A puppy weight chart is a way for a breeder to record a birth weight and an owner to track a puppy's growth. It's an important tool to ensure a puppy grows up strong and healthy.
The birth weight of dog can give critical clues as to the health of a puppy. By monitoring the weight during the first few weeks of life, a responsible breeder can be alerted to health problems early.
Breeders usually register the birth weight of a puppy on a puppy weight chart. As each puppy is delivered, it is cleaned, weighed, and the weight is recorded on a chart. The puppy should begin gaining weight by the first day after birth, although many puppies may lose a little weight. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a pup should gain between ten to 15 percent of its birth weight every day. By eight to ten days old, the puppy should double its weight. Newborn pups should be weighed once or twice a day, preferably at the same time of day. If a newborn starts losing weight, he should be taken to see a vet right away. It may be that the mother has insufficient milk or there is an underlying medical condition such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)..
A weight chart is a convenient tool used to record the progress of a puppy. This is especially important in large litters where tracking an individual puppy can be difficult.
A weight chart is a valuable tool puppy owners can use to monitor their new family member's growth. Each puppy has its own unique nutritional requirements. It's important to monitor the growth of the pup as an early warning sign for disease or nutritional deficiencies. Depending on the size and breed, new owners can expect a growth spurt in the following time spans:
- For small breeds, between birth and 11 weeks old
- For medium breeds, between birth and 16 weeks old
- For large breeds, between birth and four to five months old
During this time, the puppy should gain a significant amount of weight - generally five ounces per week for a small breed dog and 2.5 pounds for a large breed. The weight increase may vary slightly from week to week. If a puppy fails to gain weight, you should visit your vet for an assessment. Worms, intestinal upsets and poor nutrition may keep your little one from growing.
Weighing for the Puppy Weight Chart
There are several techniques used for weighing a puppy. Many breeders and owners purchase a special puppy scale for weighing newborns. Postal scales can also be used to weigh the babies. Cover the area where the puppy will lie with a towel or other cloth to keep the little one warm. Be sure to subtract the weight of the towel from the puppy's weight on the scale.
You can weigh large pups on human scales. Weigh yourself, and then hold the puppy and weigh again. Subtract your original weight from the total weight with the puppy. The difference is the little one's weight.
You can make your own chart with graph paper or on a computer spreadsheet. Record the puppy's weight at birth, if available. Each time a new weight is taken, record the date and the amount. You'll be able to see at a glance if your little one is gaining, losing or staying the same.
Monitoring a puppy's weight is an important diagnostic tool for the breeder or an owner. Keep good records and you will be able to see a problem before it becomes life-threatening.