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Hi everyone,

I got my maltese puppy when she was 8 weeks old. She was very eager to learn and vet told me to use food as treats but he forgot to tell me not to give her meals after training her because it would be enough. Anyways, I kept feeding her food as treats for a month and she learned very quickly many tricks but at the same time I'd notice she gained weight rapidly. I just thought it was normal and that she is in the bigger side. However she is really active as she runs all day and when I touch her ribs I can almost feel them so she is not fat but will she have any problems from getting big so fast?

She went from 500 kg to 2.2 kg in a month and now she's 5 months old and weighs 3.2 kg.

I don't use food as treats anymore.
 

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As your puppy gets older you should be bringing it to the Vet for whatever your puppy needs - more shots in a series or boosters or whatever. What has the Vet said? I kind of remember going to the Vet for a couple of shots during the first few months when my dog was a puppy.

Small dogs tend to get to their mature size quicker then larger dogs and there is a greater danger to larger dogs with overfeeding then with smaller dogs. You want larger dogs to not be overweight and grow rapidly because they could have issues later on in life - can be a problem with small dogs as well if they are overweight.

Looking at information on the web, it looks like they can get as large as 4kg. With furry or fluffy dogs it is hard to see their body condition but feeling is a good way to tell. If you can almost feel them then it sounds like she may be a little overweight but your touch may be different than my touch and some dogs may carry a little "fat" around their ribs. Other then when she was a puppy, Zoey does carry a little bit of meat over her ribs (can't see them easily) but as per the Vet she's not fat.

You can use food as treats just be aware that you need to allow for that food. And be aware that what it says you should feed on the side of the bag is not exactly what you should feed - it depends on the dog's body condition.
 

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you go by the weight on the bag as an estimate. If it says 8lbs 1/4c-1c. You start with 1/4 and see how the dog does and increase if need be or decrease.
 

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To avoid your puppy getting fat, the amount you use as treats should come out of her meal size. If she gets a lot of treats one day, reduce her meal size for that day. If you don't train at all one day, give her normal meals. Because treats reduce the amount of normal food she eats, I like to make sure I use healthy treats, such as roast chicken, or canned dog food, pet mince, etc. That way it's still balanced.

You can also mix her regular food with treats in zip lock bags, let them sit overnight in the fridge, then her normal food will smell like treats and you can use it for training.

And also you can use play as a reward, like tug of war or throwing a ball.
 

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It just comes down to calories in and calories out. It's not a problem to give treats, you just need to cut out some of her meals if she's had a lot of treats that day. If she hasn't had any training treats then give full meals.

You should be able to feel a puppy's ribs easily. If you can almost feel them, then I would say she's overweight.
 
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