Important Milestones in Your Puppy's Life

One of the great joys of having a dog is watching him grow up. It happens so fast. One day, he's a tiny puppy, but before you know it, he's a full-grown dog. If you're not careful, you can miss some of the most important milestones in his life, which are an essential part of the pet parent experience. Here are a few of the biggest milestones for your dog, and when to expect them.

Adoption Day

Bringing your family's furry new addition home is the very first milestone, which generally happens around 8 weeks if you adopt as a brand new puppy. Whether you adopt as a new puppy or as a rescue at any age, your pup might be a little overwhelmed at his new surroundings. He'll most likely spend the first day sleeping. After that, he'll need plenty of love and attention, to make him feel welcome and let him know this is home, and that he's safe here.

Vet Visits

Schedule your pup's first vet visit within a few days of his adoption. He needs his first set of vaccinations at 8 weeks. The vet should also give him a general examination to ensure he's healthy. Then schedule another vet visit for a month later (12 weeks) and another for a month after that (16 weeks), so he can get his booster shots. The vet will give you an overview of what he needs and when.

House Training

This begins as soon as you bring your furry friend home and can take weeks to months for your pup to master, but he could be fully trained as early as about 12 weeks. Keep bringing him outside to do his business, and before long, he'll be asking on his own! Use Link’s exclusive, built-in training tones as a positive marker to help encourage good behaviors as they learn.

First Playdate

It's important for your pup to socialize. This should begin as early on as possible, so he can get used to being with other dogs and understand how to play and be social. Start taking him to the dog park after his puppy vaccinations are complete, and/or schedule times where he can meet up with other dogs in the neighborhood and get to know them.

Learning His Name

You've been calling your dog by his name since you brought him home, but you never forget the first time he looks up when you say it. That should be around three months. Once he knows his name, you'll be able to start training, by pairing it with words like "Come," and "Heel." He'll learn other words and commands more quickly once he can associate them with the word he already knows.

Teething

Your canine companion will start losing his teeth around four months. If you’re curious why you haven’t found any evidence of lost teeth, it’s possible he may just swallow the old teeth. Rest assured this is perfectly normal and safe. He should have a full set of adult teeth by around 7 months, at which point, you should start brushing them regularly.

Spaying/Neutering

This is recommended by most vets to be done around six to nine months old. Or, of course, if you adopt an older pup who has not been spayed or neutered, this can be done anytime after this recommended age. Your vet will be able to review your pup's health and make a recommendation on how to proceed. 

The Golden Years

Your dog won't be a puppy forever. Between the ages of 7 and 10 years, his needs will change. He should go to the vet at least twice a year instead of once and will need a more thorough examination to ensure he stays healthy and happy. The timing for this change depends on his size and breed. Talk to your vet to learn their best recommendations for your pup’s specific needs.


These important, and sometimes even exciting, milestones always fly by so much faster than we anticipate. We encourage you to embrace each of the seasons for the different adventures and challenges they bring and celebrate your pup’s accomplishments and milestones as they come.


At Link, we’re honored to journey through a pup’s lifetime from early puppy days all the way through the golden years. Whether you have an always-active puppy or a senior pup who prioritizes an afternoon snooze, Link is the perfect companion to keep your pup healthy and happy. Featuring real-time GPS tracking to ensure your pup never strays too far from home, age & breed-specific activity recommendations to keep your pup in tip-top shape and exclusive, built-in training tones and vibrations to help train up a new pup or teach old dogs new tricks, Link is the most trusted smart pet wearable that puts every aspect of your dog’s wellbeing right at your fingertips. Click here to learn more about Link or buy your Link today to get connected to your pet 24/7/365.