Give your new pet an amazing start in life


In the first year of your puppy’s life, the decisions you make as an owner will help shape the lifelong health and happiness of your pet. At PURINA® PRO PLAN® we’re here to support you every step of the way – with expert advice on all-round care, as well as diets scientifically tailored to your pet’s changing nutritional needs.

 

90 YEARS OF PIONEERING NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE

0-3 months old: time with mother and you

Vets and breeders recommend puppies should stay with their mother and littermates until at least 8-12 weeks of age. Spending this time learning and socialising with family members is crucial for your puppy’s long-term mental and emotional health.

The weeks before you welcome your puppy to its new home are an opportunity to prepare and think about the important practical things like nutrition.

Need to know

Your dog’s nutritional requirements will change at every life stage. As a puppy, your dog will need three times more calories per kilogram of body weight than an adult, plus much higher levels of protein, vitamins and minerals. 

The PURINA® PRO PLAN® range offers three diets expertly tailored to the specific needs of different puppies:

• PURINA® PRO PLAN Puppy with OPTISTART for all-round health and strong natural defences
PURINA® PRO PLAN Puppy with OPTIDIGEST for extra support with delicate digestion
PURINA® PRO PLAN Puppy with OPTIDERMA for puppies with sensitive skin

Don’t forget to:

Register with a local vet in advance and discuss which vaccinations your puppy will need.

3 months old: welcome home

Leaving his mother and siblings for a new environment can be stressful for your puppy. One way of helping them relax is to prepare a space where they can feel safe. Stress can also cause intestinal upsets (viral or bacterial infections) and have an impact on your puppy’s immune system. This is where the right nutrition matters.

What you can do

• Feed your puppy three to four times a day with the same food he was weaned on.
• Take him outside for elimination as soon as he wakes up, after each meal and every hour.
• Introduce him to your family and get him used to being touched and held. This will relax him and also make visits to the vet less stressful.

Check with your vet

• Worming treatment.
• All the right vaccinations  
• Treatment against parasites (fleas, ticks, etc.)

Need to know

In the first five months of life, puppies’ natural defences are not fully matured. PURINA® PRO PLAN® with OPTISTART® helps to bridge this ‘immunity gap’ with colostrum – mother’s first milk – to help strengthen your puppy’s natural defences.

Your first puppy?

Don't forget to:

Get your dog used to being handled right from the beginning. This will make grooming, bathing and vet visits much less stressful later.

4 months old: growing up fast

Your puppy is becoming more active and curious every day, exploring any object or area with his eyes, paws, nose and mouth. He will start losing milk teeth, which will be replaced by permanent ones.

What you can do

• Satisfy your puppy’s natural need to bite on things with non-destructible, non-toxic toys. 
• Keep small objects and electric cables from away from him.
• Let your puppy socialise with other dogs, as long as they’ve been vaccinated 
• Think about a “puppy class” and training classes at 14-16 weeks old 
• When he’s between 14–16 weeks old, it’s a good idea to start looking for training classes. This is a critical learning stage.

Check with your vet

• Check ideal body shape, neither under nor overweight.
• Bone, joint and teeth development.
• Overall size check is especially important in large dogs at this stage.

Need to know

Dogs, like humans, benefit from probiotic supplements of live bacteria – such as PURINA® PRO PLAN® VETERINARY DIETS Canine FortiFlora® (link to product).  Sprinkled on your puppy’s normal food, FortiFlora® helps improve the microflora balance in the gut. This promotes intestinal health, good quality stools and a stronger immune system.

Don’t forget to:

Begin brushing your puppy’s teeth regularly. This will help prevent the build-up of tartar.

5 months old: the awkward phase

Your puppy is growing rapidly. Watch out for possible impact on his bones and joints (especially for large breed dogs) He may show increased appetite and risk becoming overweight. As his teeth grow, he will experience some pain, which will lead to possible bad moods and bleeding gums.

