What age is considered a puppy? Here’s What to Expect

Older Dogs and How to Take Care of Them

Life Stage No. 5: Senior. Your dog enters this stage once they have reached the last quarter of their life expectancy. A dogs lifespan varies according to size and breed.

Life Stage No. 6: Geriatric. Your dog has reached their life expectancy and is still going! Dogs stay in this final stage for the rest of their lives.

As they get older, your dog may slow down and need a little more TLC.

Food. Older dogs may not need as much food as they did when they were younger. Ask your vet whether you should switch to food made for senior dogs and how much to feed them.

Checkups. You may need to begin taking your older dog to the vet for checkups every 6 months. Thats because later in life, dogs are more likely to develop arthritis and other diseases. Routine blood tests can help detect problems early, such as kidney disease. Early diagnosis and therapy can help prolong their life.

Your dog may develop bad breath and dental problems as they get older. Talk to your vet about how to care for your dogs teeth.

Temperature. Older dogs still need exercise. But they often cant handle extreme temperatures as well. So, protect your senior dog from overheating.

Home. Later in life, dogs may have poorer vision and more trouble walking and thinking clearly. “Age-proof” your house to protect your dog by keeping the floor clear of electric cords and other objects. Provide thicker bedding so there is less pressure on their joints when lying down.

It is commonly held that dogs age 7 years for every year that a human does. However, this serves as only a rough guide when converting and calculating your dog’s age. Dogs grow up very rapidly in their early years and then slow down.

Your pup needs vaccinations to protect them from serious, and sometimes fatal, diseases. Most puppies get shots that start sometime between six and eight weeks and end at about the twentieth week.

All dogs develop at different rates, with small breeds generally developing the most quickly, large breeds more slowly, and giant breeds being the late bloomers.

Don’t take a puppy away from their canine family before eight weeks of age. Their mom and litter-mates teach them a lot about how to get along with other dogs during this period.

Prepare for a personality change. An affectionate puppy can turn aloof in adulthood; a pup who played well with others may start giving other dogs attitude. This is one drawback to getting puppies rather than adults. With an adult, what you see is what you get, whereas a puppy may surprise you.

You can spay or neuter your pup at age six to nine months, though you must ask your veterinarian for advice. Spaying and neutering can cut a dog’s risk of several diseases and prevent problems such as marking and escaping.

At what age does a puppy become a dog?

As your dog grows from puppy to senior, youll need to adjust how you take care of them. Heres what to expect as they move through six stages of life.