At what age do dogs stop growing?

A new dog owner might get surprised when their pet fully grows up within a year, but some get worried when their dog does not become full-sized even after a year.

Well, this isn't unusual. Most small and medium dogs become fully grown in a year, but larger dogs may take at least two years before they become fully-grown.

This stage of life also marks the need for constant care, diet, training, and socialization for pets; hence, pet owners need to be well aware of their physical and mental stimulation to help them grow better.

But, many people still wonder when their pup has fully grown.

How to tell when your Pup is fully-grown

In most cases, dogs stop growing between 6 and 18 months of age, but some pups continue growing until 24 months.

But not all canines grow at the same rate, with smaller breed dogs growing up much faster than their larger counterparts. This is because dogs with more prominent bones and joints need a bit more time to grow and develop.

Giant dogs like Mastiffs, Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernard, and Newfoundland take the longest to reach full size.

Giant breeds like Great Dane reach their physical maturity within 18 months, but they keep adding muscle and reach their total weight only at age two or three.

Let’s take a look at how long it takes for each dog breed to grow fully.

Small Breeds

Small breeds grow up quickly. They finish growing at around half the age of their larger counterparts.

Small breeds such as Boston Terriers, Jack Russell Terriers, Chihuahuas, and Pugs reach their full-sized framework between six and eight months of age, and they'll keep filling weight until twelve months old.

The small breed dogs also enjoy a longer lifespan compared to larger dogs because they age comparatively slower.

Medium Breeds

Medium breed puppies might take just a bit longer to grow than small breed puppies. You can expect your medium breed dog to reach their physical maturity between twelve and fifteen months of age.

Although they get bigger by 15 months, they usually keep adding weight until they are closer to 18 months.

Airedale Terrier, American Pit Bull, Border Collie, and Standard Poodle are considered medium breeds.

Large Breeds

The large breed is a broad category of dogs divided into two categories; large breeds and giant breeds.

Dogs that reach an adult weight of >50 lb (23 kg) are considered large breeds. The average growth period for large breeds is 12 to 18 months, and they reach maturity between 18 to 24 months, much later than smaller-breed dogs.

Some of the typical large breeds include German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Weimaraners.

Giant Breeds

The giant breeds are larger dogs like Great Dance, Mastiffs, Great Pyrenees, and Saint Bernard that reach above 45 kg (99lb).

They take the longest to reach full size. Some giant breeds take at least 18 months to grow the basic framework and continue growing in weight until age two or three.

However, these dogs also age quickly than smaller breeds. Mastiffs live only up to 7 to 8 years, and Dogue de Bordeaux lives only until 5 to 8 years.

 

How to estimate your dog's full size?

One way to estimate their total size is to use an online puppy size calculator.

  • It becomes a bit harder to know how long it takes mixed breeds to become full-sized. You will have to do some guessing by comparing both breed’s weight and size. Not all mixed breeds grow at the same rate.
  • Their gender will determine their adult sizes and weight. Male dogs weigh more and are more significant than female dogs.
  • Puppies experience the most significant growth rate from birth to about six months of age and weigh 30% of their adult weight. You'd know how much your pup will grow at this time.
  • In most pet dogs, sexual maturity occurs between the ages of 6 to 12 months. Smaller breeds reach puberty quicker than large breeds.
  • Smaller breeds tend to have their first estrous cycle (reproductive stage) at an earlier age, while large and giant breeds may not come into heat until they have reached eighteen months to two years of age.

The Stages of Puppy Development

Generally, a pup's development is divided into five stages that start from birth and last until age two.

There are some similarities that all puppies face when growing. This vital info will help you recognize the growth in your pup regardless of breed size.

Neonatal (Newborn - 2 weeks)

Pups at this age sleep most of the day because they need sleep for mental and physical growth. They will wake up mostly to nurse. The birth weight will also double within a week.

Transitional (2 - 4 weeks)

The period between two to four weeks signifies a transitional phase where your pup will open its eyes for the first time, learn to walk, and grow its teeth.

Juvenile (4 - 12 weeks)

Pups aged four to twelve weeks are considered juveniles. Most small breeds will reach their physical maturity within this period. The juvenile period precedes puberty.

Adolescence (6 - 12 months)

Adolescence marks the zenith of their physical and mental growth. Female dogs may begin to go into heat. It also marks the slowing down of physical growth as most breeds are fully grown by this time.

