My puppy is growing too fast
My Puppy is Growing too Fast
During the first year of life, your puppy will be seeing your veterinarian regularly and his or her weight will be recorded at each visit. It will be up to the doctor to determine if your puppy is growing too quickly.
Although there are many different dog breeds and each breed has its own rate of growth, there is usually one main reason why your puppy is growing too fast.
The most common cause of a puppy growing too quickly is diet. If you overfeed your puppy (also known as overnutrition), your dog will gain weight. Overnutrition is typically associated with taking in too much protein, calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus.
Overfeeding your puppy can result in skeletal abnormalities, hip dysplasia (arthritis of the hips) and osteochondrosis (a condition that affects the joints of young, rapidly growing dogs). Breeds such as Great Danes, German Shepherds and St. Bernards are particularly susceptible to these conditions.
Excess food intake can also lead to overweight/obesity. You can learn more by reading our portion and feeding guidelines article, but below are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Choose a puppy food that is approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). To obtain this certification, the diet must have passed rigorous testing and be deemed suitable for the advertised stage of growth.
- The amount of food fed per day can be divided into several meals. Manufacturers will often provide feeding instructions on their packaging but remember that these are guidelines and just a good place to start as they are developed on the needs of the average pet.
- Your puppy should be fed four to six times a day using a standard 1-cup measurement or a kitchen scale to weigh the correct amount of food.
- As your puppy grows, the number of feedings can be gradually decreased so that by the time your puppy has reached 50 percent of its adult body weight, it is eating three meals a day.
- Free feeding your puppy is not recommended as this allows your pet access to excessive amounts of food.
If you have further questions about how much to feed your puppy, determining the best diet for your pet or concerns about your puppy's growth, your local veterinarian can help.
Did you know?
All Banfield Optimum Wellness Plans come with unlimited office visits, so you never have to hesitate when it comes to a question about your puppy’s health. Learn more about other plan benefits and find the right wellness plan for your puppy today.