Understanding Important Life Stages in Your Dog

by | Dec 6, 2019 | Dog Psychology, Health and Nutrition

They say that dogs are “man’s best friend.” But, actually, women often love their dogs more than men. 

One survey found that over 40% of women say that they love their dog more than any other person in their life.

Dogs play an important role in our lives. These lovable and furry creatures bring joy to dog lovers everywhere.

As we grow older, so do our pets. And yet, it’s important to understand the different dog life stages so you can be the best owner you can be.

Check out the dog development stages below to discover everything you need to know about looking after your dog from puppyhood to seniority.

1. The Early Days 

Many dog owners don’t get the opportunity to witness their dog being born. This is usually way before they even know that they’re going to adopt a puppy.

When your dog was born, they’re totally vulnerable. They’re unable to walk, hear or see anything.

However, it is amazing to think that your dog’s sense of smell is fully formed from birth. That’s how your pup will explore the world in those early days.

Of course, your puppy won’t have any problem with nutrition either. The mother will provide everything her child requires with her milk. 

2. The First Few Weeks 

By the first few weeks of your puppy’s life, you may meet him or her for the first time. This will be a magical moment for you. However, your puppy won’t know much about what is going on.

He or she is only just starting to develop the ability to see. Your puppy will soon enough be able to communicate with siblings through soft yelps. 

This is also around the time that your puppy starts to show signs of walking. They begin to pick up things from the behavior of the rest of the pack.

3. After One Month 

After four weeks, the puppy is usually able to engage with his or her environment through sniffing. 

Just as a human baby would put everything in his or her mouth. Your dog will be doing the same with its nose.

You’ll also be able to spot marks of learning. They won’t make the same mistakes repeatedly. You can even start to teach your puppy some basic tricks now.

Socializing your dog with other dogs and humans will help them feel more comfortable and familiar with this later in life.

You can also give your puppy solid foods after the first month. There are a bunch of different options on the market for puppy food.

4. Two to Three Months

During the 2-3 months stage of development, your puppy is ready to interact with humans more and more.

You should give your puppy a variety of experiences from driving in the car to walking through crowds of people. They may show signs of anxiety at first, but this should pass over time.

By this time, they should be able to join a “human pack” and leave behind their mother and siblings. You’re the parent for this puppy now!

Many people adopt puppies around this time.

This is when you need to visit your local vet for a health check. Your vet may advise vaccinations, worming and more.

5. Up to Four Months 

At four months, you need to show that you’re the head of the pack. But, also combine this with lots of love and attention.

Make your puppy feel comfortable in his or her new environment without forgetting that you’re the boss.

You may also want to introduce clear boundaries. Just say “no” when your dog gets on the couch or eats something they shouldn’t. 

Over time, you’ll puppy will learn more and more about life in your home. Dogs are quick to pick up the rules of the household.

6. Around Six Months 

At around six months old, your puppy will start puberty. Unlike with humans, puberty for dogs is often quite brief. In many cases, it lasts for under 6 weeks.

You’ll probably notice that your friendly and obedient dog has started to misbehave. They may not do as you say as much anymore.

You could have already taught your dog to play fetch. But, when they hit puberty they may have already forgotten. 

Any parent will know that this is merely a phase. After the puberty stage is over, your dog will be stronger and lovelier than ever before.

This can be a trying time. But, stay determined and strong to see your dog through this challenging stage. 

7. Adulthood 

You’ll know when your dog has done with puberty because there are clear signs. 

A male dog will start to lift his leg up when he urinates. While a female will go into heat around 7 months to the first year of life.

This is when you need to change your dog’s diet. They’re now ready to eat adult dog food. Do your homework on buying nutritious food for your pooch.

With the right care, your dog should stay healthy and strong throughout adulthood. 

8. Old Age 

The age at which a dog may become old depends on the type of breed.

For example, usually smaller breeds of dogs, such as Yorkshire terriers or Chihuahua live much longer (up to 20 years). While Great Danes often don’t live more than 10 years. 

You’ll spot that your dog doesn’t have as much energy anymore. They’re probably less active. Your dog can also put on weight quicker as he or she ages. 

You may need to walk your dog less frequently and intensely. Change his or her diet to smaller amounts of food as well.

Dog Life Stages

Are you a dog lover? It’s important to know the dog life stages. You can learn a lot about how to be a better owner with knowledge of the life cycle of a dog

Do you want to read more articles for dog owners? Check out this post on the 5 must-have products for dog owners.