Tag Archives: puppy safety

What to Expect at 12-16 Weeks of Age

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At 12-16 weeks of age, your puppy will be growing rapidly, both physically and mentally. Puppy’s senses and motor skills are becoming more advanced, which means you’ll notice his curiosity peaking, a more acute awareness of his surroundings and less awkward movements as he continues to discover his new environment and practices walking and running. A major development is something called “flight ingraining,” which means that instead of following you around everywhere, puppy is now starting to test limits by exploring boundaries. Puppy is excited by his newfound independence and you may notice him always headed in the opposite direction of you. Don’t let it become a habit; consider this the time to reel him in with both leash and obedience training!


Congratulations on the progress you’ve already made in potty training. It should be getting easier as your puppy gains better bladder control, though you should still expect random (and sometimes, frequent) accidents to occur. Remember, patience and consistency is key to house training success. You may also want to enroll your puppy in a group training class to start socialization training if you haven’t already. Between 0-16 weeks is by far and away the most crucial learning period in your pup’s life. Consider him a sponge for soaking up your teachings. While there will be other opportunities to refine and change behavior, this is the time period when training is the most successful.


6-12-thumbnailYour puppy should have already received his first vaccinations, but should be getting boosters at 12 and 16 weeks. Make sure you’re up to date on your immunization schedule by checking with your vet. For example, Parvo is typically given at 16 weeks. Vaccines are required for most pet service providers such as groomers and daycares as well as dog parks, so it’s imperative you’re current on those shots before putting your dog or another’s dog in a potentially dangerous health situation.

Make sure that your home is not only puppy-proofed, but that you keep small, chokable/swallowable items away from your pup.


Your puppy should be eating high quality, solid food now that he’s

been weaned from his mama. Check with your veterinarian on the right feeding plan (on both amount per serving and frequency), but dependent on the breed, your puppy will likely require a few smaller meals throughout the day than adult dogs. As he grows, his “puppy teeth” will begin to fall out and be replaced by “permanent” or adult teeth. Just like a human baby, puppy will want to teethe, so make sure to give him plenty of chew toys to soothe his sore gums (and to prevent unwanted chewing on valuables!).


At this age, you’ll want to introduce your puppy to all kinds of new experiences to make sure he starts to get comfortable around not only other dogs but also various kinds of people – men, women, kids, senior citizens and strangers. At around 16 weeks is often when your puppy enters a fear stage. You’ll want to create positive associations with new things that may be frightening to your puppy such as loud noises or other animals to foster a healthy, safe transition and assimilation to his new world.

Where's Fido? Prevent Your Pup Going Missing

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A missing pup can wreak havoc on a family – the feelings of worry, guilt and panic all rolled into one.  Not to mention that a lost pup is at risk for injury, sickness or worse, death. To prevent your dog from getting lost, you should take all necessary measures to protect his safety.

Yet, even with the best precautions in place, sometimes bad things happen to good, responsible people.  There is always a chance of your pup getting away and therefore it’s important to know what to do in an emergency to increase the chances of finding your dog right away.

Keep Puppy’s ID Current

Make sure your puppy’s collar and tag is updated with all of your information on it. Even “indoors-only” pets must be equipped with ID tag which includes owner’s name, home address, mobile and home telephone numbers.

Microchip Your Puppy

The microchip embedding procedure may be costly, but it’ll be worth every cent you spend in the unfortunate case your dog goes missing. A microchip, smaller than the size of a grain of rice, is a permanent means of identification scannable by any veterinary hospital or animal shelter.

Do a Critical Search

Conduct a thorough investigation when looking for your missing pet. You may ask questions of the people who last saw your pet, take note of all the pertinent details and analyze the events to draw the most logical conclusions.

Make the Necessary Phone Calls

Call any family and all neighbors who may have come into recent contact with your dog. You should also call down your list of local shelters (both private and municipal), animal control centers or rescue groups to find out which dogs they recently took under custody and see if any are a match for your pup. It doesn’t hurt to also phone the local law enforcement and file a police report that your dog is missing.

Inform the Most Number of People

In this day and age, getting the word out about your lost pet can take just a few seconds of your time. Gone are the days of having to rely solely on creating “Missing Pet posters” and posting them to trees and lampposts within your neighborhood (although this tried and true method is still your best bet of communication given the fact that your neighbors are the most likely to have seen your dog). Now, you can post on your social media accounts and drive awareness via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat instantly to your entire social network so they too can keep their eyes peeled for Fido. It also doesn’t hurt to create a unique hashtag for your pet to help track any community-related posts (think #FindDaisyMae).

About Those Missing Pet Posters…

thumbnail-prevent-missingMake sure the headline of your poster, e.g., “LOST DOG” is written or typed in a large, clear font that’s readable even from a distance. Ideally, place your pet’s most recent photograph below the “LOST DOG” headline. List other details that are necessary for positively identifying your pet such as breed, color, sex, weight, age, and other distinguishing features and characteristics. Also, do not forget to place your name and phone number on the poster. Hit the Streets with the flyers in hand and post as soon as possible, not only in your neighborhood but also in local parks and runs, pet supply or grooming stores, offices of veterinarians and local establishments like schools, gas stations, laundry shops, bus stops, restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, and even grocery stores. Pay special attention to areas with high levels of foot traffic.

Stay Positive

And remember, while this can be an extremely stressful time, keep your mind focused on finding your dog. Try to avoid the “What Ifs,” and allocate all of your energy to taking the necessary steps above. Don’t lose hope and when you do find your dog, hug him tight and keep him on a tight leash (pun intended).