Meta: Watching your puppy growing is a joyful experience. Tracking his growth stages is even greater. To make sure your lovable pets are healthy and happy, it is necessary to learn the puppy growth chart which will be introduced to you in this post
A puppy needs proper amounts of nutrition to grow up healthy. Sometimes you wonder if you’re feeding your four-legged friends enough, or what stage of life they are hitting right now. To answer these questions, we provide you with a tool to track your pets’ growth. It is called the puppy growth chart.
It is one of the most necessary documents that every owner needs for taking care of their dogs. This kind of chart will help answer questions like “when does a puppy become an adult?”, “is my puppy too fat or too slim?” and many more.
Differences of Growth in Dog Size
It depends on your dog breed, size, and even litter-mates to consider his/her growth rates as well as the point when your dog cannot grow anymore. There are five groups of dogs based on their sizes:
- Toy dogs
- Small dogs
- Medium dogs
- Large dogs
- Giant dogs
This variety leads to intensive differences in the dogs’ diets, ages and everything in between.
It’s an exciting experience to watch your dog growing from time to time. The only period that he/she doesn’t grow anymore is when it is mature. The maturity stage happens anywhere from 8 months to 2 years, depending on the dog’s size and breed. Smaller dogs usually mature sooner than bigger ones.
Although some breeds are created to look like a puppy forever, knowing their stages of maturity to feed them well is essential.
As you can see, the stages of growth differ from breeds to breeds. In case you don’t know which size your puppy will be, we have examples of well-known breeds in sections below. Let’s take a look around to see how exactly different dogs’ weights are.
Being smaller than the standard of small, this breed has melted the heart of many ladies just by their cuteness.
Some common toy dog breeds are Pomeranian, Chihuahua, Papillon, Chinese Crested, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, and Maltese. They grow about 1 to 5 oz a week, which is 5 to 10% of their little body every day. They grow faster than larger dogs and reach maturity after 8 months old.
Sometimes there is no clarification between small dogs and medium dogs as well as toy dogs when it comes to their largest end and smallest end. The general consent is that they weigh from 12 to 25 lbs.
It is estimated that small breeds will get mature at 8 to 12 months since their births. They grow about 5 to 10% of their body weight every day, which is 5 to 8 ounces a week.
Some standout names of small breeds are Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Beagle, Jack Russel Terrier, French Bulldog, Shetland Sheepdog, and Pug.
The medium breeds are between 25 and 50 lbs and may overlap with small-size breeds at the lower end of their scale and large-sized breeds at the higher end. Medium breeds include Bulldog, Border Collie, Corgi, Cocker Spaniel, Whippet, and English Springer and are not limited to only these names. Some hybrid dogs of this size range include Husgi, Bullypit, and Bull-pug.
A medium dog needs to reach 12 months old and nearly 38 lbs to be determined as fully grown. The puppy growth chart also shows the weight in their earlier milestones.
Large breeds scale from 50 to 100 lbs and may overlap with some medium- and giant-size dogs. Generally, they spend at least 18 months to a year to grow fully. Some common large dog breeds are Husky, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Boxer, Bloodhound, Alaskan Malamute, and Doberman Pinscher. Based on their weight and health status, you can predict their ages, too.
These dogs are over 100 lbs when reaching their adolescence stage.
Some large breeds at the end of their scale can be classified as giant breeds. But generally larger dogs take a longer time to mature, and it is the longest for giant dogs. They would need at least 12 to 18 months old to become an adult. And for some biggest size in the giant breeds such as Mastiffs, Newfoundlands or Mastiffs, they can continually grow for 2 to 3 more years.
Some other famous giant breeds are Russian Bear Dog, Bullmastiff, Saint Bernard, Bernese Mountain Dog, and Irish Wolfhound. These dogs gain about 2-3 lbs a week, but the giant of the giant like Newfoundland grows 3 to 5 each week.
Is Your Puppy Too Fat or Too Slim?
A proper feeding plan is obviously essential for puppies. Neither overfeeding nor underfeeding is good for your pet, as they may cause sickness and some dangerous diseases.
To check whether your puppy is obese or not, look closely to them, based on special features on their chest, belly, and neck. It’s simpler than you think. You don’t have to take them to the vet or carry the weight chart around to know if they’re fat or not.
You are not able to see ribs from a six-month-old puppy. If you can see them, your puppy is too slim. The only case that your dogs’ ribs are visible is that they are mature and they are racing breeds, but only two or three last ribs are visible.
However, your puppy’s ribs can be felt when you touch its side. The ribs are hidden under a layer of skin and short or thick fur. If you cannot feel the ribs are there, your pet needs a diet.
Besides, when you look down at your pet from a higher view, he or she has a waist between the hips and rump. And if you look at him or her from the side, the belly slopes a little before back legs.
Difference Between Male and Female Puppies
Is the puppy growth chart different from male to female puppies? The answer is YES. In fact, with the same age and breed, female dogs tend to be lighter and smaller than the male. The difference can be barely seen in tiny breeds but grows more clearly in bigger sizes.
In addition to gender, diet and general health, neutering can also have effects on your dogs’ weight and maturity stage. A neutered dog can continue to grow, as it lacks the sex hormones to stop it from growing. However, this may lead to some sicknesses, such as hip dysplasia or cruciate ligament tears.
Different Stages in a Puppy’s Life
There can be 5 to 7 stages in a puppy’s life before it gets to the point of maturity. But it is simpler to remember 5 stages rather than 7.
Neonatal Stage (0 to 2 weeks)
The puppies in this period are influenced mostly by their mother and litter-mates. They can taste a touch since they were born. They can learn some basic social skills such as ranking and cooperation during this stage, but mostly they just eat and stick to their mom. A feeding plan of every 2 hours with milk from their mother is the best for them.
Transitional Stage (2 to 4 weeks)
They can open their eyes in this stage, and start walking, growing teeth, developing their sense of hearing and smell. Some dogs even start to bark.
Socialization Stage (4 to 12 weeks)
The 5-to-7-week period is important to the mental health of your pup afterward. By the age of five weeks, they already aware of the surroundings including people and other pets. They will need to stick to their mother and fellows for eight weeks indeed to learn biting and other dog socialization inheritance.
When your dogs are 7 weeks old, you can use in-house methods to train them. But they will develop a fear stage when they are 10 weeks old, so they will need your encouragement and patience. The perfect time for training is when they are 9 to 12 weeks old, because at this time, they pay attention to people and litter-mates equally.
Ranking Stage (3 to 6 months)
This stage is like elementary school age to human. The puppies start to enjoy playing around with their mates and human. They tend to love chewing a lot. When they are four months old, they come through another fear stage, so owners should treat them gently during this period.
Adolescence Stage (6 to 18 months)
Your dog’s behavior is affected not only from its fellow but also the owner. The pet is fully aware of its pack, including dominance and submission position in the pack. The pet also starts showing sexual behaviors during this stage and experiences another chewing period at 7 to 9 months old.
After reaching this stage, your dog will stop growing, with the blank space shown in the puppy growth chart.
Knowing the puppy growth chart helps you understand your dogs’ behaviors and have good preparation to treat them well. Dogs don’t stay puppies long, so make sure you enjoy the growing period and treat them as well as possible.