At times you probably wondered whether it would ever happen! But despite those occasional moments of mischief and misbehaviour, your puppy is now all grown up. And while that cheekiness is unlikely to change in a hurry, your not-so-little mate is now an adult. And this does make for some significant milestones that are worth celebrating!
Why it took so long…
Because your puppy had such ‘big’ plans for becoming a ‘big’ dog, it was important not to rush things. In the same way as a large building needs strong foundations if it’s going withstand the test of time, your little buddy couldn’t reach his full potential until his joints and bones were strong enough to support their size and not risk joint problems like OCD, hip and elbow dysplasia. So congratulations! We’re sure the hard work has been worth it…
So what does being an adult mean?
It’s always first on your puppy’s mind, so let’s start off with food.
Making the switch…
With no more growing to do, your puppy is now ready for adult food. They no longer need the extra energy and the tightly controlled level of calcium and phosphorous that was crucial in their youth. Now, they’re best choice is a food called “Adult Maintenance” that does just what it says; maintains your new adult at the peak of their health and performance. It’s specially formulated with…
Controlled calories: To prevent obesity and its damaging effects on the body.
High quality protein: To strengthen their body and their immune system.
Plus all the vitamins and minerals they need to keep them fit and full of energy.
And away from the food bowl…
Here are some handy tips on managing your newly ‘mature’ mate…
Even though your dog might not grow any taller, there is a risk that it could now do all its growing outwards! Around 40% of Aussie dogs and cats are overweight and the number is climbing. A Purina study recently found that slim animals live almost 2 years longer than their obese friends. So only feed your dog what the feeding guide on the back of the packet says. Then, if your pet still gains weight, reduce the amount you’re feeding by 10%. Remember that exercise is also important.
Dental disease is the most common health problem affecting our pets. It’s estimated that around 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease by the age of 3. Feeding Purina dry food and ‘dental chews’ will help. You should also speak to your vet about other ways of reducing tartar build-up.
Once your dog is fully grown it does mean that his/her joints are close to maturity too. This means they can now handle longer walks and runs than before. Just try to avoid too much ‘high impact’ exercise like chasing tennis balls. This puts strain on their hips and knees which can lead to early onset arthritis. Just remember, the bigger they are, the more stress that gets put on those joints. So try to take it easy!
Prevent the Preventable
Our pets are living longer than ever before. One of the main reasons is that we can now prevent so many nasty diseases. So, make sure your ‘offsider’ gets his vaccinations, worming, heartworm prevention and flea control. They’ll be sure to live a longer, happier life.
Now that your four-legged friend is a fully grown adult dog, be sure to find out more about how to care for an adult dog.