Taking Care of Your Dog from 0 to 20 Years

Dogs are magnificent animals. They are fun, loyal, lovable and will do anything to please you, but that has a cost. A dog needs special care in each of his ages, and is your job to provide it so he can be a happier animal and live longer and longer by your side.

There are two things your dog will need during his whole life: your love and attention. Everything else is important, but not as much as those two things. A happier dog is healthier and live longer, and the best thing for you to help him reach this happiness is show him as much as you can how much you love him.

Now, let’s talk about dogs in their different ages:

From 0 to 30 days: The puppy doesn’t move well. His most important job is to feed from his mum, and the only thing the owner can do is check to see if the puppy is not hurting the mother. Only after ablactating the dog will show his first signs of independence, and that’s when the owner must start giving the puppy some solid food. After 30 days is time to take the dog to the vet, so he can make a check-up and take vermifuges.

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From 30 to 45 days: That’s the time when the owner must help the puppy to build independence. The puppy already knows how to eat, walk and drink water, and it is time to get used to humans. In that phase, the puppy must eat exclusively puppy rations, so he can grow and become stronger. This period is when the dog must take the first round of vaccines, which must be renewed every 25 days until completed 4 doses.

From 4 to 10 months: The puppy must go out, meet new people and other dogs. He will be very playful and is important that you socialize him as much as you can, so he gets used to the presence of humans and other animals.

During this time, the dog will be loosing teeth and growing new ones, so his gums will itch and the dog will bite everything in front of him. Don’t worry; it’s not a sign of growing aggressiveness, although you must discourage him to bite living things, so the puppy doesn’t grow as a biting dog. From 4 to 10 months the dog still will be eating puppy food, and you shouldn’t feed him anything else. The puppy ration has everything your buddy needs. Oh… and of course, there are a few vaccines that the dog needs yet.

From 8 to 18 months: The dog will stop growing during that time. The smaller races stop around 10 months, while the larger racer a little time after a year. The dog will pass through puberty and won’t be much different from an human. There will be sexual urges and some unpleasant behaviors, as trying to masturbate fractioning the genitals on people and objects. Male dogs will be ready to procreate, but female should wait to the third reproductive cycle, because that’s when their reproductive organs will be fully-grown.

In this period, the dog must start eating adult food, which has fewer calories, or else he may become fat. Vaccines must be renewed every twelve months, and vermifuges every four.

From 18 months to 3 years: The dog will reach the peak of his physical potential. In some races, it means running around and playing all the time; other racer are calmer. Research about the race behavior before getting a puppy, or you might see yourself with a jumping hairy hyperactive monster in your small apartment.

During all the dog’s life, and in this period is not different, give him the best food you can. Better dog food means better and healthier life. More money in food will mean less money in sporadic visits to the veterinary, and speaking of which, you must take the dog to see the doctor at least once a year. Is important that you and the vet take care of the dog’s teeth, removing the tartar regularly.

From 5 years to old age: The dog you begin his aging process. The older he gets, less energy he will have. There are many age and race related diseases that you should research and do everything possible to prevent. Veterinaries usually prescript special food for each condition.

Old age dog: When your puppy turn to and old guy, remember the great buddy he was to you and treat him with all the respect he deserves. You own that to him. Despite all the money and care you gave him, this dog devoted his life to you, and you should keep that in mind. Old dogs tend to be more docile and affectionate, and will be a great time to spend calm afternoons with him by the fire. It will feel good on his bones.

There are special food and medicine to give a longer and more comfortable old age to the dog, and you must take him to the vet every time you realize that the dog is in pain. Yet, the best thing you can give him is the same you gave him all his life: your love and attention.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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