How to Know If You’re Dog Is Growing Too Fast Or Slow

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Is my puppy growing too FAST?

Tracking your dog’s growth through its development stages can be equally exciting and cumbersome. However, as a pet owner and dog lover, my bet is on the fact that you are going to enjoy the journey!

The first thing to begin with when you get down to keeping tabs on your dog’s growth is to know its breed. The pup’s breed is a crucial factor that decides how fast or slow your dog will grow.

For example, large breeds tend to grow slower and small dog breeds tend to grow faster. You can expect your tiny small breed furball to grow to its full size within a year.

But your larger breed pup could take up to two years to reach full maturity, although its growth rate during the period could alarm you.

Let’s start with a few tips and tricks that can help you tell how big or small your dog will be.

Paw Size

Have you ever come across a friend who happened to look at your puppy’s paws and exclaim, “Oh my god, he’s going to be a big boy!” Your friend is right.

Sleeping dog

A puppy’s paws are a great way to tell how big or small your little pup is going to be. Usually, a puppy’s paws are proportional to its body. But in case the puppy has bigger paws, that are out of proportion with the rest of its body.

It could indicate that the puppy will be bigger than anticipated upon reaching maturity. After all, big paws normally correlate with more weight and greater height.

The paw theory holds true mostly for purebred dogs rather than mixed breed ones. Also note that paw size may not be a sure sought way to know a dog’s height and weight in the case of giant breed dogs. Akita, that is a large breed dog, can have smaller paws when they are pups.

You can have a clear idea about your pup’s growth rate by looking at their paws when they reach 14-16 weeks. Around this time, a dog’s bodily proportions are usually settled and therefore it becomes easier to predict the dog’s growth accurately.


Your puppy’s breed is usually a dependable indicator of its size upon reaching maturity. For example, if your dog is a purebred, you can successfully predict its approximate height and weight by looking at its parents’ constitution.

Cute cuddling puppies

In the case of a mixed breed, however, it could get a little tricky. Assessment can be easier if you have seen the puppy’s parents. If you haven’t, which is usually the case with pet owners who have adopted a puppy, one can try to determine the puppy’s adult size by accessing the average adult size of the two breeds that constitute the puppy.

Loose Skin

According to petplace, a puppy’s skin can also be a measure of how big they will grow up to be. If the puppy’s skin appears loose upon touching, it could indicate that the puppy could grow to be big, which is evident from the more room he has to fit into.

Once you are through these steps, you can move on to how fast or slow your puppy could be growing.

You have to ensure that you take note of your dog’s weight as regularly as possible, as determined by your veterinarian. Usually, and again, the rate of growth of your dog will largely depend on its breed.

puppy treats

But there is one factor that determines how fast or slow your dog grows up, and it is the diet you have jolted out for your dog.

  • It is a great idea to give your puppy Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)-approved puppy food. This is because the diet must have been carefully planned and must have passed strict testing to be approved for consumption by your puppy.
  • Instead of giving your dog two-three big meals a day, you can split it into six-seven meals a day and divide the food into small batches so your dog gets its food at regular intervals and also gets to digest it properly.
  • But make sure that as your puppy grows, the number of meals is reduced gradually to reach three meals a day. This must be implemented by the time the dog reaches half its adult body weight as you may have already determined using the aforementioned manners.
  • DO NOT free feed your puppy. You risk allowing it to grow faster than you anticipate.
  • In case your vet feels that the growth of your dog is stagnating or isn’t fast enough (i.e. slow) you can regulate the amount of food you feed your puppy. You can add additional supplements to your puppy’s diet to make the food more nutritious.

In order to estimate your puppy’s right growth rate and weight, here are a few add-ons:

  • Female puppies can grow to be smaller in size than male puppies.
  • Here is an approximate timeline of when puppies grow the fastest:
    > Toy and teacup breeds: Birth – 11 weeks
    > Small and medium breeds: Birth – 16 weeks
    > Large and giant breeds: Birth – 5 months
  • By the time your puppy is about four months old, he would have reached 30% of his adult weight by 60% of its adult height.
  • Also, small and medium breed pups are likely to reach 99% of their adult weight by the time they are 9-10 months old, but larger breeds will take at least 12-18 months.

It’s never easy to predict a puppy’s weight successfully. However, we have worked out an approximate measure you might refer to:

1 weekPuppy should reach twice of its weight at birth
6 weeks
  1. Teacup or toy-sized puppy has reached half its adult weight by now.
  2. Small breed puppies may put on 5 oz a week.
  3. Large breed puppies will put on about 40 .
14 weeksMedium-to-large breed puppy should reach half its adult weight by now.
6 months
  1. Medium-to-large breed puppy should reach 2/3rd of its adult weight by now.
  2. Giant breed puppy should reach half its adult weight by now.

Try out the simplest way to Calculate your puppy’s growth rate in just one step through our Puppy Weight Calculator.

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