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    1. #1
      Best Friend Retriever
      emma_Dad's Avatar
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      Atlanta, Ga
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      Weight of your puppy/Dog

      Originally posted by Susan_MLL on 06-21-2012 10:33 AM

      Weight of your puppy/dog

      So many people are asking about weight of their pups I thought it would help to have a document created and give some specifics in order to help with this popular question. Certainly everyone should participate and give experiences, thoughts etc..

      How do we know about weight? How do we know if our pup is in good weight? There are numerous factors to take into consideration.
      1. Each and every puppy will eat a different amount, a different food and metabolize it differently. We can’t just say because at 5 months one puppy eats 3 cups per day, another pup is eating 6 cups a day and the one eating 6 cups is too much. I have and breed pups that are eating all different amounts at the same age, some of whom are even litter mates. Metabolism is simply different.
      2. Genetics: The genetics of your pup are the main consideration. Size of a puppy and what they are going to eat is not based on the size at 8 weeks. Many lines of Labradors grow very slowly. Many lines grow much more quickly. When purchasing a puppy it’s important to know what the genetics are in your pedigree. It’s not just sire and dam but also their parents etc. We can think about ourselves, people. Our size and weight are based on so many things but genetics are really the key. Some of us can eat 4 meals a day, others can not. Some of us come from parents or grandparents where obesity is a problem. Others do not. It is not different with dogs. When talking about weight I encourage everyone to first ask what the genetics are.
      3. Birth: Another consideration is the litter itself. When a bitch whelps (gives birth) to 10 puppies chances are those pups at 8 weeks are going to be a bit smaller. When a bitch whelps 5 puppies chances are the pups are going to go home larger. When pups within each litter reach 4-6 months, however, some may eat more than the others and this is going to go back to genetics.
      4. Growth: Growth is another key factor and yet again this is based on genetics. Please realize that most have different “styles” of Labs and this of course factors into growth. Although some do not, most Labs go through a stage breeders refer to as the “fuggly” stage. This is when the 1st growth spurt hits. You notice your pup is longer, leaner and at this point food increase to keep up with this growth is needed. Some hit this stage as early as 3 months, others at 6 months. Being able to recognize this will certainly help. Opposite of this growth is when we look at the pup and realize the growth spurt has stopped and we need to decrease the food. Growth spurts can happen more then once. Keeping up with this is important. This is another reason it’s more difficult to comment on weight of a puppy. They are going to go through this stage at different times so when we are discussing weight it helps to ask “have you seen the growth spurt”.
      5. Weight: Actual weight of a puppy is tricky. Take into consideration the information above and it’s easy to understand one pup at 5 months who has a weight of 50 pounds may not be heavy in comparison to another pup at 5 months who is 35 pounds. Male vs Female is another consideration. Certainly there are exceptions but let’s face it. Most male mammals are simply larger than females. Pups that are male tend to be larger and heavier.
      6. Food: Each and every food we feed our pups is going to be metabolized differently, is going to have a different effect on our pups. 2 different people may be feeding their pups the same food and each pup reacts differently. How your puppy performs on the food, the stool of your pup, activity level of your pup is consideration for the food, the amount you feed and the weight. I don’t feel it’s appropriate to discuss which foods are best. There are many many different foods that are really good for canines out there. Everyone has a very valid opinion on which is best for puppies based on personal experience and knowledge of the food and foods as a whole. I am not a food expert, that’s for sure (well not an expert in anything, just experience) However I will say foods such as Alpo and Pedigree etc.. really are not healthy at all. I do not recommend those foods and those foods can present a weight problem not based on the amount you give but because of what they are made of. This weight problem can go either way, too much weight or not enough. Many pups cannot have as much protein as others. This is noticed when they go down in the pasterns. A simple change of food is all it takes. Amount is not the issue. ALL PUPPIES need different amounts of food. I think that has become clear. On the back of each and every food (I think) there is a place where it tells you how much to feed. I suggest not to listen to that. A bag of food may tell you the pup only needs 3 cups per day but as you have now read, he/she is either in the fuggly stage, is much more active, and needs more then what is being suggested. Or, there are times the food you are feeding is very rich and really the amount listed is too much.
      7. Using Your Gut: I am a huge believer in listening to your gut.** When you look at your puppy what is your first reaction? “my puppy is heavy” “my puppy looks thin”, “my puppy looks good”. That split second feeling is usually right.
      8. Vets: This is an interesting part of understanding weight. Vets are not taught to ask their client about genetics of the puppy. When we walk into the vet’s office one of the first things we see is the poster of dogs and weight. It shows what an obese pup looks like down to a very thin dog. Yes, it’s a great reference to understanding the build of a dog but it does not take your personal puppy into consideration. When you bring your 6 month old puppy into your vet’s office and the pup weighs 50-60 pounds I would venture to say most of your vet’s say your pup is overweight. But, has the vet asked you about genetics? Were you able to explain your puppy comes from larger lines and is expected to be at this weight? Were you able to give more information from your breeder? The same can be true with thinner pups. Perhaps your vet thinks the pup is a bit too thin but the pup is growing more slowly, comes from a smaller line of Labradors and was not expected to be more then 35-40 pounds at that age
      9. Pictures: Finally pictures. Pictures are a very needed tool when asking each other about weight. Always remember the pups can be different weight at the same age and when you are really looking at a picture, certainly this helps when trying to answer a weight question. If possible, post a picture with your question. If and when you post a picture, you don’t want your puppy to be sitting, rather you want your puppy to be standing. Take the picture from the side so you get an entire side profile from nose to tail. We can all see the build of your baby and see thinness or being heavier.

    2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to emma_Dad For This Useful Post:

      barry581 (05-26-2014), doubledip1 (05-26-2014), MikeLynn (05-26-2014)

    3. #2
      Senior Dog
      doubledip1's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Upstate New York
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      Love this post!

    4. #3
      barry581's Avatar
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      May 2014
      Thanked: 5277
      Good common sense info!!! Thanks for taking the time to post this up!!!

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