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How old is your dog?

Pre-Puppy
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Pre-Puppy

What’s better than puppies? That’s right: your own puppy. So, what do you need to know before you take the plunge into pet parenthood?

0-2 months
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0-2 months

Welcome to the world little one. It’s all grow-grow-grow for your puppy right now, so there’s many things to prepare.

2-3 months
2-3 months preview image

2-3 months

Your puppy is ready to come home and turn your world upside down. It’s time to put your preparation into practice – and remember to take it all in!

3-6 months
3-6 months preview image

3-6 months

You’re entering a period of immense growth, lots of learning and new adventures. Bring on the play date with the big wide world!

6-12 months
6-12 months preview image

6-12 months

Your fur-baby is nearing adulthood. Can you see their grown self coming through? Sigh…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

12-18 months
12-18 months preview image

12-18 months

Your puppy has turned one and they might not be so little anymore. Make sure to book their first annual check-up.

18 months - 3 years
18 months - 3 years preview image

18 months - 3 years

Your dog is one an established family member now. Enjoy who they have become and the bond you now share at this special stage.

3 - 8 years
3 - 8 years preview image

3 - 8 years

Your dog is a full-grown adult now. They understand where their place is in your home and the wider world.

8+ years
8+ years preview image

8+ years

Just like many senior citizens, senior dogs have some extra needs. Learn to look after your best friend and support their health as they grow older.

The real-life benefits of training your dog

The real-life benefits of training your dog

We all know training your dog is important, but the benefits are far greater than just getting them to ‘come’, ‘sit’ and ‘stay’, or the satisfaction of actually teaching them to respond. An ongoing training regimen can have long-term impacts on your dog’s mental health, general behaviour, overall happiness and your relationship with them. Here’s why.

Training strengthens your bond

Just like humans, dogs learn best when they’re young. That’s why it pays to start training early. What your dog learns or doesn’t learn when they’re a puppy can have a big impact on their character as an adult dog. That’s because early training helps you (and them) gain confidence in their interactions and create positive behavioural traits as they grow up.

It also allows you to forge a strong, long-lasting bond with your puppy as you learn to understand and communicate with each other. While training can still have the same positive effects on older dogs, it may take a little more commitment to override any pre-learned ‘difficult’ habits they may have picked up over the course of their lifetime.

So yes, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, but the sooner you’re able to start training, the better.

A well-adjusted dog is a happy dog

Dogs thrive when they’re mentally stimulated, much like people. If your pooch is bored, it’s more likely to act out – both around the house and elsewhere. Regular training and a good routine will keep them engaged and on their paws, which can help them live a more content life and become socially well adjusted.

And a well-adjusted dog can go places. This means that not only your quality time spent at home becomes more enjoyable, but you can also take them along to your favourite dog-friendly spots without having to worry they’ll get into trouble. If they reliably return to you when called, and are sociable yet respectful in the park, you’re both onto a good thing.

Setting your dog up for success

It’s important to set your dog up for success when you train. This includes choosing the right setting, creating a training agenda and, most importantly, giving lots of rewards - like these VitaPet treats. Whether this is a tasty food reward or praise and a big pat, allow your pup to end each session on a successful note. That way, they’ll develop a positive association with the process and get excited when the next training session comes around.

Training for the whole family

Training is not only great for your dog, it’s great for us humans, too. It can help every member of the family bond with the new addition and one another, as you create a shared training schedule and teach each other along the way. It can also be a good opportunity for younger members of the household to grow by taking on responsibility of their own.

Make sure everyone’s on the same page with training, to avoid confusing your pup by sending mixed signals. This means, creating a consistent experience for your dog on all levels. Ask everyone involved in your dog’s routine to use the same commands and ensure it follows the same rules regardless of who it’s interacting with.

Whether you’re a first-time owner or a seasoned pet parent, it’s undeniable that consistent training is a win-win for all parties involved – both two- and four-legged.
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