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The Birth of a Good Boy: How Fragile Puppies Transform Into Strong, Healthy Dogs

These are the growth stages in your pup's amazing transformation!
The Birth of a Good Boy: How Fragile Puppies Transform Into Strong, Healthy Dogs
Photo by Lorena Fernandez / Shutterstock.

Dogs go through all sorts of experiences as they grow up. And for any pet parent, it’s crucial to be familiar with these changes to better provide for a dog’s developing needs.

For a better understanding of your dog’s development, take note of the following growth stages from birth to adulthood:

Newborn Stage (birth to 3 weeks)

Dogs open their eyes when they’re around 10 to 14 days old. Until then, they crawl and navigate their surroundings through their senses of smell and touch. They also sleep most of the time.

This stage, which extends up until they’re three weeks old, is considered their neonatal period or vegetative phase. Puppies at this stage may come off as too fragile to hold, but frequent human contact actually helps make them get used to people as early as possible. Be reminded that puppies must be held gently!

During this period, a newborn puppy gets by with only its mother’s milk. When situations come up that its mother can’t provide enough milk, milk replacements such as Royal Canin Babydog Milk come in handy.

This instant milk is suitable for a newborn pup’s digestive capacity. Its formulation is very close to a mother dog's milk, which has high energy and protein levels.

Royal Canin Babydog Milk (P1,790.83 SRP for 400 g), available on Lazada

Weaning Stage (4 to 8 weeks)

Four weeks after birth, puppies start to walk, growl, and wag their tails. They start reacting to light and sound much better than before and become more playful. Above all, they slowly begin taking an interest in their mother’s food, signaling the start of their weaning period. This is also the time to schedule regular visits to the vet.

While dogs at this stage still largely depend on milk, you can slowly transition them to solid foods. Royal Canin Starter Mother and Babydog products are ideal because these kibbles soften when soaked in water, making them easy to consume for puppies that are just starting out with solids. 

Starter diets can be given to pregnant dogs at six weeks of gestation for a healthy pregnancy and to support productive lactation. These can be given until pups are weaned. Royal Canin offers variations of these products depending on the breed size of your pets.

Royal Canin Mini Starter Mother and Babydog (P1,366.82 SRP for 3 kg), available on Lazada

Royal Canin Maxi Starter Mother and Babydog (P1,640.96 SRP for 4 kg), available on Lazada

On top of being more active, puppies at their weaning period become capable of passing urine and stool independently.

Growth Spurt Stage (8 weeks onwards)

When the eighth-week mark hits, dogs start showing exponential physical growth. Their teeth start to be replaced with adult teeth, and their coat transitions to that of an adult dog.

Notably, this is also when dogs become more capable learners. You can start teaching them good practices and develop their socialization skills. Dogs are likely to bring what they learn during this period into adulthood.

Another important point to know: Dogs’ nutritional needs change this time, too. It’s important to feed them food that matches their energy and helps them grow into healthy adult dogs. Royal Canin has a range of puppy food that caters to size, breed, and even sensitivity to meet each dog’s specific needs.

Dry food:

Royal Canin Mini Puppy (P914.12 SRP for 2 kg), available on Lazada

Royal Canin Medium Puppy (P1,479.15 SRP for 4 kg), available on Lazada

Royal Canin Maxi Puppy (P4,496.99 SRP for 15 kg), available on Lazada

Wet food:

Royal Canin Wet Range Mini Puppy (P779.98 SRP for 12 pouches), available on Lazada

Royal Canin Medium Puppy Wet Food (P892.14 SRP for 10 pouches), available on Lazada

Royal Canin Maxi Puppy Wet Food (P892.14 SRP for 10 pouches), available on Lazada

Adult Stage (8 to 24 months, depending on size)

Dogs become adults at different ages, depending on their breed size.

  • Miniature breeds at 8 to 10 months
  • Medium breeds at 12 months
  • Maxi breeds at 15 months
  • Giant breeds at 18 to 24 months

Once they enter adulthood, dogs’ nutritional needs change yet again. This time, their diet is comparatively lighter, just enough to maintain their weight and address any health concerns. Generally speaking, adult dogs only need two meals a day.

Royal Canin offers a whole range of adult dog food, tailored to a dog's breed and size. There are even options that address health concerns like skin and coat conditions and bladder sensitivities.

Keep in mind, dog owners: As dogs go through each phase of their life, they need the kind of care that is appropriate and tailored to their needs. And when it comes to their nutrition, Royal Canin is here to help every fragile pup grow up to be a healthy and strong dog!

Learn more about Royal Canin and its products at royalcanin.com/ph. Follow its Facebook page for updates.

This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with ROYAL CANIN.
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