Full maturity (1 - 2 years)

It's the time when your pup entirely becomes an adult dog. They will stop growing bigger but will keep adding weight over time. For giant breeds, this stage marks an important developmental age.

 

What causes a puppy to stop growing?

It may be worrying when your pup isn't growing regularly or is too small for their age.

There are certain instances when your dog may stop growing naturally, and there are several reasons for their stunted growth, ranging from genetics to intestinal worms.

Here's we'll discuss few common reasons for stunted growth in dogs.

Intestinal worm

Pups that are infected with hookworms or roundworms may experience stunted growth.  If a puppy has an extremely heavy worm infection, the worms can steal enough calories from its body; hence, slowing down its growth.

A poor hair coat, diarrhea, and a big potbelly are signs of worm infection.

Malnutrition

Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of stunted growth in dogs. Pups need to eat nutritious food to ensure the healthy growth of tissue cells.

Ensure adequate food and nutrition that supports bones, muscles, and tissue growth in pups. Also, ensure that you don't overfeed your dog or give supplements when they're still growing because too much nutrition can have adverse effects.

 

You can be assured that strenuous exercise or spaying and neutering does not affect their physical growth; however, you must not indulge them in strenuous exercise. It may damage the growth plates of the long bones and cause abnormal development.

There is a rare disease called pituitary dwarfism in German Shepherds. Some Labrador Retrievers have a genetic component, but these conditions are rare and not generally seen in companion animals.

 Check this infographic for more information. 

To learn more about healthy physical and mental growth in dogs, get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best doggy daycare in Urbandale.

July 15 is the Pet Fire Safety Day

Each year many pets get injured in household fire incidents, with over 40,000 deaths. This includes dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small animals.

AmericanHumane.org estimates that more than 500,000 pets are affected by house fires, with over a thousand house fires started by pets themselves.

The National Pet Fires Safety Day is celebrated every July 15 throughout the country to remind us that we need to plan for fire safety at home.

In association with ADT Security Services, the American Kennel Club declared National Pet Fire Safety Day in 2009 to educate pet owners on how to take steps to prevent fires and plan for unexpected emergencies effectively.

Our pets are as much a part of our family and we need to keep them safe from potential hazards. The best way to protect them from the effects of a house fire is to plan beforehand.

The first safety measure is to prevent a fire at home, but how do you do that? Let's take a look.

Preventing a Fire

Here are some tips to prevent accidental fire at home.

Extinguish open flames

Open flame exposure is one of the most common ways that your pet may accidentally start a fire. Pets are curious animals and will investigate open fires, including candles, fireplace, and cooking appliances.

Ensure you've fireproofed your home by using flameless candles and an enclosed fireplace. Additionally, putting covers over stove knobs and discouraging climbing in the kitchen can also help prevent accidental fire outbreaks.

Along with starting an accidental fire, your pet may quickly get burned during fire outbreaks.

Keep Kitchen at bay

The kitchen is the primary place where all the fire appliances are kept. A wandering pet can climb onto stoves to search for food or open the microwave lid. A burning stove knob not only burns your dog's nose but also may start a fire.

Ensure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the kitchen. Also, keep candles and other electrical appliances out of your pet’s reach.

Pet-proof Electrical wires

Many pets enjoy chewing on stuff. Dogs and small animals such as hamsters and rabbits often chew on loose wires, making areas with lamps and plugs potential fire-starting hazards.

To ensure proper safety, you'd need to secure loose wires and ensure they're kept out of their reach. Wires lying on the floor are common prey for these animals. While chewing on the wires, they can get themselves electrocuted as well.

Test your smoke alarms regularly

Many homes are fitted with smoke alarms which often come in handy during a fire outbreak. It's a good idea to check your smoke alarms regularly to ensure it works when needed.

There is a little button on it that you can press to test it. If it beeps weakly, then you need to change the batteries ASAP.

Always check your dryer.

Depending on what type of dryer you have, they need to be inspected every year. We all get in a hurry when we’re doing our chores but, don’t forget to clean out your lint trap every time you put in a new load of laundry.

Keep fire extinguishers around.

Fire extinguishers are always the best defense against fire breakouts. You want to make sure you have one in every room with a potential threat including kitchen and washer room.

Planning for Fire

According to the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, during a house fire, 99 percent of the time, animals never run out of the fire building. They always go hide somewhere they feel safe.

