Puppy growing up guide

Your puppy grows up way quicker than a human baby, and all too soon, that tiny bundle of fur has become an adult dog.

Some of the highlights you can expect over the first six weeks of your puppy’s life are covered here.

In the first week, your puppy will be most concerned with staying close to Mum and making sure they are fed and warm. Your puppy is born deaf and blind, and has very little movement other than with their front legs. It’ll suckle a little and often during the first week.

By week two, puppy’s eyes will begin to open, although they can only see light and shade at this stage. They will also start to hear, although not very well at this early stage. They will begin to recognise your voice, however, so talk frequently to let them get to know you. They will also be whining to let you or Mum know they are cold or hungry, and you could start to introduce some soft solids to the diet at this stage.

Week three will see puppy taking their first real interest in the world. You can start to add a little soft solids to puppy’s diet at this stage, and you could try taking Mum away from the puppies for twenty minutes or so, to give them a sense of independence.

Week four will see your puppy becoming more and more active, and will try to leave the comfort of their mother to explore the world. They will also be interactive with their brothers and sisters in the litter. You should have a name for your puppy by this stage, as they will be well capable of getting used to hearing it. This is also the time to consider house training, as your pup starts to leave ‘deposits’ around the home.

Week five will see your puppy becoming much stronger and more active, and should be sleeping less and playing more. Puppies love play-fighting with the other members of the litter or with soft toys you may give them. This teaches them that biting is not appropriate, as a quick yelp from a sibling will stop them in their tracks.

By week six, your puppy should have developed his own personal characteristics, and will be easily distinguished from their siblings. You can continue the process of socialising your puppy – taking them from their Mum and siblings occasionally, handling them and introducing them to other family members or visitors to the home. By this stage, your puppy should know where their special place is when it’s time to ‘go’, so persevere with your training.

Feeding your puppy

Your choice of food for your puppy is vital to their health and wellbeing. Get it right, and you can look forward to enjoying an energetic and curious housemate.

Choice of feed is so important in that puppy’s skeleton is rapidly developing, muscles are growing as it becomes more active, and its immune system needs to develop as it becomes exposed to more and more that the world has to throw at it.

If you nourish your puppy during these vital early months, you’ll be giving it an excellent health foundation that should stand it in good stead for the rest of its life.

Puppies go through the most intense growth period during the first six months of their lives, and it might surprise you to learn that they expend around TWICE the energy of an adult dog.

However, if you were to give it twice the volume of feed that you’d give to an adult dog, its stomach just wouldn’t be able to accommodate it.

Therefore, you need to feed an enriched formula that’s specially formulated for puppies. The ideal blend of puppy food will have the optimum blend of protein, carbohydrates and fat. You can browse our full range of puppy foods here.

If you are unsure which Connolly’s RED MILLS product to feed your puppy, why not ask a member of our expert nutrition team.

Different sizes have different needs

Smaller breeds of puppy develop more quickly, so they require a higher level of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus. If your pup is a larger breed, however, you’ll need to give it a less nutrient-dense formula, as otherwise he may eat too much.

If you’re unsure as to how much your puppy needs, make sure you read the label on the feed, or if you’re still unsure, ask our experts.

Once you’re sure how much to feed, make sure you measure out each portion accurately. If your puppy isn’t eating their feed after thirty minutes or so, take the bowl away and don’t put out food until is time for their next meal.

As a general rule, you should serve up his food at room temperature – and don’t forget to provide lots of clean, fresh water with it.

Our Experts

Eugene joined the Technical Support Team in Connolly’s RED MILLS in June 1990 as a pet food nutritionist, and is a tremendous source of expert, impart ...

Ask a question »