In our previous blog ‘Dog Care 101: The Puppy Stage’, we learned about puppyhood and how pet parents should go about taking care of them. Moving on from there, we have now reached adulthood in dogs. Your dog is not as much dependent on you than he normally would, but caring for him remains the same with a few adjustments.
Dog Care 101: Adult Stage
Generally speaking, adulthood starts between 12 months to 36 months. Some dogs may reach adulthood faster than others depending on various factors such as breed, sexual behavior towards the opposite gender, etc. There are signs that will help you in knowing whether your dog has reached adulthood or not. If you happen to see your male fur buddy lifting his leg to pee, that’s a sign right there. In female dogs, when they go into heating for the first time, that’s when they leave puberty behind.
Once your dog reaches adulthood, quite a few things change and taking care of them is one such change. It may take you a few days to get used to it, but you will surely get there. Below we have jotted down the changes you need to make and get used to, when your puppy turns into an adult dog.
- Nutritional Requirements – As dogs age, their nutritional requirements increase. Not only do you have to increase the quantity of their food, but you also have to make a change in the food they’re eating. Puppy food will no longer be beneficial for them, and switching to an adult food diet is required. Also, their feeding patterns change. Feeding them twice daily is the recommended pattern to follow. But, before you make the necessary nutritional changes, ensure you consult your vet first.
- Joint Care – When a dog reaches adulthood, it is no crime for pet parents to think about their joint health from now on. Let’s face it; dogs are bound to succumb to joint issues at some point in their lives. But taking care of their joints as soon as they reach adulthood can go a long way in prolonging joint problems. Various joint care supplies such as joint guard Seaflex and Mobiflex are great joint supplements and can be opted for.
- Mental and Physical Exercises – Dogs need exercises throughout their life. Even more so when they are adults. It is during this stage of their life that you should increase their exercise timings. They have a lot more stamina than before and to keep their weight under check, exercise is needed. Both mental and physical exercises are advised.
- Behavioral Changes – As dogs come out of puberty, you will notice certain behavioral changes in them. They will tend to get less demanding, but will still love to play and run around, but will not display enough energy as they would have during puppyhood. Dogs at this stage will have developed sexual behavior and seek attraction to the opposite sex. Furthermore, when dogs reach adulthood, they will be a lot calmer and less excitable.
- Health Care – Health is arguably the most important thing that needs to be taken care of. Adulthood is the phase when most dogs tend to fall ill. Hence, do the smart thing and opt for preventatives that will help you keep your dog well protected. Preventatives such as Frontline Plus, Comfortis, Nexgard, Heartgard Plus, Simparica, etc are great at keeping parasites such as fleas and ticks at bay. Make sure you take the advice of your vet before purchasing preventatives.
Though things may change a bit as your dog enters adulthood, your priorities like caring for him/her remain the same.
In our next and final segment, we will be talking about caring for your dog when he reaches seniorhood. We will be publishing that very shortly, so make sure you stick around for that!