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Common Differences Between Dogs and Puppies

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Every child’s dream is to own a cute little puppy. What we sometimes forget is the fact that the little puppy will grow up and not necessarily be cute anymore. There are many common differences between dogs and puppies.

People who would like to adopt a puppy should be aware that puppies turn into adult dogs that turn into mature dogs. Each stage of a dog’s life requires different medical attention, nutritional foods, and physical activity.

As puppies grow older, owners should be able to adapt to their development stage and age. Within a year, puppies are grown adult dogs and the once smaller than a melon puppy is now a huge lump of muscle and slobber with an interesting personality.

You should be aware of the differences between a puppy and a grown dog. If you want to make a commitment of caring for a puppy, you should follow through by looking after it when it’s all grown up.

Growing Stages of a Puppy

In order to prepare you for either a puppy or a dog here are a few differences.


Puppies are extremely cute…and needy. When you take on the responsibility of caring for a puppy you are setting yourself up for many sleepless nights.

Especially if you are a first-time dog owner, you’ll discover that looking after a puppy can be an exhausting task. Yes, they do sleep most of the day but when they are awake they will need constant attention. Keeping a little puppy entertained and active is part of being a pup owner.

You are going to have to keep an eye on their every move because they aren’t house trained yet, so they might get up to mischief when you turn your head.

Puppies enjoy running around and playing all the time. Their teeth are sharp and they might just give you a few scars while playing. Puppies rarely sleep through the night, so you’ll have a few disturbances throughout your sleep.

Puppies are prone to chew on shoes, urinate on undesignated areas and destroy a few personal belongings in the meantime.

Whereas, adult dogs have already grown into themselves. Most probably they’ve been house trained before and aren’t as needy as puppies. Adult dogs are less active and if they are well-trained they will know when it’s time to play, walk or be relaxed. This brings me to the next big difference…

Welsh corgi dog Pembroke puppy playing or bite owners shoes or flip flop


It’s a huge responsibility to take on the commitment of potty training and house training your new puppy. Especially if you’re a new dog owner you need to do some research on how to house train your new puppy.

Most dog trainers use positive reinforcement by means of giving a doggy treat and praising your dog whenever they do something right. The path to a well-trained puppy can take a few months and a lot of patience. A well-trained puppy and dog can be an absolute pleasure in the home.

When you adopt an older dog, chances are that they are already house trained. They know that they should go do their business outside and they are used to going to the same spot.

Hopefully, they’ve been in a home where there was a well-established routine. Older dogs follow the routine of their owners. They will start going to bed at the same time you do, as well as eat when it’s your eating time.

Puppies still need to get familiar with their owner’s routines and this might result in a lot of long hours.


Puppies grow at an accelerated rate. Their diet requires more calcium, protein and a higher calorie-based diet because they burn a lot of energy. Their natural activeness demands them to consume foods with a higher calorie. Foods need to have more nutrients that will promote healthy growth.

Dogs who are fully grown need to maintain their already established healthy bodies. Dogs need six basic nutrients that include fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and water. The intake of these basic nutrients ensures a well-functioning body and a glowing coat.

It’s important that an adult dog’s calorie diet intake contains at least 10% of protein. Their diets can have up to 50% carbohydrates that include 3-4.5% fiber. Puppy foods contain 22% protein and 8% fat whereas adult dog foods only consist of 18% protein and 5% fat.

Bear in mind that puppies can’t eat adult dog food. You are going to have to give your puppy special puppy food until they reach their adult life stage. Consult your veterinarian to make sure you give the right amount of dog food to your furry friend according to their breed and size.


It must be mentioned that when you adopt a dog you may have to deal with behavior that was established while they were with their previous owners. Puppies who are weaned from their mothers have a fresh start with the new owners.

Dogs that come out of an abusive home, will adapt slower and show more signs of anxiety. The rewarding feeling of saving a dog that came out of really harsh living circumstances is undeniable. Together with a rescue team and different dog shelters, it is possible to rehabilitate dogs that come out of abusive homes.

Giving an adult dog a second chance at a happy life is courageous and beautiful.


If a dog was in good care, chances are they have had all their vaccinations and will be less prone to canine viruses. Puppies are more likely to be infected by canine illnesses as their immune systems haven’t developed yet.

Make sure you keep an eye on your puppy’s health and behavior until they have gone through the full vaccination process.

Always be mindful of your dog’s behavior. If anything changes in their eating habits or the way that they are physically active you need to take them to the vet for a check-up.


Probably the most common difference between puppies and adult dogs is their size and weight. Puppies are teeny-tiny little creatures when they are young. This means that they are easy to carry around, take with you in the car and even sleep with you on the bed.

As soon as their growth spurt kicks in they can drastically change in size and weight. It’s important that you consider the size of your puppy when they are a fully grown adult, to make sure you’ll have adequate space in your home.

Purchasing a cute tiny puppy bed for your new friend might only fit him a few months until he has grown too big to even fit on it.

It is important to note that if you want to add a furry addition to your home, you don’t have to consider only getting a puppy. There is a great reward in adopting an adult dog that might have lost its owners or that has been abandoned.

An older dog can bring you just as much joy and companionship as a little puppy. We encourage you to consider adopting an older dog from a dog shelter before buying a puppy from a dog mill or breeder.

All dog kinds whether they are crossbreeds or complete mutts have unique and remarkable personalities. As long as you love your puppy or dog, it won’t matter how big, cute or cuddly they are. They will love you right back!

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