Suppose your dog is not growing; it can cause concern for you. While some dogs experience stunted growth due to their size, others may have a medical problem. Stunted puppies are those who are not growing at a regular rate or are too little for their age.

This means that something has prevented them from growing normally. Stunted growth in puppies can be caused by various factors, including intestinal worm infections and heredity.

At the same time, dog size and nutrition determine how big and healthy your dog will grow.

5 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Not Growing

Malnutrition Could Be Why Dog Is Not Growing

For example, puppies subjected to harsh conditions such as malnutrition are in danger of stunted growth. Suppose a pup stays with caring pet parents; the pet will not be malnourished, as it will get healthy diets that will ensure that it grows healthy and active.

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A healthy and nutritious diet is essential for maintaining bones, muscles, and other structures as your pet grows. A well-fed pet will not suffer stunted growth due to malnutrition, even if they are kept slender.

Dog Size

Different breeds mature at different rates due to their genetic makeup. Larger dog breeds grow slower than smaller breeds, requiring a year or more to reach their full adult size.

Dog breeds of small and medium-sized mature swiftly. Those tiny puppies reach the end of their growth cycle at around half the age of larger dogs.

Because of their size, a large dog’s bones require more time to mature; bigger dogs take a little longer to achieve full adult size than smaller dogs.

Congenital Disorders

A portosystemic shunt occurs when blood bypasses the blood vessel that usually delivers blood to the liver for cleansing. The blood that is supposed to go to the liver returns to the circulatory system directly.

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Suppose your dog’s blood is not purified. There is a risk that your pet’s blood will get infected, resulting in illness or severe health complications that will affect your pup’s growth of your puppy.

It causes stunted growth, poor muscular development, and odd behavior like head pushing or circling. Some dogs display signs as puppies, while others show symptoms as they age.

The dog’s pituitary dwarfism hinders them from reaching their full potential. Fortunately, it’s a rare occurrence. It is a congenital illness in which the growth hormone somatotropin produced by the pituitary glands is deficient.


Infection with hookworms or roundworms is the most prevalent cause of a puppy’s delayed growth. Intestinal worms are common in puppies; they catch worms from their mother or the environment.

Suppose a puppy has a severe worm infestation. The worms can steal enough calories from her to cause her growth to slow.

Furthermore, puppies with a significant worm burden usually have a poor hair coat, diarrhea, and a prominent potbelly and are petite and skinny despite having a ravenous appetite. Internal parasites absorb their host’s nutrition, eating what your dog needs to grow.

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Dogs with parasite infestation suffer a lack of energy, apathy, and stunted growth. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms are parasites that can cause inhibited growth.


Several illnesses can inhibit your dog’s growth. Diseases such as liver diseases, kidney diseases, diabetes, and heart problems can result in stunted growth.

Also, hepatic diseases affect your dog’s liver, which is the dog’s internal cleanser. Should it be affected by infection or illness, whether hereditary or acquired, it can cause stunted growth.

Furthermore, at the intestinal level, nutrients are absorbed, and this process might be affected by intestinal disorders.

Vitamin D levels depend on the level of calcium metabolism. Calcium absorption can be affected by any malfunction in the cells of the intestines.

All calcium and phosphorus balance is affected by kidney illness. Additionally, diabetes mellitus is due to a lack of insulin in the body. Insufficient insulin production from birth can lead to stunted growth in your pet.

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At What Age Does My Pet Stop Growing?

Dogs often stop growing between 6 and 18 months, depending on their size and breed. A dog is considered an adult when its growth plates at the ends of its bones close, indicating that the bones can no longer develop.

Dogs may continue to gain fat and muscle mass after their bones have finished growing, but this is not when they are fully grown.

Until about six months of age, when variances in development and maturation are noticeable in different-sized puppies, all puppies develop pretty quickly and often at the same rate.

The size of a dog has a significant impact on its ability to stop growing. Big dogs, on average, take longer to mature than tiny dogs.

My Dog Is Not Growing. What Should I Do?

You must visit your veterinarian for a check-up if it is not growing and has not attained the breed’s standard weight and height. The veterinary doc will ask about your dog’s medical history and perform some tests.

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During your visit to your veterinarian, you must provide information to help him make a correct prognosis. On your visit to your pet, try to include any symptom you notice in your pet.

The information can include the type of diet you give your pet. It can also reveal exposure to anything toxic, health history, visits to new areas, and contact with stray or wild animals.

Puppies require sufficient nutrition to mature fully, which aids in the growth of muscles and bones. If your pup does not obtain enough nutrients and proteins, it will experience stunted or slow growth.

Finding the best food to feed your puppy, depending on their breed and nutritional needs, is critical to maintaining proper growth.

How Do I Prevent Stunted Growth In My Pet?

You can avoid most occurrences of stunted growth by ensuring your puppy receives the proper nourishment as they grow. Numerous sorts of puppy food created for different breeds can help you, but please see your veterinarian if you have any questions.

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To prevent internal parasites from affecting your dog, administer anti-parasitic drugs regularly, typical throughout a dog’s life.

The most common approaches for pet parents to safeguard their pets from these intruders are monthly topical treatments and oral pills or chews.

However, preventing stunted growth caused by genetic factors is more challenging. You can not stop your dog from developing pituitary dwarfism, congenital cardiac abnormalities, or a portosystemic shunt.


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