When is a dog considered an adult? Quite an interesting question. Dogs are the most preferred pets and are found in almost every home. Loyalty is the first trait that comes to everyone’s mind when the name dog is heard. Their friendliness, affection, and energy make them lovable pets.
How do you find out how old is your dog if you have them as your pet? Let’s find out. You will not find your puppies mature into an adult all of a sudden. Typically, dogs crossing the age of one are known as adult dogs. Yet, this may vary based on the size and breed of your dogs.
1. How To Find the Size of Your Dog?
Have you ever thought about how to find out whether your dog is a small, medium, or large breed? Typically, a dog’s weight determines its size. And based on its size, it falls under the small, medium, and large breeds categories. They can be further categorized as a toy, teacup, extra large, and giant breeds.
Now that you know about the breeds, it’s time to discover when each of them becomes an adult.
Toy or smaller breed dogs turn into adults at around nine months, medium breeds at around 12 months, larger breeds at around 18 months, and giant breeds can take up to 24 months.
One noteworthy point is that though the physical growth rate of your puppies stops, it does not guarantee that they are fully emotionally and physically mature.
2. What Is Sexual Maturity in Dogs?
Sexual maturity is the stage at which your dog can give birth as its reproductive organs are fully developed. Most dogs attain this stage at around six months. A dog gets sexually matured before its physical maturity.
3. What Is Physical Maturity in Dogs?
It is the stage where you witness a change in their physical needs, such as the amount of food they consume and the amount of exercise required to remain healthy. However, when your pup reaches physical maturity, it may still retain some puppy energy and might be resisting the urge to chew everything.
4. What Is Emotional Maturity in Dogs?
It is the stage when your dog is completely out of its puppy behavior and behaves like an adult dog. Some visible examples include knowing their boundaries, being more responsive in their training, having fewer distractions, become friendly with other dogs by responding to their social cues.
However, not all dogs reach emotional maturity at the same time. Typically, dogs tend to reach this stage when they turn two.
Having seen all these transitions, can you guess when the most testing time for a pup is?
5. Testing Times for a Puppy – The Adolescent Period
Similar to human babies, dogs also face testing during their growth phases. Especially majority of puppies will undergo a hard time when they are about five months of age. Based on the breed, they don’t come out of the teenager phase for 2-3 years.
That’s not all. Their most challenging period is when they are eight months of age to around 18 months of age.
Your puppy is growing daily and will soon turn into an adult dog. Subsequently, their eating habits will also change. So, you have to switch from puppy food to adult dog food.
6. The Transition From Puppy Food to Adult Dog Food
Younger puppies will be very playful and active, requiring more energy. Hence puppy food contains more calories and protein-rich foods. Your puppies grow taller, and when you notice it stopping, that is the perfect time to transition to adult food.
7. When Does Your Puppy Stop Growing Taller?
Not all puppies stop growing at the same rate. It is mainly based on their size. Small breed dogs stop growing taller at around 9-12 months, medium breed at around 12 months, and large breeds at around 12-16 months.
8. What Does the Food of Adult Dogs Contain?
Adult dog food contains rich nutrients and prevents your dog from gaining extra weight. When switching to adult food for your dogs, you must be careful that this does not upset their stomach.
A better option would be to consult your veterinarian to ensure that you provide them with the right portion, thereby satisfying their weight and health requirements.
9. How To Find the Age of Your Dog?
It is very important to know your dog’s age so that you can check whether they are reaching its milestones properly. Younger dogs will be more lively and energetic when compared to older dogs. This is because as dog ages, their energy also comes down. But wait! Sometimes, even an older dog can have energy bursts similar to a puppy.
So, how do you determine their age if they are a mixed breed or adopted from a shelter? You can do this from their physical features.
Your puppy will have 28 baby teeth when they are roughly about six weeks of age. When a puppy grows and is about 16 weeks of age, these teeth start falling, and you will find adult teeth at around six months.
9.2. Puppy Coat to Adult Coat
When a puppy is born, it has a single coat with soft and fluffy fur that helps regulate its body temperature. However, this puppy coat is not permanent. When dogs age, this coat is replaced by a much thick and stiff adult coat.
9.3. Fewer Accidents
Puppies must be house-trained, and you must take them out regularly to avoid accidents. The thumb rule for the duration a puppy can hold its urine is its age in months plus one.
For instance, when a puppy is two months old, it can stay without urinating for three hours; if it’s a three-month-old, it can stay without urinating for four hours, and so on.
Hence as a dog grows, it will hold its urine for long hours, resulting in fewer accidents.
Young dogs are more energetic, so playtime is a must to stay fit. While a puppy requires a minimum of one hour of exercise daily, older dogs require less exercise as they get near their senior years.
11. Necessities for Dogs
When you have a pet, be it a dog or a puppy, there are some mandatory necessities such as a dog collar, chewable toys, and a bed. Though these are basic things, the size may vary based on the dog. For example, bigger dogs may require bigger toys.
12. Veterinarian Visit
Similar to humans, your pup needs a doctor visit too. Lots of expenses occur within one year for healthy dogs. These include puppy vaccinations, deworming medicines, etc.
A dog’s life is very short when compared to humans. So, enjoy your time with your dog. Also, senior dogs need more care as many physiological changes occur as they age.