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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Behaviorist, Breeder, See Qual.
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 18812
Experience:  18+ years Breeding Experience, Former vol. Vet Assistant, Dog Behaviorist
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Do puppies go through growth spurts and need more food for ...

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Do puppies go through growth spurts and need more food for a week or so the way babies do? We have a 4-month old pit bull mix who seemed to be getting enough food until the last few days and now she keeps licking her empty bowl and hovering. Also, her teeth are falling out so we''ve been mixing a little water with her hard food to soften it for her sore gums. Is that OK?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 8 years ago.

Dogs are a bit different then humans as they do the majority of their growing during the first 7-8 months of age at which point it starts to slow down a little. Many puppies will keep eating until they are stuffed if allowed to eat as much as they want.   I would not soften her food. Dogs use chew toys and hard food to help them during the teething process, so switching or wetting down their food is counter productive and the pup may start chewing on other things in the house that you don't want her chewing on.

Remember that she has probably grown quite a bit from when you first got her, so if you have not been increasing the amount of food she has been getting as she is growing, you may need to do that. Check your dog food container and find the recommended daily requirement and check to be sure you are feeding the correct amount.

She may have an increase in appetite if parasites are present or if she has diabetes. Parasites are more likely than diabetes.   Common dewormers are Panacur, which is a prescription product so you need to obtain it from your Vet and it works on roundworms and whipworms. Wormers labeled as Pyrantel Pamoate are the best over the counter medication for roundworms. Drontal plus is also a prescription product and is used for the treatment of Tapeworms, though dewormers with praziquantel work well against tapeworms.   

If you are feeding the correct amount and she doesn't have worms and this behavior continues, you may want to have her seen by your vet expecially since she may be due for her rabies vaccination if she just turned 4 months.

I hope this information is helpful to you.
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