Hence, the number one step in preparing your pet for fire is to make a safety plan. Ensure to practice this plan with the whole family and pet, so everyone knew whose job it is to grab the pet, emergency supplies.

Here are few ways to plan for fire.

Take basic safety precautions

Fireproof your home by installing necessary safety measures. Install smoke detectors that quickly detect smoke and carbon monoxide.

As a pet owner, consider installing a monitored smoking detectors that will notify the fire department if a fire starts while you're away.

Keep your dog collared.

Frightened animals may act erratically and run away during fire outbreaks from emergency personal and into danger when they feel threatened. Keeping a collar on them and a leash near the door will make it easier for rescuers to grab your pet and get them outside to safety quickly.

As a safety precaution, it's a good to microchip your pet just in case you get separated during an emergency.

Protect your pets when you're away

In an ideal situation, a fire breaks out when the homeowners are away. However, taking few precautions will help your furry friend escape when the fire starts.

If you can, keep your pet near an exit while you’re away so they will have a better chance of getting out.

Plan your escape route

Just like your typical escape route, your pet escape strategy starts with identifying all of the exits and planning their evacuation route.

You can use pet gates to keep them in a designated area close to an exit. Also, know your pet's hideaway spots because they will likely retreat during the chaos.


Emergency Care Tips

Your pet will probably suffer from different kinds of fire injuries, including third-degree burns, smoke inhalation, shock, and loss of consciousness.

Planning for emergency care will help respond to your pet's injuries immediately, hence even saving their life.

Here are some emergency safety tips.

  • If your pet suffers an injury during a fire, take them immediately to a veterinarian.
    Keep safety aid at home, including gauze pads, alcohol wipes, ice packs, antibiotic ointment, and towels.
  • Learn to perform CPR on pets.
  • Incase of external bleeding, apply pressure to the wound and elevate until you patch up the wound using a safety aid.
  • Treatment of oxygen inhalation can only be treated by providing supplemental oxygen with 24hr monitoring. Refer to the nearest hospital or clinic that provides pet-related emergency services.


Pet Oxygen Masks

Here is the list of few nonprofits that provide pet oxygen masks for emergency purposes.

The Project Breathe Program http://www.invisiblefence.com/why-invisible-fence/project-breathe
Project Paws Alive http://projectpawsalive.org/pet-oxygen-recovery-mask-kits
The Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists http://apaws.org/about/support/donate 


An estimated 358,500 home fires occur every year where 50% of these fires start in the kitchen. Preparing your family members and pets for a possible fire outbreak will help save lives in the nick of time.

Check this infographic out for more information. 

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital & Resort, the best hospital in Urbandale, to get emergency pet services, mobile emergency response, and veterinary services.

How to celebrate 'Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month'?

Rabbits make wonderful pets and are suitable for people who enjoy playful, fascinating, and independent pets at home.

They are the most common form of a pet found in homes today. Over 1,534,000 US households keep 2,244,000 rabbits as pets. However, although they are the third most popular companion animal in the US, they also make the third most abandoned pets.

Many rabbits land up in shelter and animal rescue every year, incredibly a few weeks after Easter!

Why are rabbits mostly abandoned?

One of the significant problems is overbreeding of rabbits. Breeders often encourage an overpopulation crisis in shelters and rescues for producing animals with a particular set of physical traits.

Moreover, rabbits aren't short-lived, low-maintenance, or cheap pets. They require a lot of care and high cost, which most pet owners are unaware of. Hence, most pet rabbits are abandoned during the few months after Easter.

When rabbits reach puberty (at five eight months), they begin displaying unwelcome behavior such as spraying, poor litter habits, aggression or fear, and chewing. Children often lose interest in fully-grown rabbits, which often becomes an expensive burden.

These are the primary reasons why rabbits are abandoned.

Why adopt an abandoned rabbit?

February has been proclaimed "Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month to raise awareness about rescuing and adopting rabbits."

If you love rabbits and are considering bringing a new pet, you should seriously consider adopting a rabbit. Adopting a rabbit saves two lives, the one being brought home and the one that will take its place to find its own home.

Adopting a rabbit also helps avoid costs that may include spaying/neutering and the first veterinary exam. Bringing in grown-up rabbits may also avoid the need for litter training and early socialization.

Currently, there are 50 breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association that come in all sizes and colors.

