Dog Growth Spurts And Stages (Explained)

Dog Growth Spurts And Stages

Puppies grow fast. It’s hard to believe that they can be so small one day and then suddenly fill up the whole living room floor the next! This is because their growth spurts work – they produce cartilage, which turns into bone over time. These plates are found in parts of the body where bones need to increase, such as a puppy’s skull.

The bones from these plates will eventually fuse and become part of the permanent skeleton at about six months old or when a dog reaches adulthood. You’ll notice your pup start to get different stages during this process: large-breed puppies go through two periods of rapid growth called “spurts.”

Smaller breeds have fewer spurts but still, experience them at the same age milestones.

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How your dog’s growth spurts will affect them!

All of this should be exciting to watch but can be very hard on your pup. If not fed or exercised correctly during rapid growth, the bones may become too soft and malformed, especially in larger breeds.

This is called “growing pains,” and it may become severe if it’s not treated. As always, consult your vet right away with any concerns about growth spurts in dogs.

What to do when a dog’s growth spurt starts!

Once you realize that one of these periods is beginning in your pup, check out our post on feeding hungry dogs so they stay healthy during this critical time!

Also, take them for frequent walks and make sure to provide plenty of chew toys – especially rawhides. Your dog’s bones are becoming very strong, but it will be worth it when they’ve grown up into a big strong pup who will protect you forever!

What Are The Growth Stages Of A Puppy?

Puppies go through many growth stages, with the most important being early development and teething. Here is a look at all of them!

  • 0-2 weeks old: Born! Newborn puppies don’t do much other than eat, sleep, poop and pee. 
  • 3-4 weeks old: Eyes And Ears Open!  Their eyes open anywhere from 6-14 days old. Their ears are erect by about 2 weeks old but may remain floppy until 3-4 weeks old.
  • 5-6 weeks old: Walking! Newborn puppies sleep ninety percent of the time, but they can hold their heads up around 2 1/2 to 3 weeks old and start walking around 4 weeks old.
  • 7-8 weeks old: Weaning!  At 5 – 6 weeks, puppies will be weaned from their mothers and will eat the same food as an adult dog; this is also when they can safely leave their mother without any danger of being rejected. From 7 to 8 weeks, puppies’ coats will start to come in, and they’ll begin getting their baby teeth.
  • 8-9 weeks old: Getting Teeth!  Most of the puppy’s baby teeth should grow in by about 8 – 9 weeks, but it can take until 10 or 11 weeks for all of them to be in place.
  • 10-11 weeks old: Going Home!  Puppies should be weaned and get their baby teeth in by 10 – 11 weeks old. This is also when they can go to their new homes.
  • 12-13 weeks old: Ears Up! Dogs’ ears will start to stand up around 12 – 13 weeks old, but it takes much longer for them to be fully erect.  This is also when they’ll begin to lose their baby teeth.
  • 14-15 weeks old: Walking Like A Big Dog!  Puppies’ hips will have grown enough by 14 – 15 weeks that they can walk and run like adults, but they’ll still have a lot of growing to do in terms of height and weight.
  • 16-17 weeks old: Peanut Butter Puppy! By 16 – 17 weeks, they will have grown enough that you can see their adult teeth growing in, which often causes them to drool like crazy – just like peanut butter!
  • 18-19 weeks old: Getting Longer!  Puppies will start to proliferate during this stage and may seem a bit gangly. They’re still growing in height, but their body is lengthening out from being almost square-shaped.
  • 20 weeks old: Getting Taller!  Puppies should be well on their way towards looking like adult dogs at 20 weeks old! Their bodies may still be a bit gangly, but their legs will look more proportional.
  • 21 weeks old: Big Dog Teeth!  Puppies’ adult teeth have been growing in for a while by now, and they should have a complete set of pearly white choppers around this time – perfect for chewing on everything in sight!
  • 22-23 weeks old: Potty Training!  This is about the time you’ll start to potty train your dog, but it may take a bit longer or shorter depending on how quickly they pick up on what you’re trying to teach them.
  • 24-25 weeks old: Getting His Adult Coat! At around 24 – 25 weeks, your pup will start to grow his adult coat, and it will be thicker and shinier than before.
  • 26-27 weeks old: Almost Full Grown!  Puppies may still look a bit gangly during this stage, but their bodies should be starting to fill out, and they’ll likely be almost as tall as they’ll ever be by the time they reach 27 weeks old.

