Health is Fragile

Puppyhood is a stage of massive physical and behavioural changes. Nutrition tailored to their specific developmental needs can help them grow from fragile young puppies to strong, healthy dogs.

Dachshund puppy in black and white eating from a red bowl

Puppyhood - An amazing transformation

During the first months of life your puppy will go through an amazing transformation. Royal Canin diets offer nutrition tailored to their unique needs at this vital time. 

1. Senses

A puppy’s eyes stay shut until the end of the second week. Their hearing isn’t fully developed until they are eight weeks old. When mature a dog can hear frequencies up to two and a half times higher than human ears.

2. Immunity and defence

In their first six months their immature immune system must help protect them from millions of germs.

3. Healthy bones

In the first year of life your puppy's bones must grow to become four times stronger than concrete.

4. Extraordinary growth

A puppy normally gains 5-10% of its body weight every day for the first two weeks.

Tailored puppy nutrition

ROYAL CANIN® Puppy is tailor-made with the right vitamins and minerals to support a puppy’s healthy development.

A guide to puppyhood

Puppyhood is a hugely rewarding time for pet owners, but it's also a time of huge challenges and steep learning curves, for you and your pet. The information and advice in the following pages has been collected from Royal Canin vets, nutritionalists and partners worldwide, and should help you and your puppy have a healthy start to life together.

Preparing for a puppy

When you bring your puppy home for the first time, it's a huge change for both of you. You can make the process much easier by making a few simple preparations ahead of the big day.

  • Get all the puppy essentials
  • Puppy-proof your home and garden
  • Find a local vet
  • Choose a nutritionally complete puppy food
  • Make sure everyone in the home is prepared
Getting prepared
Black Labrador Retriever jumping in black and white on a white background
Dachshund puppy being held by owner

Collecting your puppy

The collection of a puppy for the first time, although exciting, can be nerve-wracking. By having the right tools and knowledge, you can make sure that this first experience with your new arrival is a positive one, for them and for you.

Collecting your puppy

The first days in a new home

Your puppy's first few days and weeks in their new home are key in building a strong relationship with your pet. Make sure your puppy settles in, introduce them to family and friends calmly, and establish a routine to ensure as little disruption as possible for your new arrival.

First days and weeks
Jack Russell Terrier puppy sleeping on a white rug next to a window
Black Labrador puppy in black and white eating from a red bowl

Feeding your puppy

A puppy's diet plays a key role in their physical and cognitive development. The right mix of nutrients in their food will help that development and lay the foundations for a healthy life.

Feeding your puppy

Puppy growth stages

Understanding the growth stages your puppy goes through will help you recognise the challenges they face, and how to take care of them. Ensuring they get the right nutritional balance in their food is key for a healthy development into adult life.

Neonatal Labrador Retriever puppy lying down

Birth - 21 days


The majority of a puppy's life in this first stage of growth is spent feeding and sleeping. Puppies' eyes and ears gradually begin to function. Both senses are weak at first, but will improve into the third week of life.

Labrador Retriever puppy sitting in black and white on a white background

3 - 8 weeks


At this stage, puppies begin to play fight with their siblings. Towards the end of this period they may start to communicate with each other through vocal communications and body language, such as tail-wagging.

Older Labrador Retriever puppy sitting in black and white on a white background

8 weeks+


Structure, socialisation and training are vital, because they can help your puppy develop into a confident, well behaved adult. Specialist puppy food is vital up until they reach adulthood to support their continued growth.

English Cocker Spaniel puppy being held by a young boy

How to socialise a puppy

Socialisation is one of the most important steps in ensuring your puppy grows into a well-balanced, confident adult. It's never too early to start gently introducing your pet to new experiences, people and animals.

Socialising your puppy
Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy standing outside being given a treat

Puppy training and play

Learning and play are vital to puppy development and provide them with an understanding of the rules of life. Training should start as early as possible whilst your puppy naturally has an excellent capacity for learning.

Training your puppy

The basics of puppy grooming

Ensuring your puppy is used to being handled from a young age will make grooming easier for the rest of their life. Each dog breed has unique grooming needs and understanding that is key to maintaining your dog's healthy coat.

Grooming your puppy
Poodle puppy sitting in black and white on a white background
Dachshund puppy running outside in the snow with a red ball

Understanding puppy health

It's important to understand your dog's routines and behaviour so you can quickly recognise the signs if something isn't right. It's also important to understand a few key milestones, such as vaccinations and booster injections.

Puppy health

Your puppy's behaviour

Puppies communicate with you in a number of ways. Reading body language and behaviours, and listening to the sounds they make can tell you a lot about how they're feeling and what they need from you.

Puppy behaviour
German shepherd puppy sitting in black and white on a white background

Health is fragile

The first weeks and months of life are key to giving your puppy the perfect start to life.
Australian Shepherd puppies lying down in black and white on a white background

Birth-4 weeks

Neonatal period

Newborn puppies stay close to their mother and begin to slowly make sense of the world.

First stage