Normal Golden Retriever Growth May Seem to Be Very Fast

Golden Retriever growth should be monitored very closely during the first year with constant consultation with the Vet. Rapid weight gain in a Golden puppy can lead to an unusual level of stress and strain on the joints. The strain can make the joints wear out and become misaligned leading to a condition called Hip Displasia

Hip Displasia afflicts the hind legs of your dog and makes movement difficult. It is an orthopedic health condition that is triggered by unchecked weight gain when your pet is less than one year old. This is a developmental bone and joint ailment that can be avoided by keeping a close watch on the quantities that your pet eats and your golden retriever growth patterns.

At 8 weeks the calories required by your Golden puppy are almost twice as much as an adult dog. But at the same time you cannot go overboard and over feed your puppy. You have to restrict and maintain quantities at a level suggested by your Vet. Otherwise you are setting the stage for obesity and health problems

Pitfalls of Excess Weight Gain and Obesity

  • Hip Dysplasia is not the only disease or health concern for obese dogs, there are other problems that can also develop side by side
  • If your pet is obese it becomes more susceptible to problems like diabetes and heart disease
  • Day to day living and movement is hampered in an obese dog
    • There is shortness of breath
    • Sores develop on elbows because your Golden has to support too much weight while lying down
    • Even simple tasks cannot be carried out because movement becomes restricted

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia: There is an obvious change on gait. Due to misaligned joints, the dog is unable to walk properly and compensates by hopping in order to move about. It finds it difficult to participate in activities such as jumping, running and climbing stairs. Golden Retrievers are usually energetic dogs who love activity. If your puppy is reluctant to participate in activities or is finding it difficult to do simple things, then you should immediately get it checked for hip problems and get X-rays taken.

Precautions to Avoid Hip Dysplasia

  • If you notice rapid weight gain reduce the portions that you serve your dog at each meal
  • Make sure you do not feed your pet too many food treats and bits of food in between meals throughout the day. Eating between meals can also lead to weight gain
  • Increase the activity and exercise for your pet. Develop an exercise routine that includes walks, games, swimming etc.
  • Check with your Vet if the Puppy food you are currently using should be discontinued and replaced with some other product

The nutritional requirements of a puppy vary significantly from that of an adult dog and they need a meal specifically development for their nutritional needs. You have to give your puppy a nutritious and balanced puppy food that has good quality protein from a specified meat such as chicken, lamb, turkey or beef.

 

Here is the golden retriever growth chart reflecting the weights at different stages:

Golden Retriever Growth Chart

  • Week 7 8-10lbs
  • Week 9 10-14lbs
  • Week 12 15-17lbs
  • Week 16 25-26lbs
  • Week 20 32-43lbs
  • 6 months 40-50lbs
  • 12 months (male) 65-70lbs
  • 12 months (female) 55-60lbs
  • 2 years (males) 65-80lbs
  • 2 years (females) 55-68lbs