Things to Keep in Mind

Here are some essential things to keep in mind while adopting a rescued rabbit.

Expenses

Owning a pet rabbit comes with added financial responsibility. Rabbits aren't cheap pets; they required proper housing, diet, house proofing, supplements, spay/neuter, and occasional veterinary bills.

Expect to pay $20-$40 for a store rabbit and $5-$20 for a rescued rabbit. The ongoing expenses will range from $20+ per month—the check-ups average $25-$55 per visit. For a high-quality pellet, hay, and fresh foods, a reasonable estimate is at least $25 per month.

Housing

Rabbits are social animals, and they enjoy being raised both outdoors and indoors. Housing for rabbits ranges from outdoor hatches to indoor cages.

Rabbits need social interaction, plenty of exercise, and many enrichment activities; hence a homely environment is essential to keep them indulged at all times. They should also have regular access to a secure outside area.

You can let them accessible when you have successfully bunny-proofed your house.

Bunny proofing

When you bring a bunny home, you must consider bunny proofing your house to keep both your things and bunny safe. Rabbits are curious animals, and they enjoy nibbling on almost everything they may find.

Rabbit proofing your home involves three things:

  • Preventing destruction of your property.
  • Protecting your companion rabbits from harm.
  • Providing safe and fun chewing alternatives for your rabbit.

Bunny proofing also prevents rabbits from chewing on electrical cords and being badly burned or electrocuted.

Enrichment

You'd need to keep your pet engaged, entertained, and indulged in preventing damages. Enrichment activities allow your pet to nibble on essential papers, rugs, and upholstery.

You must consider providing them with entertainment to keep them indulged. Keep empty toilet paper rolls, old phone books, and other paper products in their shelter so that they can nibble on them.

Nutrition

Pet rabbits need a high-fiber (18% to 22% DM), low-protein (12% to 16% DM) diet for maintenance. Timothy grass hay pellets should be fed for maintenance because they are lower in protein, calcium, and calories than alfalfa pellets.

Fiber is the most staple diet of rabbits; hence they must have access to unlimited grass hays at all times. Be prepared to spend at least $25 per month on high-quality pellet, hay, and fresh foods.

Children and Rabbits

Rabbits should be supervised when small children are around. The animal experts advise that because rabbits are physically delicate and require specialized veterinary care, they are not appropriate for families with young children.

What to Do If You Found a Stray Rabbit?

If you land up in a situation where you would rescue a stray rabbit, these are what you need to do.

Alert the animal rescue

The first thing you need to do is inform the veterinary clinic, shelter, or animal rescue around your area about the stray animal. The rescue center has likely heard about the stray rabbit.

Before you jump into rescuing the animal, you should keep the animal rescue in touch. They would likely send help immediately to bring the stray animal in their safe possession.

Capture the rabbit

If you've spotted the stray rabbit in your backyard, around the home, nearby park, or street, and are not quite sure what to do, the first order of business is to capture the animal and put it in a safe place.

It's often easier to lure young bunnies and catch it by hand, but most of the time, it will take a while. Place out water, food pellets, or fresh vegetable outside. Use a net to capture the rabbit, or in the meantime, call the animal rescue for help.

Determine the rabbit species

Rabbitrunaway.org.au recommends establishing whether the rabbit is either a bush rabbit, a baby hare (or leveret), or a domestic pet. Bushbabies and leverets are best left alone as their mothers or nests could be nearby.

It's better not to move the wild rabbits. However, you can keep checking every day to see if the mother has come back to feed the babies.

Assess the rabbit's health

WildlifeHotline.com offers advice on how you should check for dehydration to determine if the mother has fed the bunnies recently. The site also provides a checklist to help you assess the animal's wellbeing.

If you found a stray animal that shows signs of bleeding, difficulty breathing, parasites, or injury, the best thing is to take it to a veterinarian.

Keep the rabbit safe.

Once you have succeeded in capturing the rabbit, you should keep it safe until you take it to the animal center. A crate, a bathtub, or a large box can serve as a temporary home. Don't forget to bring a bowl of fresh water and fresh vegetables.

 

Adopting a rescued rabbit is way cheaper than purchasing from a breeder. Furthermore, the rescue centers can help match you to the right rabbit as they already know about their animals' personalities.

Get in touch with Urban Pet Hospital, the best pet hospital in Urbandale.