Is My Puppy Going Through A Growth Spurt?

Your puppy is going through a growth spurt when he suddenly eats much more than normal, starts to poop and pee around the house often, or seems upset or uncomfortable for no apparent reason. If your pup suddenly starts to act strange, check out the signs of a growth spurt below!

Eating extra food

Several things can cause this, but it’s most likely due to your puppy going through a growth spurt and his body needing extra nutrients than usual.

If you’re not feeding him enough food and he suddenly starts eating more than usual, he may be in pain or discomfort and could quickly become overweight if you don’t adjust his eating habits.

Not eliminating

Puppies will often hold it when they’re in pain or discomfort, so if you notice your pup hasn’t been eliminated for more than 8 hours during the day or hasn’t gone at all overnight, he could be feeling sick and may need to see a vet.

If your puppy is whining and crying and you can’t pinpoint why try taking him outside and see if he eliminates outside. If not, you might want to have him checked out by a professional.

Sleeping all the time

Some puppies do sleep a lot more when they’re going through a growth spurt, but highly long naps could indicate an underlying problem.

It’s best to work with your vet and maybe ask friends, family members, or even other dog owners for advice before giving your puppy any medication.

Puppies grow quickly, and it’s important not to overfeed them when they’re young during these stages – wait until your vet provides you with more information on how much they should eat per day at their current stage!

More energy than usual

He may not act tired, but he may seem to be running around more than usual. He may get into things he usually wouldn’t or chew on them incessantly.

If you take away his favorite toys, he may find something else in the house to play with! Just keep an eye on your pup during these stages and use extra caution when taking away any objects that could harm him, as his motor skills and coordination will not be perfect.

How Often Do Puppies Go Through Growth Spurts?

Puppies go through growth spurts reasonably regularly, and it’s essential to account for them when you’re adjusting their food intake!

If you think your puppy is going through a growth spurt, talk to your vet about adjusting their diet and make sure they’re eating food designed for their specific type of breed.

Here’s a list of some common growth spurts and when you can expect them:

  1. 3-8 weeks old: puppies will go through a significant growth spurt at this age, and you’ll see them grow several inches within a few weeks.
  2. 5-7 weeks old: this is another growth spurt your pup will likely experience at the halfway point of their first year.
  3. 12-13 weeks old: puppies are considered adults around 13 weeks, but they still may have some growing to do.
  4. 15-20 weeks old: it’s also common for puppies to grow rapidly during this stage – remember, your dog will continue to grow until they’re around 2 years old!

Do Dogs Sleep During Growth Spurts?

Yes and no! Dogs don’t sleep more when they’re going through a growth spurt, but they may be more tired than usual and sleepless at night.

Their bodies will need to use extra energy to grow and develop bones and muscles, so they’ll probably sleep less during the day, if anything.

When Do Dogs Grow The Most?

Puppies grow the most while they’re puppies, so it’s important to remember that your pup will continue growing through their first year!

However, dogs only entirely stop growing when they get to be around 2 years old. After that, their body won’t develop further except for becoming less flexible and more likely to experience injuries.

Can You Tell How Big A Puppy Will Get By Its Paws?

No! A puppy’s paws will grow as they get older, so look for more signs than just their feet.

Depending on the breed of dog, some dogs may have more enormous paws than others, and it may be a telltale sign that your pup is going through a growth spurt – but there are several other ways to determine the same.

What Is The Fear Period In Puppies?

The fear period is another name for the fourth stage of puppy development, also known as the dominance stage.

This is when puppies will attempt to assert themselves or feel threatened by someone they think might be more dominant than them – it may seem like your pup doesn’t like you at this point!

How Do You Know When A Dog Is Going Through Puberty?

Dogs go through puberty just like humans do!

When a dog is going through its growth spurt, that’s a sign that they’re entering its prime and becoming sexually mature.

This is usually around the same time as adolescence in humans – between 8 and 14 years old for dogs and humans.

Generally, it takes a dog around 6 months after they go through their first growth spurt to reach sexual maturity.