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How To Get German Shepherd To Gain Weight

How Big Do German Shepherds Get

Best Dog Foods For German Shepherds To Gain Weight: What To Look For

While German Shepherds reach adulthood at the 18-month mark, their growth doesnt stop until three years old. This growth is nominal from the two-year point to the three-year point .

On average, fully grown German Shepherds are 24 to 26 inches tall and 22 to 24 inches . Males will weigh between 49-57 lbs, and their female counterparts will weigh 44-49 lbs. Most GSDs are assumed to be fully grown by the end of the second year.

Whether a GSD is expected to grow beyond the second year can depend on how big the dog already is.

Regardless of your dogs sex, if their height is less than 20 inches by the end of year two, you should get them checked for growth deficiency, as they should be just an inch short of their final height.

Watch This GSD Puppy Grow From 7 Weeks to 2 Years

Causes Of Weight Loss


A German Shepherd needs a low-fat and high-proteindiet for it to be able to build muscle and maintain an ideal weight. If itdoesnt eat healthy foods with the right amount of nutrients, it will beunderweight.


A German Shepherd is known for its agility, meaning itneeds a lot of energy which in turn is something that it can have if its bodyis jam-packed with nutrients. If you arent feeding it enough or as many timesas it needs, then it will be underweight.


A German Shepherds underweight condition may be brought upon by a health problem. It may be suffering from chronic diarrhea caused by intestinal issues, parasites, infections, inflammation, small bowel cancer, as well as kidney or liver disease. Hepatitis is a liver disease which results to a drastic decrease in the dogs appetite. Also, the dog may also be suffering from colitis that triggers diarrhea or the colitis that triggers constipation. Another health problem to consider is diabetes. Diabetes doesnt only result into weight loss but as well as excessive thirst, urination, and some urinary tract infections. Dental problems are also included in this broad list. A chipped, rotten, or broken tooth may make your German Shepherd to stop eating, thus resulting to weight loss.


A picky German Shepherd will of course lose weight. Therefore, the key here is to observe what it wants and give it that.


The Best Food For A German Shepherd Puppy To Gain Weight

Sam Shephard is an experienced German Shepherd owner and has learned throughout the years how to optimize the breedâs health and wellness.

one of my own

Puppies are not that different from humans. Sometimes, especially when they are babies, it can be difficult to get them to eat. Weve all watched one of our own children or a friend or relatives child refuse to eat the food placed in front of them, usually for no discernable reason at all.

If you are raising a German shepherd puppy, you may encounter this same exact problem. Unlike with human children, however, you cant just ask your puppy what they would like to eat instead.

If your German shepherd puppy is not gaining weight properly, she may start to have other health problems. Though she may catch up to her goal weight eventually, in these early stages, when nutrition is especially important, not meeting her weight goals could leave her lagging behind in other developmental milestones. If you start to notice that your puppy is underweight, there are a few things that you can do to make sure she starts gaining the weight she needs:

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When Do German Shepherds Put On Weight

According to the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia, GSD males reach peak growth at around 3-4 years old, which is when they should weigh between 79 and 88 pounds. Average Growth Rate per Week These guidelines are useful because they provide a measurable basis for any German Shepherds health.

Foods Your German Shepherd Puppy Will Love

What Is A Healthy Weight For A German Shepherd

These food formulas are all recommended for large breed puppies and meet and exceed regulated nutritional standards.

The better the food, the healthier your pup will be inside and out. Dont feed your German Shepherd puppy the cheapest food you can buy. Cheaper GSD puppy food lack quality proteins that are essential for your working breed dog.

Here are some of the best top-rated German Shepherd puppy foods.

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Finding A Cause For Weight Problems

  • 1Match your food to your dogs age. Puppies, adults, and senior dogs all have different nutritional needs. Make sure you are feeding your dog age-appropriate food so that they can maintain a healthy weight. Most pre-made dog foods indicate their intended age range directly on the packaging.XResearch source
  • 2Check the amount of food you give your dog. Along with making sure your dog gets the right food, you need to make sure they get enough food. The exact amount your German Shepherd needs will depend on their age and size, as well as the type of food you feed them. Check your dog food labels suggested serving sizes to help you determine how much food your German Shepherd needs.
  • Generally, a senior or an inactive adult will need between 1,272 and 1,540 calories per day, while an active adult will need 1,740 to 2,100 calories per day.XResearch source
  • Puppies will have different nutritional needs depending upon their size. Check with your vet to determine the right calorie content for your puppy.
  • 3Schedule a vet check. If your German Shepherd is underweight, you should make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. Let your vet know that you are concerned about your dogs weight. They will be able to help you determine if your dog is truly underweight. If so, they may also run some tests to see if a disease or medical problem is to blame.
  • Let Your Dog Eat When They Want

    Ifyour German Shepherd is picky about when they eat, then it may help to leavefood out for them all the time. This is called free feeding.

