Health and Care
Your puppy will need to visit the veterinarian regularly for puppy vaccines, deworming, and routine check-ups between the ages of 8 to 16 weeks. During this time period, it is important to keep your puppy away from unknown animals and public spaces where other animals may have been. When vaccines are completed, and your vet gives the all-clear, your puppy can begin to go on walks, visit the park, and play with other dogs (under careful supervision, of course).
After four to five months of age, most puppies will not need to see the vet for a routine visit until adulthood with the exception of a planned spay or neuter. At the final puppy visit (usually when the rabies vaccine is given, around 16 weeks of age) be sure to ask any remaining questions. Talk to your veterinarian about the best way to care for your fast-growing puppy.
If your dog will be spayed or neutered, this is often done between five and six months of age but varies greatly. Ask your veterinarian for individual recommendations for your dog. The ideal age to spay or neuter may vary based on breed and size.
How old should the puppy be when you buy it?
So what is the ideal age for a puppy to be when you welcome him into your home? There are different opinions, as well as a variety of factors, that influence the answer to this question. However, most veterinarians and breeders would put the optimum age to bring home a puppy somewhere between 8-to-10 weeks old.
3 Factors to Consider When Adopting Puppies and Older Dogs
After your love-at-first-sight moment at the pet store or puppy mill, and the rigorous paperwork, the reality of becoming an adoptive parent of a dog sets in.
Furparents who have bought my Puppy Coach program and the Dog Calming Code course collectively expressed surprise at the challenges that came right after they adopt a puppy. Some of the puppy and dog adoption sentiments I gathered through the years include:
“I never thought bigger puppies were so curious – just running and jumping all over the place!”
“We love our new baby puppy but all the very specific care, training, and pet insurance involved knocked us a bit sideways.”
“Dealing with an older dog is like dealing with a teenager! It’s a constant power struggle!”
I get you – you want to be a fur parent that is 100% committed to making the most out of your relationship with your new dog. To get to a point where you enjoy having your new dog with you, making sure you’re a match matters.
To help you become a loving dog parent ready for the punches of dog ownership, here are some things to consider.
Adopt Maddy, the 3 month old puppy
You’re ready to add another member to your nest, but you better know how to proceed. There are multiple considerations to work through, one being “How old should he be?” Adopting a puppy too early is a problem; in cases, adopting later can be a problem, too.
The best time to adopt a puppy is usually between 8 and 16 weeks. This is an ideal time to introduce him to new places and people. That is, unless you have small children. Then you may want to wait until the pooch is around 5 months old.
When a puppy is part of a litter, he learns all sorts of valuable lessons. This is the time to learn important life skills from his mother, such as eating and grooming. His littermates will help teach him socialization. If he’s taken from his mother too early, he will be robbed of these valuable lessons and may not thrive or socialize well with others. Also, the first month he will be on a milk-only diet. At 3 to 4 weeks, he starts to be weaned from his mother and by 8 weeks he will be completely weaned, eating just puppy food. You dont want an young, unweaned puppy as hes harder to feed and care for.
There are lots of joys in watching a puppy go through his growing stages, figuring life out as he goes along. Getting him young means that this little guy will be part of your family for a long time: The average dog has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
Dogs that are adopted after 16 weeks may have a harder time adjusting and socializing to a new home, as they may have habits theyve become accustomed to that may be hard to break. He might be slower to warm up to new homes and family members, too.
Before taking the plunge, consider a few things. An 8- to 16-week-old puppy needs lots of attention. You can’t just lock him in a crate or small apartment all day and expect him to be happy and thrive. This is the time when he becomes house-trained and learns other household etiquette. At this age, he has a smaller bladder and needs regular potty breaks, so make sure you have time for that. An 8- to 16-week-old puppy has a smaller stomach, so he needs to be fed more frequently than an adult dog. Puppies are usually full of energy, and they need time and space to run around to get that energy out. When you choose a dog, make sure your home is big enough for the breed. He may start gnawing on your favorite shoes or get into the trash can when you’re not looking, so youll have to puppy-proof your home. Don’t forget about the midnight whimpering, potty accidents on the new rug and tipped-over flowerpots that come with puppyhood.