How A Puppy Grows In The First Year


Puppies go through an incredible series of changes in the first year of life. From being born blind and deaf to growing into a running, jumping ball of energy, this busy timeframe can be amazing, if overwhelming. To help you better understand what to expect, here is a brief look into a puppy’s first year and the important developments along the way.

As mentioned above, a puppy’s senses haven’t started working when they are first born. It isn’t until two weeks that their eyes open and other senses develop. What’s more, they will not be able to eliminate on their own and the mother must stimulate this body function. Because of this, the puppies are completely dependent on their mothers. They will sleep most of the time, waking only to seek her out and feed.

Around the fourth week, things get more exciting. The pups will interact with littermates, walk and may even start to bark and wag their tails. It’s also at this time that a set of razor-sharp puppy teeth emerge and that pups are able to eliminate by themselves. To protect their health, it’s vital to change soiled bedding regularly and provide warming pads for the puppies and nursing mother. A cover for pads at this stage is important as young puppies are teething and can chew through them.

Before you know it, your puppy is six months and up to two years, the their need for stimulation and activity intensifies. The pups will reach sexual maturity, have a strong desire to explore and may even overheat due to excess energy, which cooling pads with covers can help prevent. Owners should visit a veterinarian to spay or neuter as well as to microchip to further protect their growing pooch. The switch from puppy food to adult formula should also be discussed as the timing varies by breed. 

By twelve months, most dogs reach emotional maturity and have a defined temperament and loving bond with their owner that lasts a lifetime. Want to learn more about what to expect during a puppy’s first year? Check out the accompanying resource for a handy breakdown!

Graphic created by Green Pet, a retailer of pet cooling products.

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