Raising a dog is a lifetime commitment. From the time you bring him home as a new puppy to the day your best friend crosses the rainbow bridge, the bond between you and your dog is unbreakable.
At every stage of your dog’s lifespan, she relies on you for food, shelter, medical care, and most of all, attention and love.
Like you, your dog will go through many changes as he grows up into an adult and eventually ages to become a senior dog.
Here is a guide to what your dog needs at each of these stages.
Puppy-Proofing And Age-Proofing
A new puppy is bursting with energy and needs safeguards to protect her from her curiosity. Make sure that dangerous items such as electric cords, toxic substances, and plants are secured where she can’t get to them. Later, when your dog reaches the age of six or seven, it’s time to be aware of possible vision impairment, hearing loss, or encroaching mobility issues when keeping your home safe for a senior dog.
When your pup is between four and six months old, he’s old enough to slowly work up to several hours in a row without accidents. When he hits his senior years, he may be unable to control his bladder as easily, so it’s a good idea to plan on taking him out more frequently. At any age, a SlumberPod Pet offers a safe and comfortable spot for your dog to relax when you’re sleeping or away at work.
Nutrition And Feeding
Growing puppies require puppy food that is formulated especially for their needs. If they are under six months old, they will need frequent feedings during the day. Older dogs do not need as much feeding; once or twice a day is adequate.
It’s important to visit the veterinarian regularly throughout your dog’s lifespan to keep up with vaccinations and parasite control. Your vet will tell you when your dog is ready to be spayed or neutered, a procedure that can head off many problems later on. Senior dogs should visit the vet at least every six months to catch any life-threatening health conditions early.
Your dog needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy at every age. Go easy on your pup if she’s under two years old since her skeleton is not yet fully mature. Your aging dog may not get as excited about exercise as he used to, but keeping him active will help maintain muscle tone and prevent obesity.
No matter the age, your dog needs you to keep her nails trimmed, and her coat brushed. Regular baths are important, too. Starting these routines when she is a puppy will make them less stressful as she gets older. You may want to step up your grooming game as your dog gets older and less active because she may no longer be as agile at keeping herself clean and groomed.
It’s important to start brushing your pup’s teeth every day from an early age. You can buy toothpaste specially made for dogs or simply use some baking soda mixed with water. Keeping up with this routine will ensure that your dog’s teeth remain strong and healthy as he gets older.
As soon as your young puppy is fully vaccinated, it’s great to expose her to as many new people and places as possible. This will make her more tolerant of unfamiliar situations. As your dog ages, be aware of her preferences. Some older dogs love having younger pups to play with; others get grumpy. Don’t put your senior dog into a situation that she can’t handle.
At every age, the loving care you give to your furry friend is bound to come back to you in years of unconditional love and companionship on life’s adventures.