great just like our very own kids. In order to make sure that they’ll grow healthy, we do our best to give them all they need especially at the early stage of their lives in terms of their physical, mental, and emotional needs.

Now there’s a great exercise that gives important benefits to our puppies at their early stage of life, this is what we called ENS or Early Neurological Stimulation. It is conducted once daily from the third to 16th day which is believed to be the most period of time for their rapid neurological growth and development. At this early stage, they are also still immature but they can respond to ENS and are very sensitive.

The process of ENS or Early Neurological Stimulation consists of five simple and harmless stimulation. Each exercise is done for 3 – 5 seconds and only a total of 30 seconds to do the entire process. You have to do all the five exercises one at a time before doing it to the next puppy. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:

  1. 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
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.

Always bear in mind that it is very important that you do not repeat the exercises more than once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise because overstimulation of the neurological system can have adverse and detrimental results.

Here are the five benefits observed in canines that were exposed to ENS:

  1. Improved cardiovascular performance (heart rate)
  2. Stronger heart beats
  3. Stronger adrenal glands
  4. More tolerance to stress
  5. Greater resistance to disease

These five painless and simple exercises are done to prepare our pups for their life’s journey. Only 30 seconds a day for 2 weeks and we see a great improvement in their immune systems and stress tolerances. We will continue to do Early Neurological Stimulation on our pups because we see the benefits and know it helps them grow into lovable canine citizens. In tests of learning, ENS stimulated pups were more active and exploratory than their non-stimulated littermates, according to Breeding Better Dogs.