A lot of you look at your pups like they’re your own babies. You feed dogs with the right food, bathe them, play with them, and raise them with no less love than a real mom! On that note, just like human beings, dog’s go through different stages of growth too. They attain a different level of maturity as well as physical growth during each of these stages, which is why it is crucial to understand each of these growth stages and what you can expect in these times.
A dog goes through six stages of development in terms of physical and mental growth. These are, chronologically, puppyhood, adulthood, middle age, senior days, and beyond old age. Now let us take a deeper peek into each of these stages, their perks, and what you can expect during them.
This is, quite obviously, the cutest stage. However, puppyhood can get pretty overwhelming for dog parents because a puppy needs a lot more attention, training, and care than older dogs. They need to be fed more often, vaccinated, and taken out frequently and after each meal. This is also the ideal stage for various types of training like house training, obedience training, or potty training. You need to use lots of love, cuddles, and positive reinforcements to successfully train your pup at this stage.
The junior stage roughly extends from 6 to 12 months of age, depending on the breed. Your dog can reproduce at this point but is still growing. They may begin to challenge your authority at this point so you should obedience train them properly. However, dogs at this stage are more manageable than puppies. Also, if they haven’t been spayed or neutered by now, this is the ideal time to do it.
At this stage your dog is fully grown and matured. They need to be fed twice a day and require a lot of exercise for mental and physical simulation. Physically, your dog is at their peak during adulthood.
As unbelievable as it sounds, dogs go through a midlife crisis too! It is at this stage that their metabolism slows down, leading to weight gain and other complications. This is a good time to give your dog supplements for their health. At this stage, dogs greatly benefit from probiotics for healthy digestion or anti-inflammatories for joint and brain function. You’ve got to spend a considerable amount of time at the vet’s office with your dog during this stage.
Dogs have reached the last quarter of their expectancy in this stage. They tend to sleep more and work out less at this time. However, it is important to keep them active in order to reduce or avoid stiffness and joint aches. The joint support is highly recommended at this stage as it is during the senior days that the arthritis begins to set in. You can also consider a Tempurpedic bed so that your aged dog can sleep comfortably.
BEYOND OLD AGE
Not a lot of dogs reach this stage as it means your dog has officially outlived their expectancy. At this stage, your dog will need a lot of TLC with more supplements, pain medication, or a combination of both. You may also have to shift to a softer brand of food as your dog’s chewing abilities are reduced. However, with proper care and frequent trips to the veterinarian office will ensure that you spend these precious last days with your dog happy.
These are the six main stages of a dog’s life. No matter what stage they are at, having a dog at home is a greater blessing than you might imagine.
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