Your 8-Week-Old Puppy: Everything You Need To Know
Your puppy’s basic needs, such as eating, drinking, sleeping, peeing, and playing, should be their top priorities at eight weeks. Now, a puppy can remember when and where it was fed and what behaviors are acceptable. It is even feasible to start the housebreaking process, and they can begin more at ease with grooming. After taking their mother and littermates, they are ready to leave their family unit and move to their new home with you.
Expectations for an 8-Week-Old Puppy
Most puppies are only about a third of their adult weight, length, and height when they are eight weeks old. Puppies often grow swiftly between birth and six months of age. How much they grow will determine their breed and nutrition during their early years.
By the age they are eight weeks old, puppies will have lost all 28 of their baby teeth, and they may even have begun to erupt their first adult teeth, the front incisors.
As they grow, puppies become wiser and more interested in their surroundings (8 weeks). Although they can learn, they have very short attention spans. Owners should have a variety of simple toys on hand for their puppies to investigate. Puppies play rough and tumble with their littermates while eventually learning to play alone. It is essential for puppies to have contact with people and animals of various ages, sizes, and shapes at this age for them to develop proper socialization. Puppies should be able to change their behavior in response to novel circumstances, sights, sounds, and sensations.
Speed & Play
At this age, the majority of puppies are clumsy. After all, most babies don’t learn to walk or run until they are 3 and 5 weeks old, respectively. They are developing their gross motor skills, allowing them to play and run around while “hunting.” Their ability to use fine motor abilities will come later. Puppies learn learning how to jump at this age as well. If the puppy’s desire to jump on everyone they meet as an adult persists, this common habit could become unpleasant. Owners can begin to lessen undesired jumping by rewarding good behavior with food and other forms of positive reinforcement.
Body Language & Coat of Hair
Puppies with a hair coat eight weeks old or younger have excellent, baby-type hair and shed very little. Short brushing sessions are the most effective way for puppies to get used to the feeling of being brushed. Puppies’ muzzles begin to lengthen at this age, and in some breeds, the ears start to stand up.
Puppies eight weeks old sleep between 18 and 22 hours daily. The rest of the day is spent eating, playing, and using the restroom.
What an Eight-Week-Old Puppy Needs
Puppies should have received their first round of vaccinations by the time they are eight weeks old. Through a “combination” of immunizations, the conventional vaccine guards against the canine distemper virus, canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, and canine parvovirus (the four viruses are commonly abbreviated as DHPP). Many medical professionals advocate including leptospirosis protection (DHLPP) with this vaccination in addition to coronavirus protection (DHLPPC). Additionally, immunization against Lyme disease may be suggested based on a pet’s surroundings and level of activity. Each state may have rules governing animal immunizations.
The process of microscopically examining stool for parasites is known as fecal examination. It can be used to determine the specific worms or confirm that they are present.
Heartworm prevention is essential for puppies at risk, and it should frequently begin when they are six months old.
Managing fleas and ticks
Veterinarians may recommend a wide variety of anti-pest treatments.
Puppies leave nursing from their mothers when they are weaned, usually between 6 and 8 weeks of age, and begin eating solid food. A puppy two months old needs four meals a day of premium puppy food designed for dogs their size.
Based on their body weight, puppies require around twice as many calories as adult dogs. Depending on their height, activity level, and weight, a 2-month-old puppy needs a certain number of calories daily.
The following list represents the general calorie requirements for the different breed sizes:
- The toy breed of dogs, -225
- 400 for small-breed dogs
- 530 for medium-sized dogs
- Regarding large-breed dogs, -990
- For large breed dogs, -1220
It’s a good idea for new pet owners to see their veterinarian for guidance on a puppy’s diet and nutrition.
What to Expect During the First Eight Weeks of Your Puppy’s Life
A puppy’s interactions with its mother and littermates throughout the first eight weeks of life mold their personalities and the type of family pet they will become.
Puppies quickly grow. At birth, they are born without hearing or vision. They are unable to regulate their body temperature or urine. But because of how quickly they grow, you can watch them change over time. The following is an essential guide to a young puppy’s first few weeks of life:
Weeks 1 and 2
The mother’s instincts tell her to keep her small puppies close together for warmth because a chill can kill them even if they spend 90% of their time sleeping as newborns. The tiny puppies are blind and deaf, but their touch and smell enable them to locate their mother’s nipples. During the first week, her milk will provide antibodies that will allow them to survive for 6 to 10 weeks. To encourage urine and evacuation, she also licks their genitalia and stomachs.
A newborn’s legs are so weak that they can hardly move to their siblings’ and the nearby nipple’s comfort. During active sleep, puppy legs are strengthened when they twitch while they sleep. If the mother permits, breeders or other primary caretakers may begin picking up each pup many times every day. This early, compassionate human contact will help the dog form better ties with people later on.
A puppy’s senses begin to mature during the third week. They can begin between light, dark, and movement, and they start to respond when loud or unexpected stimuli are made. As they paw and mouth their littermates, they will also begin to hone their initial social skills. They are now capable of using the restroom independently. Although they are not yet ready to wean, a veterinarian may advise starting puppies on gruel prescribed by a veterinarian. By the end of the week, puppies of this age will be able to crawl, and their tails will begin to wag.
Weeks 4 and 5
Puppies develop their muscle and coordination fast and begin to respond to their environment. They can walk, stand, run, pounce, and bark. Their mother instructs them to relieve themselves outside of the sleeping area.
They are honing their play abilities while learning alongside their littermates. They understand the distinction between hard and soft biting because their siblings hit them when they bite too hard. As they continue to test their physical limits, puppies will alternately sleep at the top and bottom of the sibling pile. The best time for human caretakers to introduce toys is when a youngster begins to exhibit hunting and chasing behaviors.
The mother dog serves as a referee when the game gets too rough. She might snarl, prod, or restrain a disobedient puppy from encouraging good behavior and getting them ready for training. Orphaned dogs are raised without a mother if they are not properly socialized. Other littermates may find it difficult to get along with their human partners and other dogs.
As this socialization phase ends, it’s time for the caretaker’s family to get more involved with the young puppy. As a result, they will get used to everyday life’s sights, sounds, and smells.
Puppies begin cutting their first teeth at this time, so mothers start weaning them. Before vomiting her meal back up for her puppies to eat, she might chew it.
Weeks 6 and 7
At this period, a puppy’s muzzle will grow, and they’ll begin to resemble their breed’s adults more. They’ll also express how they feel. When they are in pain, scared, or excited, they will whimper, whine, or bark, or when they want to be petted.
The mother becomes the pack leader when her young offspring mature. Her little puppies have been weaned and are ready to eat solid food now that they have teeth. She is friendly and playful with them, teaching them when to bite and when not to. She communicates to them that she is the dominant dog and corrects them severely if they misbehave.
A puppy’s urge to explore their environment and learn new things can be significantly increased at this age by learning various simple toys to investigate. They will play rough and tumble with their littermates in addition to sharing and snatching toys. By now, they should spend a little time each day playing quietly and learning their social skills in a safe environment.
Your puppy should be able to remember a few commands, appropriate behaviors, and the place and time of meals by this age. Additionally, they can begin the grooming, toilet, and crate training practices. After spending time with their mother and fellow littermates, they are ready to leave the family and return home with their new puppy parents.