Growing Pains? What to Expect When Your Puppy Grows Up

Do puppies get growing pains? It’s a common question among pet owners, especially those who are looking forward to welcoming a new puppy into their home.

Growing pains in puppies may be similar to the aches and pains we endure during our own growth spurts, but how do you know if your puppy is experiencing them?

Let’s take a look at what growing pains in puppies really mean and how they can affect your pup.

What are puppy growing pains called?

Puppy growing pains are also known as “pano,” or panosteitis. It’s a condition that affects rapidly growing, large-breed puppies and is caused by inflammation of the long bones in their legs.

This can be quite painful for your pup and can cause them to be irritable and limp. 

Do puppies get growing pains?

Growing pains in puppies are, unfortunately, a very real thing. As puppies grow, their bones and muscles go through a period of rapid growth and development.

This often results in uncomfortable sensations that can feel like pain or pressure.

It’s important to understand that growing pains aren’t actually caused by the growth itself; they’re more likely due to the strain put on developing muscles and joints as they adapt to the changing size of the puppy’s body.

Growing pains usually happen during times of rapid growth spurts, such as when puppies reach between 8-12 weeks of age when they start going through puberty, or just before they reach full maturity at around 6 months old.

They may also be brought on by sudden changes in activity levels or diet.

You can comfort your puppy by providing a warm, comfortable place to rest and lots of cuddles. A vet may also be able to prescribe medication to help with any inflammation or discomfort.

How to know if your puppy has growing pains?

Growing pains are a common issue for puppies as they go through their development. It often affects larger breeds more than smaller breeds, but it can affect any puppy that is going through a growth spurt.

Knowing the signs that your puppy may be experiencing growing pains can help you provide them with the proper care and comfort they need to get through this stage of their life.

Here are 7 signs that might indicate your puppy has growing pains:

1. Limping or difficulty moving

If you notice your pup limping or having trouble moving around, that could be an indication of growing pains.

Growing bones and muscles can sometimes cause pain in certain areas like the hips or legs, leading to difficulty walking or running.

2. Yelping or whimpering in pain

If your puppy is yelping or whimpering, especially when touched around certain parts of their body, it could be a sign that they’re experiencing growing pains.

3. Difficulty getting comfortable while sleeping

If your pup seems to be unable to get comfortable while they sleep or have trouble settling into a restful position, this could be due to the discomfort caused by growing pains.

4. Reluctance to exercise or play

Growing pains can make it difficult for puppies to enjoy activities like running and playing that require a lot of movement. If your pup is hesitant to engage in these activities, it might be because they are in pain.

5. Restlessness during sleep

If your pup is constantly shifting and moving in their sleep, it could be because they are trying to find a comfortable position but just can’t due to the pain associated with growing pains.

6. Not wanting to be touched or picked up

This could also be a sign that your pup is experiencing discomfort and pain from growing pains.

7. Loss of appetite

Pain can often lead to loss of appetite. So if you notice your puppy isn’t as interested in food as usual, it could indicate growing pains.

It’s important to remember that not all puppies will show these exact signs when going through growing pains. Some may even experience other symptoms like irritability.

If you notice any of the aforementioned signs in your pup, it’s best to take them to their veterinarian for further examination.

How long does puppy growing pains last?

Puppy growing pains, also known as the “fear period,” generally last between eight to ten weeks after birth.

During this time, puppies are in a state of heightened fear. They can often become scared of objects that weren’t initially intimidating.

It is important for puppy owners to be aware of their pup’s behavior during this stage. It will have an impact on how the dog responds to different situations and people later in life.

The fear period is not only marked by a puppy’s reluctance to engage with unfamiliar faces or places. It is also by physical changes such as teething, which can cause them discomfort and make them less tolerant to touch.

The overall goal should be to provide a safe environment for your pup where they can be exposed to new experiences without feeling overwhelmed.


Puppies experience growing pains as part of their development and it is important for owners to be aware of the signs in order to provide them with the best possible care.

These growing pains, which can cause discomfort and pain, will eventually pass but if you notice any of the aforementioned signs, it’s best to take your pup to the vet just to make sure everything is alright.

With the right attention and care, puppy growing pains won’t last long and your furry friend should soon be back to their bouncy self in no time!

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