    Dogswho can free feed tend to gain more weight than dogs fed on a schedule. Freefeeding allows your dog the chance to eat a little whenever they are hungry orbored.

    This type of feeding may help them eat more overall. But only use free feeding with dry food, since wet foods spoil when left out for more than a couple hours.

    And remember to watch their weight gain, as a fat German Shepherd isnt healthy.

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    What Is Considered Overweight For A Female German Shepherd

    Again, it is difficult to assign a value for weight as every dog is different. Assess your dogs body condition score or change in weight over time. Female dogs may be more prone to weight gain as they age and activity levels decrease, or with hormone changes such as after neutering. It is important to balance your dogs food intake and exercise with each life stage.

    How Much Should Your German Shepherd Weigh

    How To Tell if your German Shepherd is Overweight

    The weight of the full-sized German Shepherd varies on their sex. An adult German Shepherd male typically weighs between 75 to 90 lbs, while female weight ranges from 60 to 70 lbs.

    In the below tables, you can find the weight chart for both male and female GSDs.

    Male German Shepherd Weight Chart


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    Best Dog Food For German Shepherd To Gain Weight Buyers Guide

    There are many things that might be written about the nutritional content of various dog foods. However, we are concerned with a specific purpose here.

    We are looking for food that will help a German Shepherd to gain weight. The seven choices listed above should be taken as seven semi-random examples because that is what they are.

    Here are some of the things you need to think about when evaluating any kind of dog food.

    German Shepherd Growth & Weight Chart

    These numbers are estimates to give you an idea of how much a German Shepherd weighs month by month. Dont worry if your puppy is slightly behind or ahead just be sure to take your pet to regular vet appointments to ensure they are healthy and happy!

    Pro Tip: Want to get reimbursed for up to 100% of veterinary bills any time your dog gets sick or injured? Compare German Shepherd health insurance options before its too late.

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    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Best Value

    Crude Fiber: 5%

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula is designed to promote holistic health in large breed dogs like the German Shepherd. It contains real meat, whole grains, and fresh veggies as its base, which are all things that your dog needs to gain weight and fuel an active day. What is unique about this brand is that it contains LifeSource Bits, which are a blend of antioxidant-rich nutrients made to fill in nutritional gaps.

    Glucosamine, which works to optimize joint and bone health, is also included. Chelated minerals are featured in the formula, which gives pups the ability to easily digest and absorb the vital nutrients that they need so the development of deficiencies does not become a risk. You will never find any corn, soy, wheat, or animal by-products on the ingredients list. Without a doubt, Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula is the best food for German Shepherds to gain weight for the money.

    Crude Fiber: 3.8%

    Made up of real beef, sorghum, chicken fat, and fish meal, this quality food is sure to help any German Shepherd gain pounds and maintain a healthy weight as time goes on. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus is nutrient-dense and high in fat, which is essential for dogs that need to gain weight. The ingredients in this food are sourced in the United States and include multiple types of animal protein to optimize muscle and weight growth.

    Crude Fiber: 3.8%
    Crude Fiber: 4.5%
    Crude Fiber: 4%

    Dr Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet

    The Best Dog Food for German Shepherds


    German Dog Diet is one of 13 dry recipes covered in our review of the Dr. Garys Best Breed product line.

    • First 5 ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, dried beet pulp, chicken fat
    • Type: Grain-inclusive
    • Profile: All life stages
    • Best for:Adult shepherds and puppies

    Dr. Garys Best Breed German Dog Diet derives most of its animal protein from chicken meal. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 36% protein, 22% fat and 34% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

    We like the fact the formula also includes zinc proteinate and other chelated minerals which provides superior absorption and nutrition. Highly recommended.

    Sample buyer reviewOur german shepherd has had a lot of itching problems since she was about 1 year old. We have tried different foods, supplements, sprays and shampoos. Nothing has seems to work as well as when we switched to this food. Scabs that were on her for months due to her itching them open all the time have finally healed over. She is still a little itchy, but significantly better than before. And she loves the food too! We used to leave her food bowl full all day because she would only pick throughout the day. With this food we are only doing 2-3 cups morning and night because she scarfs it all down in minutes! Glad we finally found something that she loves and works so well!

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    What Can I Feed My German Shepherd To Gain Weight

    The 6 Best Foods for German Shepherds to Gain Weight Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Food Best Overall. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Best Value. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Premium Choice. Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy Food Best for Puppies. Dr. Hills Science Diet Large Breed Dog Food. 28-Jul-2022

    Other Tips To Fatten Up Your Dog

  • Talk to your vet before you make drastic changes to your dogs eating habits.
  • Create a journal and keep track of their meals, treats, exercise, and weight changes.
  • Weigh your dog weekly to keep an eye on their weight changes and how your new routine is working.
  • Try feeding them smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.
  • Proper exercise is still important even when youre trying to fatten up your dog.
  • High-quality food and treats and adequate amounts of playtime are some of the most important things to keep your dog happy and at a healthy weight.
  • Looking for holistically produced pet products? Order from Rogue Pet Science today!

