Depending on their breed, puppy are considered as grown dogs and not puppies anymore usually when they turn one or two years old. When you bring a new puppy to their forever home, there are a lot of things that you need to consider for their growth. Each puppy goes through a growth and development stage in these early years and it is important for their owners to make sure to put in the effort during these crucial years.
To help your puppy grow, you'll have to be mindful of their needs such as proper nutrition and physical stimulation. Puppies require an abundance of protein in their diet to help them grow into a healthy adult dog. Healthy fats and vitamins are other essential nutrients that you must incorporate in their diet.
Let's dive deeper and learn how to help your puppy grow up to be a healthy and happy dog.
Tips to help your puppy grow
Taking care of a puppy is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly by anyone. If you're a new pet parent, it may feel daunting at first. However, your precious little pup needs you to step up and help him grow. The process promises to be rewarding for both of you.
Let's first start by listing out everything you'll need to provide your puppy with opportunities for healthy growth. Take a look below:
- Appropriate dishes for food and water
- Top-quality nutrient-rich puppy food
- A dog collar with an ID
- A leash
- Clean water
- A comfortable dog bed or crate
- Grooming supplies, including a safe shampoo, dog brush, nail trimmer, dog toothbrush
- Poop bags
- Puppy toys
1. Healthy puppy nutrition
Nutrition is, by far, the most critical factor of a puppy's growth. A puppy requires a larger amount and a variety of nutritional requirements compared to an adult dog. You need to provide your furry friend with high-quality puppy food that will help them develop and grow.
It's crucial to understand that your growing puppy requires special nutritional formulations, and you can NOT feed it the food recommended for adult dogs. The puppy food is formulated to help them grow healthily. It optimizes the immune system of your pup while reducing the potential for orthopedic diseases and obesity.
The four essential components that your puppy's food must include are as follows:
- Protein: Puppies require the highest quantity of protein in their diet. It helps them grow strong and healthy during the developmental stage. Make sure their food contains the recommended protein content of 22-32%.
- Fats: Growing puppies require a fat content of 10% to 25% in their food.
- Calcium: It's essential to incorporate calcium-rich nutrients in your puppy's diet to prevent them from being prone to diseases.
- Digestible carbohydrates: Puppies require digestible carbohydrate content of 20% in their food.
The appropriate quantity of food depends on the breed and age of your pup. Consulting your vet before choosing a dietary routine for your puppy is essential. Some dog breeds like small and toy pups grow into adult dogs much faster than the larger breeds. That's why you can free feed your small breed pup.
However, larger breeds take around two years to become adults, which is why you should stick to a puppy formula until that time. So, you'll have to control their intake to prevent bloating and excessive weight gain.
For large breeds, consider following the feeding routine given below:
- Four meals a day – For 6 to 12 weeksold pup
- Three meals a day – For 3 to 6months old pup
- Two means a day – For puppies older than 6 months
2. Exercise and socialization
After your puppy's diet, exercise is the most crucial factor in their growth. Your puppy needs to have an active lifestyle for his well-being. You'll have to give them opportunities to exert their energy. Without enough movement, their joints and bones won't grow as strong. More importantly, your puppy needs exercise to stay happy.
Here are a few tips:
- Take them for daily walks in the park
- Go jogging with them at least once a week
- Regular trips to the dog park
Along with exercise, it's vital to keep your puppy social. Proper socialization will help you raise a well-adjusted dog. For that, you need to expose your pup child to new people, environments, and experiences. Once they've been vaccinated, expose them to other pets and dogs to enrich their social circle.
Training is another essential part of making them socially active. Use positive reinforcements to teach your puppy good behaviors from an early age.
3. Puppy's Health
After bringing your puppy home, one of the first steps that you need to take is to find him/her vet. Ask your family or friends to recommend one if you don't already have any in mind. Regular visits are essential to keep your pup on-track with their growth. During initial visits, your vet will check the overall health of your puppy, and guide you in the right direction.
Here's how a vet can help you ensure your puppy's healthy growth:
- Required vaccination appointments for your pup to keep them safe and healthy
- Prescribe appropriate flea and parasite preventives
- Recommend an appropriate diet for your pup
- Give you tips for taking care of your puppy
- Recommend an appropriate time for neutering
- Prevent and treat diseases
Regular grooming practices are an essential as well to encourage the healthy growth of your puppy. You can either groom your pup on your own or hire professional help. Whatever you choose, make sure your pet gets the following care:
- Coat brushing
- Fur trimming
- Nail trimming
- Teeth brushing
5. Playtime and love
Nothing keeps your dog healthy like a fun playtime and lots of love. You need to spend time with your puppy to make them feel at home. Your loving relationship with your pup will keep them healthy and happy. Make sure to take out time for them. Play games like hide and seek, fetch, and give them loads of cuddles.
At Dhohoo, we believe your puppy will benefit most from your time, love, and care. You need to take care of their diet and include ingredients that will help them grow into a strong and healthy dog. The process of helping them grow can be exhausting, but it's even more rewarding.
This growth period will help you develop a bond and partnership with your pup that will keep bringing you joy for many years.