puppies seem to grow very fast. One day, they’re little balls of furry cuteness, and in what seems like the blink of an eye, they become loving canine companions. But not all dogs grow at the same rate, with smaller breed dogs growing much faster than their larger counterparts. That’s because those larger bones and joints take a little longer to grow and develop.
Puppies, especially those of a larger breed, have special dietary and exercise requirements that must be considered while they are still growing. And once the puppies are fully grown, you’ll know how big or small they’ll be so you can buy them all the essential dog supplies they’ll need in the right sizes, like crates, collars, beds and protective jackets. That’s why it’s so important to know when your puppy is done growing.
Reading: How long does a dog grow
puppy growth chart by percentage
all numbers are approximate. consult your veterinarian if in doubt.
small (0-20 pounds)
medium (21-50 pounds)
Large (51-100 pounds)
x-large (over 100 pounds)
75% fully grown
how long do the puppies grow?
Although all puppies are officially considered adult dogs once they are one year old, puppies continue to grow in height and size while their bones are still developing, which takes between 6 and 24 months. their skeletal growth is what determines how tall they will be as adults.
“The long bones in a puppy’s legs grow at two different places called growth plates, according to Dr. Jerry Klein, DVM and AKC Veterinary Director. “growth plates are somewhat flexible and soft during puppyhood when new tissue is being formed.”
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As your dog grows, the newly developed tissue hardens into bone. “When the growth plates stop producing new tissue and are completely calcified, they are said to have ‘closed,’ meaning they have stopped growing and the bone has reached its final size,” says Dr. klein.
Keep in mind that even after the bones are fully developed, your pup will continue to build fat and muscle, just as adult humans do.
when do the smaller puppy breeds finish growing?
small and medium sized puppy breeds grow quite quickly. In fact, those little pups finish growing around half the age of their larger counterparts, according to Dr. klein “On average, small breeds typically stop growing by the time they reach 6 to 8 months of age.”
Medium breed puppies may take a little longer to grow, reaching adult size around 12 months of age.
when do the largest puppy breeds finish growing?
A larger dog takes a little longer than a smaller dog to reach full adult size because those larger bones take longer to grow. “giant breed puppies grow until they are 12 to 18 months old,” says dr. klein.
Large to giant breed puppies typically weigh 70 pounds or more as adults. in some cases, very large puppies like mastiffs can even reach their adult size at 24 months of age.
when do purebred puppies finish growing?
If you have recently acquired an AKC registered purebred puppy, then the breeder can tell you how much your puppy will grow and the approximate growth rate based on their experience with other members of the puppy’s family tree.
“purebred dogs are known first and foremost for their predictability: predictability of size, coat, temperament, etc.” says dr. klein “Okay, there will be variation within members of each breed (and each litter), but generally speaking, breed can certainly help determine final adult size.”
when do mongrel dogs stop growing?
For non-purebred puppies, determining their growth rate is a bit tricky. “Unfortunately, when it comes to a dog of unknown heritage, it becomes a guessing game to determine the final size,” says Dr. klein this is especially true for younger puppies between 6 and 10 weeks of age.
“A helpful tip is that if you run your hands over a dog’s rib cage and you can still feel the ‘bumps’ of the ribs, that dog is likely still growing taller,” recommends Dr. klein that’s because these “bumps” are the growth plates of the ribs that are still developing.
how do i feed a growing puppy?
Foods that meet the nutritional guidelines set forth by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and are specifically designed for all life stages will provide your developing pup with all the nutrition they need. these foods also do not require a transition to a specific adult food when the puppies are fully grown.
“Those foods designated for ‘all life stages’ mean they meet the needs of both growing animals and adults,” according to Dr. Klein will also find puppy-specific foods that ensure your dog gets all the nutrients he needs, but he’ll only want to feed them until adulthood, around 11 to 14 months of age.
Most importantly, always follow the food guidelines when feeding your puppy so they don’t become overweight. “Obesity in puppies is known to lead to a predisposition to future orthopedic problems later in life, such as hip dysplasia, so a slimmer, fitter puppy is considered preferable to an older, chubby pup.” warns Dr. klein.
How do I feed large and giant breed puppies?
Too much calcium in your large or giant breed puppy’s diet is not good for his development, warns Dr. Klein “This is because large and giant breeds are more sensitive than smaller breeds to too much or too little calcium while their bones are growing,” says Dr. klein.
When shopping for puppy foods for your large breed dog, look for pet food labels that say “[name of pet food] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the Dog Food Nutrient Profiles of aafco for growth or all life stages including the growth of large dogs (70 pounds or more as an adult)”, Dr. Klein recommends.
How do I safely exercise growing puppies?
Puppies are little balls of energy that need exercise to stay healthy, but too much exercise is not good for puppies. “It’s imperative to know that excessive and prolonged activity, such as jogging, can be extremely damaging to the bones and joints of growing puppies,” warns Dr. klein.
“That is why it is never recommended to do street work or jogging on a dog under 14 to 18 months of age, especially large and giant breeds, until the growth plates have fully fused” says Dr. Instead, walk moderately short distances of a quarter mile or less on softer surfaces like grass or sand until your dog has finished growing.
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