Developmental Milestones in the Puppy

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Your dog just delivered a litter of cute pudgy puppies. They seem so helpless – being unable to see and hear. Soon you will see many changes as they begin to grow. Here is a quick overview of the developmental milestones in your puppy’s life.

Senses

  • Pups are born blind with their eyelids sealed shut. By the time they are 2 weeks old, the eyelids are open and the puppy begins developing his vision.
  • Pups are also born deaf with sealed ear canals. By the age of 17 days, the ear canals are open and the pups begins to hear. By 25 days of age, puppies respond to sights and sounds.
  • Elimination

    Puppies are unable to voluntarily eliminate urine and feces, and their mother must lick the genital area, stimulating elimination. By 23 days of age, the pups are able to eliminate without help.

    Walking

    Puppies start out life squirming and ‘swimming’ across the floor. By 16 days of age, pups begin the rudimentary first steps of walking.

    Eating

    By the time a puppy is 4 to 6 weeks of age, he can start eating solid food and can be safely weaned around 8 weeks of age.

    Teething

  • As the pups begin eating solid food at 4 to 6 weeks of age, the first teeth begin to erupt. The canine teeth usually erupt at 3 to 4 weeks of age and the incisors erupt at 4 to 6 weeks. The baby premolars also erupt at 4 to 6 weeks of age.
  • These first teeth are temporary and are soon replaced by permanent teeth. The front teeth, incisors, are replaced with permanent teeth around 3 to 5 months of age. By 6 months, the permanent canines erupt. Permanent premolars erupt at 4 to 6 months and the molars erupt at 5 to 7 months of age.

    Your pups are growing quickly. Be aware that by the time most puppies are 6 to 8 months of age, puberty has set in and unplanned pregnancies are possible, so be ready to take precautions or consider spaying or neutering.

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