8 Week Old Puppy Schedule
Feeding, Sleeping, and Going Potty for an 8-Week-Old Puppy’s Schedule
I was a mixture of excitement and nerves before bringing my puppy, Maggie, home for the first time.
I was excited to see her explore her new home, but I didn’t know what to expect.
Sure, I grew up with dogs and watched my parents care for them as puppies, but it’s a different story when you’re the one in charge.
I was fascinated by puppies and wanted to learn everything I could about them.
Here are some of the most important lessons I learned that assisted Maggie’s transition into my home.
Organizing Their Feeding Schedule
Puppies must wait until they are at least eight weeks old before going to their forever homes, as this is when they can live independently of their mothers. Adopting a younger puppy can put your new puppy’s health at risk.
You can’t even legally adopt a puppy until it’s eight weeks old in some states!
That means they were cared for by their parents, a caretaker, or a mixture of both for the first eight weeks.
When I picked Maggie up on the big day, I spoke with her breeder about her feeding schedule. It’s critical to keep your puppy’s feeding schedule the same as it was before you brought them home.
How Often Should They Eat?
Puppies eat three times per day on average.
Depending on how active your dog is or what breed they are, you may need to feed them up to four times per day.
Because their stomachs are so small, smaller dogs may only need to eat twice a day. German Shepherd puppies, for example, will require more food to keep up with their metabolism during their first year.
If you’re rescuing your dog, check with the people who were caring for it before signing the adoption papers.
Feed them as often as they’re used to, or consult your vet during your puppy’s first visit to get a better idea of how often they should eat.
How much should they eat?
Maggie would eventually grow to be a 50-pound Goldendoodle, so she was fed a half-cup of Goldendoodle kibble three times a day.
She was given a cup of food twice a day when she was six months old. Her breeder, vet, and the feeding guide on the back of her kibble bag all recommended this.
Using the feeding guide on the back of the dog food bag to determine how much your pup should eat is a safe bet.
At the very least, it gives you a framework for providing nutritional balance to your dog based on the ingredients in their kibble.
Organizing Their Bathroom Schedule
When it’s time to go to the bathroom, puppies don’t hesitate to tell their owners!
Maggie had been taught to use a potty pad, so I scattered them around the house and let her use them as needed.
Even if it means making a mess in the house for the first few days or even weeks, your pup will let you know.
When Should You Allow Them to Use the Bathroom?
After your puppy has woken up, eaten, had some water, or played a lot, it’s a safe bet to take them outside to use the bathroom.
When they’re excited or have just eaten, things move quickly through their systems.
How Frequently Should They Use the Bathroom?
Allow them to go to the bathroom every one to two hours because their bladder and digestive tract will be very small.
Puppies have the ability to hold their bladder for as long as they are a month old. An eight-week-old puppy’s bladder can only be held for an hour to two hours at most.
Getting to Know Their Walk Schedule
Puppies, especially those with an active personality, need to get out of the house and stretch their legs.
The walk schedule for each puppy will vary, but you can match it to their bathroom schedule to make things easier for both of you.
How Often Should They Walk?How frequently they should walk
When you take your puppy for a walk, they’re also doing their potty training. You should walk them at least twice a day for at least five minutes per month of age.
Their stamina for playtime may appear limitless, but they will quickly tire out on walks.
You can walk them down the street and back, and you can carry them home if they start sitting or lying down frequently.
They’ll be able to walk longer and more frequently as they grow older.
When Should They Walk?
Match their potty schedule to their walking schedule.
Take them for a short walk after they eat breakfast in the morning. If possible, repeat the process after lunch and dinner.
This type of walking schedule will teach them to go outside if they need to.
It will also provide them with more of a daily structure in which they can thrive.
When you’re at work, it’s understandably difficult to maintain a consistent schedule. In this case, leaving your dog with a close friend or hiring a dog walker might be the best options.
Keeping an Eye on Their Sleep Schedule
Your puppy will want to play with you, but they will also sleep quite a bit.
Because their bodies are rapidly developing, they will play and sleep hard every day.
Allow your puppy to sleep when they nap, no matter how much you want to wake them up to play or cuddle. They’ll be back up and running in no time.
How Often Should They Sleep?
You will not be able to control when your puppy sleeps and wakes up.
Maggie would bounce under the dinner table while I ate one minute and then fall asleep on my feet the next.
They’ll know when it’s time for a nap better than anyone else.
How Much Should They Sleep?
Because the average puppy sleeps for 18 to 20 hours per day, naps will be their best friend.
It’s critical that they sleep as soundly as possible so that they can replenish the energy they need to keep growing.
Before Maggie arrived, I read everything I could get my hands on, but the truth is that you won’t know what your puppy’s schedule will be until you both get into it.
Keep an eye on how they sleep and use the restroom. Keep track of when they do both and try to match it up with their eating and walking times.
In a week or two, you’ll be in sync and have figured out a schedule that works for both of you.