What you can do

• Take the feeding bowl away after fifteen minutes. Don’t leave it out for him all day.
• If your puppy’s teeth appear painful, give him new toys to chew.
• Get him used to respond to your commands, words and gestures.
• Reward him as you train him. Puppy kibbles are great but don’t overfeed.

Check with your vet

• Check ideal body shape, neither underweight nor overweight.
• Bone, joint and teeth development.
• Worming treatment.
• All the right vaccinations for age and needs.  
• Treatment against parasites (fleas, ticks, etc.)

6 months old: finding himself

Your puppy’s individual personality starts to appear. He has more energy than ever, and always wants to play. His digestive system is almost fully developed.

What you can do

• Establish clear rules for your puppy at home. 
• Increase food portions while decreasing the number of meals to two or three daily.
• Start playing with him for longer and introduce him to new toys.

Check with your vet

• Check ideal body shape, neither underweight nor overweight.
• Bone, joint and teeth development.

7 months old: a new look

Depending on the breed, your puppy’s adult fur has developed, changing the appearance of his coat. Almost all of his adult teeth are in place If your puppy is female, she could start experiencing heat. This will also depend on her size.

What you can do

• Brush your puppy’s teeth regularly to avoid the build-up of Tartar.
• Don’t brush his fur too often, as this could damage his skin. 
• Try to stick to his regular daily exercise routine, even if you’re busy.
• Check there are no small thorns or spines from plants in his fur after his outdoor play. 
• Check for other irritants, especially around the ears and between the toes of the paws

8 months old: young adulthood

He might look all grown-up, but he is still a puppy. If he is a small breed, he will be at sexual maturity. If he’s a medium or large breed, he will not yet have the look of a fully adult dog.

What you can do

If your puppy is female and showing the first signs of heat, keep her away from males to avoid an early pregnancy.

Check with your vet

• Check ideal body shape, neither underweight nor overweight.
• Bone, joint and teeth development.

9 months old: a grown-up world

Looking more and more like an adult dog, he has all the energy of a puppy, and still wants to be cuddled. This period of transition, however, needs a special thought for nutrition.

Need to know

Few things affect your dog’s long-term wellbeing as much as the nutrition you choose. At PURINA® PRO PLAN®, our vets and scientists have developed a range of diets optimised for different needs. Ask your vet about the right diet for your dog – or explore our adult range here.

What you can do

• Keep on training your puppy to respond to your commands.
• Make sure he has clear rules and fixed habits at home

Check with your vet

• Check ideal body shape, neither underweight nor overweight.
• Bone, joint and teeth development.

10 months old: growing more slowly

Though he’s fully-grown, your puppy’s immune system isn’t fully mature. You need to keep a careful eye on him.

What you can do

• Check his development regularly.
• Keep feeding him food made for puppies.
• He continues to need stimulation. Keep exploring new experiences with him.

Check with your vet

• Check ideal body shape, neither underweight nor overweight.
• Bone, joint and teeth development.

11 months old: keep building

Your puppy is continuing to grow. And, in spite of his size, he is not quite fully adult. He continues to rely on you as he develops.

What you can do

• Feed him with a product specially formulated for puppies until at least his twelfth month.
• Carry on building your relationship with consistent rules and clear commands. Your puppy continues learning from you even when you aren’t consciously teaching him anything. 
• Take him out in your car and on public transport expeditions, following the rules that apply to animals

12 months old: happy birthday!

Your puppy has completed his first wonderful year in the world! If he’s a small or medium breed, he is now an adult and you will have to change his diet. If he is a large breed, he will remain a puppy for up to 24 months.

What you can do

• Pay attention to every change in his appetite and faeces.
• Trust your instincts if you notice any changes in your puppy. You know him and his behaviours well. Watch him carefully. In particular, pay attention to changes in his appetite and faeces. Make a list of questions to ask your vet

Check with your vet

• Check ideal body shape, neither underweight nor overweight. Ensure it aligns with his size as a small, medium or large dog.
• Bone, joint and teeth development. Teeth continue to grow in adulthood.