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When Do Puppies Stop Growing?

When Do Puppies Stop Growing?

When do puppies stop growing?” is a common question — but the answer isn’t one-size-fits-all.

Actually, different dog breeds grow at different rates. For example, if your puppy is a toy breed like Miniature Poodle, you might find that they’ve already nearly reached their adult size at 6 months old. 

If you have a giant breed like a Great Dane, they’ll grow for much longer — potentially up until 2 years old. 

Medium and large dog breeds fall somewhere between these two timelines, reaching their adult sizes somewhere between 9 months to 1 year old.

Wherever your dog lies on the puppy growth spectrum, this article will walk you through what to expect from your growing little ball of fur — plus, how to care for them along the way.

When is a Puppy Fully Grown?

Depending on breed or type, your puppy can keep growing until 24 months old, with larger breeds usually reaching maturity later than smaller dogs. 

Your pup’s skeletal growth determines how tall they’ll become as an adult. The long bones in your puppy’s legs grow from something called “growth plates.” Growth plates are soft and flexible during puppyhood (as new tissue is being formed) then harden into bone as your puppy grows.

When your pup’s growth plates have stopped producing new tissue, they’re said to have “closed.” At this time, your puppy’s bones have stopped growing and your once tiny baby has reached its adult size.

When Do Dogs Reach Full Size?

Dogs stop growing when they reach maturity, which usually happens between 6 and 24 months of age. Different breeds mature at different rates — basically, the bigger the dog, the more time they spend growing.

Small and Medium Dog Breeds

Small dog breeds tend to grow rapidly. In fact, toy breeds finish growing at about half the age of larger puppy breeds — between 6 to 12 months. Medium-sized breeds take a little bit longer, reaching their adult size at around 12 months old. 

Large and Giant Dog Breeds

Compared to their smaller counterparts, large and giant dog breeds take their time reaching their adult sizes — becoming fully-grown at 12 to 24 months old. The reason for this slower growth rate? Their bigger bones need more time to form, grow, and harden.

Important Things to Consider for Growing Pups

There are a few important things to keep in mind when your puppy is growing — especially if you have a fast-growing small breed. 

Firstly, small dogs are adolescents for less time — meaning that puppy training needs to happen quicker. It’s easier to train dogs when they’re in their adolescent stages and before they become set in their adult ways — so be sure to work around this shorter training window. Make sure that your little puppy pal is socialized with other dogs as soon as they’re able to go outside, and that you’re firm and consistent with any unwanted behavior. Also, don’t forget to make sure that your puppy's vaccinations are up to date before allowing them out and about around other dogs!

If you have a slow-growing large breed, they’ll basically be (and act like) a baby for a little longer. Lots of large breed parents are surprised by how their big dog can still behave like a little puppy — be patient, it can take up to 2 years for them to fully reach maturity. Like people, every dog does things in their own time.

How to Safely Exercise a Growing Puppy

Regardless of their breed size, all puppies are enormous balls of energy. Your puppy needs to be exercised to stay healthy — just keep in mind that too much exercise isn’t good for a growing pup.

Your puppy’s growing bones are still somewhat soft, so excessive or prolonged activity can be detrimental to their bone and joint development. We don’t recommend running on roads or jogging with a pup younger than 14 to 18 months of age. This is especially important with larger breeds, as their growth plates take longer to fully fuse.

Instead, walk in shorter bursts with your puppy on soft surfaces like grass, and protect their developing bones so they can grow up big and strong.

Feed a Growing Puppy

Feed your growing pup food that is specifically formulated for puppies, making sure they get all the nutrition they need to grow up into a healthy, happy dog.

Make sure to follow the guidelines on your puppy’s food packaging for how much/how often to feed them. If they become overweight, it can put unnecessary stress on their developing bones — and you wouldn’t want that for your best pal!

Obesity in puppies can lead to more serious orthopedic issues later in life, like hip dysplasia and arthritis — so be sure to do your part to help your puppy pal maintain a healthy weight.

Regularly check your puppy to make sure of the following:

  • Their ribs aren’t visible, but can still be felt
  • They have an abdominal tuck when viewed from the side
  • Their waist is defined and visible when viewed from above

Keeping an eye on these signs will help you visually assess if your puppy is over- or underweight. If so, they may need an adjustment to their diet.

What are the Nutritional Requirements for Growing Puppies?

When choosing a diet for your growing puppy, keep these four key nutrients in mind: protein, fat, calcium, and digestible carbohydrates.


