Believe it or not, these 8 weeks are some of your puppy’s most impressionable. Their brain will undergo a big developmental spurt, which leaves a small window for them to learn everything they need that will shape their personality and form their future behaviors. To start them off on the right paw, give them plenty of playtime with their littermates and shower them with human attention when they’re ready.
Development & Health: Body Control
Did you know that in their first 7 weeks your puppy will gain almost full control of their body? They’ll develop motor skills, be able to hold their bladder, use all of their senses and start growing baby teeth. There’s no need to guide them through these changes. Much like a baby walking for the first time, they’ll do this all on their own.
Welcome to the single most important part of your puppy’s life: their first socialization. This is the time when they start learning the core of what it means to be a dog – how to play, bite inhibition, discipline and pack mentality. All these important lessons are learned by interacting with other puppies. So, make sure they have plenty of time to play with their littermates to reinforce the "puppy programming."
Nutrition: Puppy Food
Puppies usually start eating food around week 4 and by week 7 your pup should be fully eating puppy food. Some people wonder if they really need to feed their pup this specially formulated food. The answer is yes. Puppy food is high in calories and fortified with all the nutrients (like DHA) they need to grow up big and strong. Small dogs will physically develop faster than large ones, so depending on your pup’s breed size you’ll want to feed them puppy food for 1-2 years and then switch to adult food. But we’ll cover that down the road.
Inside each bag of Puppy Chow® is a unique healthy-start blend with high-quality protein, DHA and other essential nutrients also found in mother’s milk. For a natural puppy food option, try Purina® Puppy Chow® Natural Plus Vitamins & Minerals, made without any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. To learn more about why puppies need special nutrition, check out this article.