Dogs – Ages and Stages

Puppies, adult dog, dog life stages

Four stages of your dog’s life

Dogs have four main stages in their lives, puppyhood, adolescence, adulthood and their senior years. As the dogs pass through these ages their needs for food, exercise and sleep changes also

Puppyhood starts at birth and can last anywhere from between six and 18 months. After birth puppies spend most of their time sleeping, playing with their litter mates and nursing from their mother. This teaches them how to socialize and behave around other dogs. Somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks the puppies are old enough to go to their forever families.

When a puppy is first brought home it is important to have the new puppy examined by a vet to ensure it is fit and healthy. The vet can also provide specialized advice about diet and how to care for your new family member.



The Senior Dog

How to Care for your Dog

The first basic need of a your dog is shelter. If your dog is an indoor dog you
will need to provide your dog with a clean bed where they can sleep. Outdoor dogs need to be protected from the elements. A kennel with blankets or coats in cold weather so they can be comfortable.

Fresh Water
Always ensure your dog has access to fresh water. This is important for good health and energy.

Quality Food
It is important to feed your dog a good quality food which provides all their nutritional needs. Your veterinarian can advise the correct type and the amount of food to feed your dog based on their age, breed and activity level.

Regular Veterinarian Checks
Have your dog checked by a veterinarian once every year to keep your dog in good health. Your veterinarian will advise you how to keep your dog safe and healthy. This will include information on vaccinations, worming and flea and tick control. If your dog seems unwell or is injured contact your vet for advice. Know where there is a 24 hour veterinarian you can contact in case of an emergency.

Your dog loves to walk and be with you. It is important to provide the right
amount of exercise for your dog. A small dog make only need a short walk or a game of fetch to tire it out but a bigger dog needs to have longer walks twice a day to burn off it’s energy. A tired dog is a happy dog.

Dog Training
Attending puppy or dog school not only teaches your dog commands, it develops a deeper relationship with your pet. Teaching your dog basic commands is essential to keep them safe.

Quality Time
Dogs are social creatures and love to spend time with their owners.

To keep your dog looking it’s best, brush it’s coat regularly, bath it once a month and trim your dog’s nails. Depending on the breed of your dog it may need to be clipped. Breeds such as poodles require clipping every six to eight weeks. Other breeds may only need clipping once or twice a year or not at all. The time and money required to keep your dog looking it’s best needs to be considered before getting a dog.

Dental care is very important.

Reproductive Health
If you are not going to breed your dog it is important to have your dog spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted puppies. Your veterinarian can advise the best time to have this done or other preventive measures to prevent unplanned breeding. It is a good time to have a microchip inserted when having your dog spayed or neutered.