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    What Else Can I Add To My Dogs Food To Help Them Gain Weight

    Other than peanut butter, eggs, and rice, are there other human foods you can feed your pup to help them gain weight? Fatten up your dog and share these treats with them :

    • Cottage cheese full fat
    • Lean meat raw or cooked depending on your dogs regular diet
    • Quinoa it provides usable energy and contains amino acids for muscle building

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    Mix Their Meals With Home

    Is your German Shepherd Skinny? This is the Reason WHY…

    Make their food exciting!

    Feed your German Shepherd some home-made meals. Theyre going to love that.

    Dogs love having variation in their food. Introducing new food can motivate them to eat more.

    Some of the food you can give them are chicken, rice, egg, and vegetables such as pumpkin.

    But before doing this, consult your vet. You want to make sure you are giving the right food and the right amount.

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    Taste Of The Wild Southwest Canyon


    Southwest Canyon is one of 9 dry recipes included in our review of the Taste of the Wild product line.

    • First 5 ingredients: Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil
    • Type: Grain-free
    • Profile: All life stages
    • Best for:Adult shepherds and puppies

    Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon derives the majority of its animal protein from fresh beef and lamb meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 17% fat and 43% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

    Its nice to find a recipe containing natural source preservatives which means Southwest Canyon contains no BHA, BHT or other toxic additives. A super-popular, grain-free brand and a healthy, all life stages option for any German shepherd. Easily recommended.

    Sample buyer reviewMy dog loves this food! He eats it enthusiastically and it has really helped him thrive! He is energetic, has a gorgeous coat, and devours his meals!

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    Orijen Puppy Large derives most of its animal protein from fresh chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 43% protein, 23% fat and 26% estimated carbs yielding a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

    Ever since its founding, Champion Petfoods, the well-respected maker of Orijen, has always advocated for a meat-based, biologically appropriate diet. This is a proven, balanced design which makes this particular recipe a top option for growing Shepherd puppies.

    Kinds Of Illnesses That Cause Weight Loss In German Shepherds

    Illnesses need to be treated before a German shepherd can put the needed weight back on. They range from tooth problems, making it difficult to chew, to cancer.

    German shepherds are prone to a specific kind of pancreatitis called malabsorption syndrome or pancreatic enzyme insufficiency.

    This means that the dog cannot digest its food properly since the pancreas is malfunctioning. Other symptoms besides weight loss include vomiting and diarrhea.

    Another common illness that can cause weight loss is diabetes. The dog may even seem ravenous and yet loses weight.

    This usually happens after a period where the dog was thirsty all of the time and then has to urinate more frequently because of drinking so much.

    Your vet will want to see a stool sample from your German shepherd to make sure he or she is not suffering from internal parasites.

    The good news is that most parasite infestations can be cleared up fairly quickly.

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    My Dog Is Eating But Not Gaining Weight Why

    If your dog seems to be eating normally, but theyre still underweight and not gaining anything, theres usually one of two things happening: you arent feeding them enough, or theres an underlying issue not letting them gain weight. You can try feeding them more at mealtime, but if they seem to not gain weight no matter what you do, youll want to take your pup to the vet to make sure nothing else is and causing their weight issues.

    What Can I Give My Skinny Dog To Gain Weight

    Best Food For German Shepherd Puppy To Gain Weight

    If you are looking to help your dog gain weight, but dont want to add more meat protein to his diet, try adding pumpkin or sweet potato to his food. This boost in fat and fibre is sure to help him put on a few pounds, and the nutrients will prevent him from having an upset stomach. 30-Jan-2020

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    Iams Proactive Health Large Breed


    Large Breed Chicken and Whole Grains is one of 14 dry recipes covered in our review of the Iams ProActive Health product line.

    • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, ground whole grain barley, ground whole grain corn, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal
    • Type: Grain-inclusive
    • Profile: Maintenance
    • Best for:Adult shepherds only

    Iams ProActive Health Large Breed derives the majority of its meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 25% protein, 14% fat and 53% estimated carbs producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

    This classic, grain-inclusive large breed design has been made by Iams for years and is a nutritious fit for adult German shepherds. Calcium levels are a bit high for shepherd puppies. Easily recommended.

    Sample buyer reviewIAMS is a product that I have turned to for complete nutrition for my dog as well as my cats! In fact, I have been feeding IAMS to my cats for over 20 years! Sure there are higher priced pet foods, but why would you want to pay more when you get the proper nutrition and a quality product at a reasonable price!


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