Puppies develop rapidly, but there are certain stages in their life when they are more susceptible to disease, and their diet is crucial.
As your puppy grows, there are lots of milestones on the way, including teething, going to their new home, vaccinations, and neutering. There are also times when you should visit your vet because there could be a problem with your dog.
There are essential periods when your pup is most vulnerable to disease from birth to maturity, and they have special dietary requirements. To help you, we’ve put together a guide to puppy growth and development.
The following guide outlines what you need to know about your puppy’s growth and the concerns that affect each age group.
Let’s start with when do puppies stop growing in general terms.
When Do Puppies Stop Growing? – General Growth
Although there’s no set time when all dogs stop growing, It can vary depending on your dog’s breed, age, and health. In general, your dog will complete their growth at around 24 months.
Male dogs tend to be larger and taller than females and will continue to grow for a little longer. If you have a small dog breed, it’s possible that they will stop growing before they reach a year old.
Your puppy has a very high energy requirement which means that you should feed them more frequent meal portions.
Puppies’ growth plates close at different times; the closer to the “growth plate” closing, the more nutrients your puppy needs in their diet.
While your puppy is growing and their bone structure is expanding, they must get the correct nutrients to ensure healthy development.
Puppies reach sexual maturity between 7 and 9 months old, and their bodies begin to mature; however, they will continue to fill out until around 18 months old.
Puppy Development Stages
Let’s take a look at the different stages your pup will go through in more detail.
0-3 Weeks – Milk Teeth and Debut
Puppies are born without teeth, and they’ll start to appear at around three weeks old. At the same time, your puppy’s eyes will open, and they gain their sense of smell.
Your pup will already have some of its teeth in place at birth, which will begin to show themselves over the next few weeks.
Puppies are born deaf and blind, so they rely on their sense of smell to explore their environment. They will begin to hear after ten days, and their eyesight will improve over the next two weeks.
Puppies cannot control their bodily functions and will urinate and defecate when they need to. You’ll need to work with your pup so that they learn where and when it is appropriate to relieve themselves.
4-8 Weeks – Growing and Developing
At around six weeks old, your pup will start to become more independent and sociable. Your puppy will begin to move away from their mother, and they’ll begin to eat solid food alongside their mother’s milk.
This is an excellent time to start socialization and training, as your pup is growing quickly and becoming more independent.
8-10 Weeks – Socialization and Training
Your pup is still growing and developing at this age, but they’re ready to start exploring. You’ll see your puppy’s coordination improve as they learn how to walk, run, and play.
Pups at this age are still very dependent on their mother and littermates; they’ll follow their mother and her scent everywhere.
Training your pup at this age is a great way to bond with them and develop a level of trust and respect.
11-16 Weeks – Potty Training and Energy Levels
Your pup’s energy levels are high at this age, so you must provide them with constant stimulation during the day. You can use training to channel your pup’s energy by teaching them to sit, lay down, go potty and come back to you.
Puppies at this age will start to be afraid of anything new or different, so avoid moving homes or introducing them to new experiences, such as other animals.
17-20 Weeks – Coordination
Your pup’s physical coordination is improving rapidly at this age, and they’ll start to walk more steadily. They’re moving towards adulthood and will become less dependent on their mother.
Your pup will start to establish their unique personality at this age.
21-24 Weeks- Entering adulthood
Your pup is now an adult dog, and they’ll be looking to branch out from their litter’s territory. Your pup will be able to eat and drink without their mother’s milk, and you can gradually wean them off their food.
Puppies at this age will start to become sexually mature and may show signs of aggression. So, you should maintain control over your pup and their environment at all times.
24+ Weeks – Maturation
Your pup will continue to mature and develop until they reach 18 months old. You’ll notice that your pup’s physical size has filled out, and they will still be developing mentally.
Your pup will have established their own territory and sense of pack by now, so you may need to re-evaluate your training as they’re learning from their own experiences.
Factors Affecting Puppy Growth
Puppy growth is determined by their breed, the quality of care they are provided with, and how often they are fed.
- Breed: Different breeds will mature at a different rate. Large breeds mature more slowly, whereas smaller breeds reach adulthood sooner.
- Quality of Care: Puppies that have been deprived of their mother’s milk or that are underfed often experience stunted growth
- Frequency of Feeding: A puppy will need to be fed three to four times a day until eight weeks old. After this age, you can gradually reduce their feedings to two times a day when reaching six months old.
How Puppies Grow
Puppies grow in spurts; they will grow quickly during a spurt and then slow down before resuming their rapid growth again. This enables them to develop the physical ability they need to survive in the wild.
Puppies grow quickly during their early stages of life until they are twelve to sixteen weeks old. Puppies that have been weaned too early may not meet their full growth potential, resulting in them having health issues.
During the early stages of life, you must socialize your pup with other animals and humans to ensure they develop the physical and mental maturity they need to become healthy adults.
