A Puppy's Joints & Bones
When you get your 8/10 week old puppies, please keep this image in mind. Although this photo is a very young puppy, it's to show how much has yet to be formed. Their bones do not even touch yet. They plod around so cutely with big floppy paws and wobbly movement because their joints are entirely made up of muscle, tendons, ligaments with skin covering. Nothing is fitting tightly together or has a true socket yet.
When you run them excessively or don't restrict their exercise to stop them from overdoing it during this period you don't give them a chance to grow properly. Every big jump or excited, bouncing run causes impacts between the bones. In reasonable amounts this is not problematic and is the normal wear and tear that every animal will engage in.
But when you're letting puppy jump up and down off the lounge or bed, take them for long walks/hikes, you are damaging that forming joint. When you let the puppy scramble on tile with no traction you are damaging the joint.
For more detailed information on Hip Dysplasia in dogs please visit HERE to see what the Institute of Canine Biology has to say.
Wow, this post and the photos are very eye opening! What an important lesson for new puppy owners. I had no idea. Thanks for all these wonderful, educational blog posts.
II had no idea! At what age do you consider them "grown"? 6 months? A year? Two years?
Brian P O'Connor
Hey Kathy, sorry for the slow response - the blog wasn't sending notifications as it is designed to do... It really depends on the breed, and the size of the breed as to when growth plates close. Larger breeds, with longer/lager bones, take longer conversely smaller breeds take a little less time as indicated in the range of months indicated for each bone. Breeds that mature slower, will take longer than average for their size. I hope this is helpful.
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