‘A Life with Dogs’
BOOK FOUR – ‘Dog Dayz’
Welcome to Book Four in our Blog Series ‘A Life with Dogs.’
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Keeping your Dog Healthy, Common Behavioural Problems, Socialisation, Health & Preventative Care, Safety, Exercise, Boredom Busting, Obedience, Travel, Boarding & Day Care are among a few of the topics to cover.
But what about that first Puppy to Dog transition?
As your puppy loses his or her puppy breath and adorable pot belly, it is time to accept that she is rapidly becoming an adult.
It’s one of those things that pass without too much notice, especially if you have one of the more playful breeds… (which ones are you suggesting I hear you say)!
Ralphie, my Cocker Spaniel was still pulling the ‘Puppy’ card as he turned 10, so what chance do you have with an adorable Lab, Doodle, or Great Dane?
Understanding the concept of adult-dog behaviour will never be in the fore-front of their mind, so what is this thing called ‘Adult Dog Behaviour’?
Well… it’s whatever it presents at the time… and no two puppies will be quite the same.
The old adage – enjoy everyday as it comes, is totally where it’s at!
Dog’s lives are too short. Their only fault, really – Agnes Slight Turnbull
Here are our Tips on Puppy to Dog Transition.
Before you teach her how to knit and enjoy re-runs of Murphy Brown, let’s understand what to expect when your dog transitions from puppy to dog.
When Does a Puppy Become a Dog?
On the other hand, a giant breed like the Great Dane may take 2 years to fully develop… so size really does matter.
Just don’t be fooled into thinking that behaviour is all about maturity:)
Here are some other puppy to dog identifiers to be on the look-out for:
The first change you will make when your dog transitions from young whippersnapper to not-as-young whippersnapper is a dietary adjustment.
As your dog matures, her metabolism will slow down, and she will require fewer nutrients to support growing bones.
Place her on an adult formula once she has stopped growing, and reduce the number of meals from 3 – 4 per day to 1 or 2.
Make sure to change her food gradually in order to avoid tummy troubles.
Your puppy will likely grow into its paws and ears (or be even more totes adorbs if not), and her fur will lose its velvety puppy softness.
She will, sadly, lose her puppy breath and show that she is, in fact, a smelly dog just like the rest (soz).
As a pet owner, you will have to be more aware of routine care such as dental cleanings and ear maintenance, as well as nail trimmings.
And, it will also be easier for your puppy to put on weight, so watch for signs that she is becoming pudgy.
Fortunately, after 14 months of age you will no longer be on first name basis with your veterinarian (hopefully).
All going well, after your puppy receives her last round of booster shots and deworming treatments, your pup will require little more maintenance than a yearly check up (and preventative care, of course).
As your puppy grows, her personality will slightly change.
Most dogs go through an adolescent angst period where they try to challenge your authority (bad news if you chose a dog because you didn’t want to deal with an angsty teen).
Here, pets may push boundaries and see how much they can get away with.
After this time period (typically 4 – 6 months), your pet will continue to mature mentally and socially.
Before a dog is fully grown, she should not engage in vigorous activity, in order to preserve the health of her joints and tendons.
The bad news is that as your dog reaches adulthood, you still have 5 – 8 more years of crazy puppy energy left to deal with, depending on breed.
The good news is that the veterinarian will not judge you for taking an adult dog for a 10 mile run, which is the best way to combat canine craziness!
One thing that will never change is that you will always call your dog your ‘puppy.’
Even when she is 18 years old and more content to cuddle in your arms than chew the furniture or chase bush-turkeys, she will never simply be a dog, but the most wonderful overgrown puppy in existence.
Pup Update – 1-2 Years
Jerry is not a Puppy anymore. We get that… but he’ll always be my ‘Little Man Pup.’ Jerry’s physical appearance has been changing for quite some time, especially the maturing of his head shape, body size and deepening shades of colour. His general understanding as a more mature dog – obedience (most of the time), bathroom requirements (Jerry can hang on so much longer now), food agenda (more refined now, rather than anything at anytime), and way more loving (and patient) most of the time – are things that snuck up on us. It just seemed to happen. I have loved having a Puppy again, yes it can be trying and nerve-racking and… a little extra work than having a dog, but I would do it all over again. Now that Jerry is a dog, my true & loyal shadow (until Dad walks in the room!) is the next amazing stage of owning a dog, and one I do not take for granted. Keeping him well, fit and emotionally fulfilled is an on-going responsibility… hopefully for the next 12-14 years. Anything above and beyond this will be a bonus. Love my little man pup xx
Ash Sukhwani a.k.a. Mother of Jerry
Jerry – Born ‘Royoni Naughty-on-Arrival’ June 17, 2017
Follow Jerry’s adventures on Instagram @jerrythecockerspan
Now that your puppy has transitioned into a beautiful dog, we’ll talk about keeping them healthy.
Watch this space – Chapter Twenty-Five – Coming Soon
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Photo Credits: Boston Terriers – @maggielovesorbit, Millie – @millie_therubycavoodle, Arlo – @arlothecavoodle, Calvin – @calvinthecockerspaniel, Maisie, FADM, Barry, Jax, Bailey – @baileyb767, Bella, Jerry – @jerrythecockerspan