There’s a correct weight range for every age and breed of dog. Excessive weight gain can mean there’s an issue with your puppy, but the cause is usually the same – your puppy is eating more calories than he’s using. While it’s normal for him to grow during puppyhood, his body condition will be a good sign of whether or not you’re overfeeding him.
Risks of being overweight
Typically, puppy weight gain is caused by overfeeding. You should keep an eye on your puppy’s size, and he should be growing steadily and remain in ideal body condition. It’s important to track your puppy’s weight while he’s young to avoid problems in the future. Use the feeding directions on the food bag as a general guideline for feeding. For more information on how to check your dog’s body condition, read our article.
If you think your dog is overweight, schedule a visit with your vet.
Addressing puppy weight gain
Try some of these tips to bring your puppy’s weight down to a healthy level:
- Reduce treats to a moderate amount and follow the directions on the bag of food for how much to feed him during meals.
- Reduce the amount of food you feed him to what is recommended on the bag. Also, increase his exercise. Consult your vet if you are unsure about this.
- If your puppy’s weight gain is sudden, if there is no clear cause, or if usual weight loss or maintenance practices don't seem to help, go to your vet. There may be other conditions that need analysis.
- Talk to your vet if you notice sudden weight loss, weight gain or change in appetite.
Your puppy’s first year is his most important, so make sure you give him plenty of attention and get your whole family involved in taking care of him.