Puppies require the most protein immediately after being weaned from their mamas. After that, the amount of protein they need gradually decreases.

The recommended protein range for healthy puppy growth is 22-32% on a dry matter basis. This range supports optimal growth — so it’s not recommended to exceed it.

Jinx Cage-Free Chicken Puppy Food is a great option to support your puppy’s growth and overall development. It’s made with organic chicken for muscle support, and has 30% crude protein — plus, whole grains for sustained energy and healthy digestion, and essential vitamins to support your puppy’s developing brain and heart. 

Avoid feeding your puppy food with a nutritional formulation for adult dogs. While the dry matter protein level in adult dog food may be adequate for your puppy, the other nutrients won’t be balanced to support their optimal growth and development.


Fat is essential to your puppy’s diet — it’s a source of essential fatty acids, a concentrated source of energy, and it carries fat-soluble vitamins.

However, excessive fat intake can be risky for your developing little pup, as it can lead to obesity and developmental orthopedic disease. 

For this reason, the fat content of your puppy’s food should be between 10-25% on a dry matter basis. Jinx puppy kibble contains 14% of crude fat, and is formulated by experts to help your puppy grow into a healthy, thriving adult dog.

Calcium and Phosphorus 

Calcium and phosphorus support strong bones and teeth — allowing your puppy to run, play, and maintain a healthy mouth full of chompers for years to come.

Calcium recommendations for large breed puppies have recently become stricter, so if you’ve got a future big dog on your hands, be sure to feed them food that is designed to meet the recommended AAFCO nutritional levels for large breed puppies.

Small to medium breeds are less sensitive to the effects of too much or too little calcium, so their calcium intake can range from 0.7-1.7% on a dry matter basis. Jinx puppy kibble is nutritionist-approved, and contains 1.2% of calcium to support your pup’s developing bones and teeth.


Dogs can consume up to 22.25 mg of phosphorus per kilogram of body weight per day. Look for a puppy food that contains between 0.6% and 1.3% phosphorus to give your pup just what they need to thrive.


DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an Omega-3 fatty acid that supports your puppy’s neural development. It’s a major structural component of the brain, as well as the most abundant fatty acid in the brain. It also plays a vital role in the development of your puppy's central nervous system and retinal function. Basically, it’s incredibly important to your pal’s development.

Before they’re weaned, puppies get DHA from their mothers. The puppy’s mom transfers DHA from her body tissues to her offspring during pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, puppies have to get their DHA from their diet. Good news: Jinx puppy kibble contains 0.9% DHA to support your little brainiac.

Digestible Carbohydrates

No specific amount of digestible carbohydrates has been identified as optimal for growing puppies, but it’s suggested that 20% on a dry matter basis can support their overall health and energy. Jinx puppy kibble contains brown rice, a highly digestible carbohydrate to support sustained energy levels in your playful pup.

If you choose a balanced puppy food, then you don’t need to give your growing puppy any additional vitamin supplements. You can give them treats as snacks or rewards (these can be a lifesaver during training!), but your pup’s treat intake should be limited to no more than 10% of their diet.

How Can I Prevent Puppy Obesity?

Growing puppies need higher amounts of all nutrients than adult dogs do — but getting too many calories and calcium can create problems for them.

Not only can excess calories cause obesity — in large breed puppies, excess calories and calcium can also lead to abnormal skeletal development.

Preventing obesity in your dog begins at the weaning stage, and continues throughout their whole life. Overweight or obese dogs can face many complications, including:

  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Heat intolerance
  • Decreased immune function

Free feeding your pup increases their risk of obesity, and — especially in large breed puppies — skeletal abnormalities and hip dysplasia. To prevent your puppy from becoming overweight, we highly recommend portion-feeding them.

Puppies should be fed measured amounts of food at regular feeding times — generally 2 to 3 times per day, based on their body condition and age. 

Assess your puppy’s portion size and daily calorie intake often — they need to eat more during the early stages of their growth, with their food intake gradually lessening as they get closer to their adult size and weight. 

Not sure how much to feed your puppy? Well, the back of their bag of dog food is a great place to start. Look for puppy-specific feeding guidelines on their food packaging —  if you still have questions, a vet can make more specific food recommendations to support your rapidly-growing little angel.

At Jinx, we're here to upgrade the way you care for your dog by providing holistic nutrition made with thoughtful formulation, real ingredients, and a whole lot of love. Get started with our Puppy Essentials Pack.


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