In continuation to our puppy series, we share things you should expect when your pup is 3 months and older:
Your puppy at week 13 to week 20 (3 months to 5 months)
At this stage, your puppy’s teething is at full bloom. Expect to find chewed shoes, chewed furniture and anything that your puppy can find to sooth his/her teething.
• Vaccination – During the fourth month, you should focus on getting your puppy his/her third and last round of puppy vaccination. It is always necessary to have your puppy complete all the three vital rounds of puppy vaccination to ensure that your puppy is fully protected. Missing any round of vaccination may not ensure an effective vaccine protection. Vaccines due in the fourth month – Distemper, Parvo virus, Corona, Rabies and any other vaccine as advised by your vet.
• How to Manage Teething – Your puppy will be nipping and biting at every corner. While this may be a totally irritating time for you as your puppy will begin to chew household items, furniture, shoes and anything your puppy can get his hands on. However, this is a natural stage in the teething process and you can totally manage it without any stress or suffer any damage. To stop your puppy from nipping on your hands every time you are playing, make sure that you end playtime when the nipping starts. Do this continuously until your puppy understands that nipping would mean an end to playtime. You can also use the bait and switch technique – every time your pup nips at your hands/feet, redirect his attention towards a puppy chew toy instead. You can select from a chew toy, rubber toy, chew bones to help your puppy relieve his/her teething issues. At this stage, your puppy’s teeth are going to fall out and the adult teeth will push through. Most dogs have a full set of teeth by the time they are six months old. As a DIY tip, you can freeze your pup’s chew toys during summers and offer them to chew on as cold chew toys sooth the gums easily.
• Socialization tips – By week 4 your puppy must have received all the vaccination shots and he/she is ready to be outdoors and socialize with other puppies. The outings should be a fun and happy time for your puppy. Always remember to be around your puppy as you are the guardian and the protector and it is your job to ensure that your puppy stays away from any frightening or stressed out situation with other dogs. Never force your puppy to interact as it may cause fear in any future situation and can be a hindrance towards his/her much-needed social skills.
• Independence & Training – By week 5, your puppy will start to become more and more independent. From a little ball of fur who followed you around everywhere, you will find an independent toddler. It is at this stage that you must enforce a day-to-day training to set some boundaries and discipline. If you fail to do so, your puppy may have behavior issues and it will only be difficult to train your pup at a later date. Using positive reinforcement techniques is the key to ensure that you reward correct behavior. Here are some daily training tips:
• Sit before going out – Train your puppy to sit at the front door before you both go out to teach him patience. Use treats to lure your puppy to sit at the door. Then open the door and whenever your puppy stands up, close the door. Reward him every time your pup sits still upon the door being opened.
• Meal Serving Manners – Puppies are hugely motivated by food and if your puppy jumps and gets anxious every time the food is being served, then this is important to teach your pup self control. Upon serving your meal, ensure that your puppy patiently waits until the food is served and he has the permission to eat. Give the stay command and place the bowl on the floor. Every time your puppy does not stay, pick up the bowl and try in another 10 minutes. This will teach your puppy self control and will only get better with practice.
• Greeting visitors with a jump – One of the most annoying habits of puppies and dogs is how they jump on every visitor. Practice the ‘no jumping’ session as soon as you reach home. Avoid greeting your pup if he jumps on you and reward every time he listens to your command.
Teaching your dog good chewing and bad chewing habits
Your puppy is at a highly curious stage. It is exploring his/her new world by smelling, touching and at times chewing! And you should expect loads and loads of chewing as it is a natural behavior and should be channelized properly to ensure it does not turn out to be a destructive behavior.
Your puppy at week 26 to week 34 (6 months to 8 months)
At week 26, your puppy is entering adolescence or the teenage phase. All their baby teeth should have shed off to welcome adult teeth. Your puppy will be growing rapidly at this time between 6 to 8 months and there will be rapid changes in his physical development. This is the most active period of your doggie’s life. Keep your dog engaged in loads of physical activities to eliminate boredom and to avoid destructive behavior such as chewing shoes or furniture.
What Food Should My Dog Eat At This Age?
At this age, your puppy should eat a diet that is formulated for growing pups. You can reduce the feeding intervals from three times a day to two times a day. There are numerous breed specific dog foods available that offer the best of nutrition to your dog.
What about training?
Keep the basic training to avoid your dog being unruly. Some basic obedience tricks such as recall training, impulse control, etc. are important. This is also the age to offer loads of exercise to burn off the extra energy.
What about vaccinations?
By 6 months, your pup should have completed their full series of vaccination. Consult your vet on when should the next batch of vaccination start.
What should be the walking frequency?
Puppies at this age will be able to hold their urine for about 7 to 8 hours. Take them out atleast thrice a day to relieve themselves.
If you haven’t spayed your puppy yet, expect the signs of puberty. If you have a male dog, he will be lifting his leg to mark his territory and mount on other dogs, humans and even furniture! A non-spayed female will be in heat for the first time in between 6 to 8 months of age. Non-spayed females attract males by urine and males use it to mark their territory.
Check out our carefully curated collection dedicated for puppies here.