Sign of Growth in Puppies
You can tell that your puppy is growing by looking at their teeth, paws, and ears.
- Teeth: A puppy’s teeth will appear very soon after birth, and they will begin to come through at around 3-4 weeks old. Puppies have 28 baby teeth that are replaced by 42 adult teeth.
- Paws: A puppy’s paws will gradually increase in size as they grow, and you’ll notice a big difference at around 4-6 months old.
- Ears: A puppy’s ears will grow, and the soft velvet on the outside of their ears will gradually disappear.
Puppy Weight Gain
Puppies will gain weight quickly in the early stages of life, but you need to ensure that they gain the right weight.
A puppy’s natural weight gain will be approximately 60% of their final adult size by six months old, and this will increase to 100% by 18 months old.
You’ll notice that a small dog breed may only weigh half as much as a large breed at the same age, but this is perfectly normal. Puppies are still growing in their long bones and will continue to grow until two years old.
When Do Smaller Puppies Stop Growing?
Smaller breeds of pups will generally reach their full physical size at around eight months old when they reach adulthood.
Smaller breeds will continue to grow into their first year, but it is not until this point that they become fully grown. The smaller breeds of pups include the French bulldog, Shih Tzu, and pug.
When Do Large Puppies Stop Growing?
Large breeds of pups tend to grow at a slower rate because the growth plates in their bones close later. They will usually be fully grown when they reach twelve months old and continue to grow until they are eighteen months old. Large breed dogs include the Great Dane, Siberian Husky, and Saint Bernard.
When do Medium Puppies Stop Growing?
Medium breed pups usually reach maturity at around eight months old and continue to grow until they are twelve months old. These breeds include the German Shepherd, Beagle, and Bulldog.
How to Encourage Your Puppy’s Growth
There is nothing you can do to stop your pup from growing, but there are a few things you can do to encourage the development of their bones and muscles.
Puppies need premium quality food to ensure they grow up with the necessary strength and energy to survive in the wild. Puppy food high in protein and nutrients will help your pup develop into a healthy adult dog.
Toys, particularly small bones for teething, will help your pup develop a strong bite and protect their teeth from the outset.
Exercise is important for your pup’s overall health, but it is especially essential during their first few months of life.
You should also ensure that you provide your pup with regular exercise to encourage them to build muscle and maintain healthy bones.
Puppies need love, affection, and guidance from their owner. They need to be socialized with other dogs and humans to ensure comfortable around people when they are fully grown.
Be careful when socializing your pup with other animals to avoid them becoming too anxious.
Can You Delay Your Puppy’s Growth?
This is a common question asked by new puppy owners. The answer is a resounding No. Watching your precious pup grow at such an insane rate can be very difficult! You cannot delay your puppy’s growth. It will eventually reach its full size, and you cannot stop this from happening.
Never try to stunt your dog’s growth by underfeeding him. This is harmful to your pup. It will negatively affect his long-term health and could cause serious health problems. It is never worth it to underfeed your puppy so that you can maintain a smaller version of him for longer.
Can Puppies Grow Too Fast?
Yes, puppies can grow too fast, and this can cause them serious health problems. This condition is especially common in large breed dogs like the Great Dane and German Shepherd dogs.
When a pup’s body grows too fast, it will not be able to support their own weight. The bones and muscles in the legs of big breed pups may grow at different speeds. This can cause them to become bow-legged. Their bones may also grow faster than the joints that support them, which will cause their gait and posture to become abnormal.
This condition is known as ‘growing pains, and it will cause your pup a lot of pain and discomfort. They may become very restless and won’t want to walk or play.
Why My Puppy Isn’t Growing
Many new dog owners will be concerned because their pup isn’t growing as fast as other dogs of the same age. The best thing to do is try not to compare your pup’s growth rate with other dogs.
If your pup is healthy and isn’t gaining weight, they could be underfed when they were younger or may be infected with parasites.
You should take your pup to the vet to ensure that they are not suffering from an illness or disease affecting their growth. You should also be concerned if your puppy has a low body temperature or a fever. Your pup’s weight and size will be affected by their overall health.
There is also the possibility of hormone deficiency as a cause of a low growth rate. The signs to look for include small stature, poor muscle tone, and a lack of energy., But your pup can be supplemented with growth hormone to ensure they develop and grow correctly.
There you have it! All the information you need to know about when puppies stop growing. This is a question that all new dog owners ask, and it is important to know the answer!
When do puppies stop growing? When they reach their full size, which usually happens between eight months and twelve months old.
You should not try to delay your pup’s growth by underfeeding them or restricting their exercise like some new owners opt to do. It is not safe, and it will harm your pup in the long run!
Never try to force your pup’s growth by using steroids, as this can be dangerous. The best thing you can do is love your pup, give them premium food and exercise regularly, and wait for the day they stop growing!
That’s all you need to know about when puppies stop growing. This is an essential page for new puppy owners, so make sure you share it with your friends and family!