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Why Is My German Shepherd So Skinny

What Human Food Can German Shepherds Eat

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

Dogs are omnivores, and they do eat human food. It would make sense then that German Shepherds would also be able to eat other types of food.

Vegetables and fruits are good for German Shepherds, including watermelon, carrot, pineapple, blackberries, corn, broccoli, green peas. And other foods like oatmeal, popcorn, honey, rice, and shrimp.

Why Your German Shepherd Is Skinny

It is likely that each of the different reasons will come with some clues.

Below, I will show you why it might be skinny and what would make each of the reasons more likely.


The reason why your German Shepherd is skinny could be that it is in its genes. This would be more likely if it was relatively skinny as a puppy and if you have been feeding it the right amount according to a vet.

In this case, it would not be something to worry about unless it has been showing signs of the cause being due to one of the things mentioned below.


The cause of it being skinny could be that it has not been getting the right diet.

It could be that it is eating the right foods but it is not getting enough calories for its activity levels. German Shepherds require 1273 to 1540 calories per day but active ones require 1740 to 2100 .

On the other hand, it could be the case that it has been eating the wrong foods. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your German Shepherd.

If you are unsure of what food to get for your German Shepherd, consider getting dog food designed specifically for German Shepherds. You can get a GSD specific dog food on Amazon here and one for GSD puppies on Chewy here.


It could be the case that it is getting too much exercise. However, this is unlikely since German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs and it was not unusual for them to spend entire days working alongside their owners.



Sit With Your Dog While They Eat

Some dogs simply dont like to eat alone.

They may follow you around rather than eat when you offer their food bowl this may be especially true of Shepherds since they tend to get fixated on their caretaker.

But, just keeping your dog company while they eat may stimulate their appetite. Find a comfortable spot to sit and wait on your dog while they eat.

Bring a book or do a quiet activity while they eat close to you. Dont force them to eat or stick your hands in their food.

Simply sit with them and enjoy your time together while they eat.

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How To Tell If A Dog Is Too Skinny

Tufts University suggests having either a vet or a certified veterinary nutritionist check your dog’s body condition score. This score offers an overall assessment of a dog’s body fat, similar to the body mass index for humans.

If they’re at a healthy weight, your dog will have a body condition score of 4 or 5 on a scale from 1-9 . Dogs with these scores appear lean, with a clearly visible waistline when viewed from above, and an abdomen that’s tucked up and not even with or pooching past the rib cage. You should be able to feel their ribs beneath a thin layer of fat.

If you suspect your dog is too skinny, here are some signs you can look for, according to Rover:

  • The ribs are clearly visible or feel like they lie just beneath the skin, with no fat layer in between.
  • The hip bones, shoulder bones and spinal cord are easy to feel beneath the skin.
  • The bones at the base of the tail are protruding.
  • The curve between the ribs and hips looks extreme when viewed from above.
  • The spine and ribs are plainly visible when viewed from above.

Provide Meals At Adequate Intervals

Why Is My German Shepherd So Skinny? 7 Best Ways To Fatten Up

Another thing that may work to fatten up your German Shepherd is to feed your dog about thrice a day. It doesnt matter if you are feeding your dog dry or wet food. Just make sure that your dog is getting both.

While some owners may decide to feed their dog four small meals a day, I simply feed my German shepherd two big meals and then one small meal in the evening.

Overall, it really just depends on what you think is best for your German Shepherd.

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Check For Any Medical Conditions

Should you verify that your German Shepherd is indeed unhealthily skinny, your first course of action should be to take the dog to a veterinarian.

Doing so will give you a better idea of whats happening to your dog. Also, if there is an underlying condition thats causing the weight loss, the vet will be able to provide you with an actionable plan to get your dog fit and healthy.

Feed Puppy Food High In Proteins

The first rule of raising a puppy is to feed a puppy food that is high in proteins. High in protein means your puppy will have good growth.

Why is my German Shepherd so skinny? Because I didnt provide enough nutrition and nutrition when my German Shepherd was a puppy.

The way to feed your puppy consistently is to feed it twice a day. The best way to feed puppy food high in proteins and carbohydrates is to contain a balanced ratio of protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and vitamins.

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Why Is My German Shorthaired Pointer So Skinny

Why is my German Shorthaired Pointer so skinny? Many German Shorthaired Pointers naturally appear lean due to their body structure but are actually considered normal according to the breed standard. GSPs who are indeed too thin may not be being fed an appropriate diet for their lifestyle.

Why Is My German Shepherd So Skinny & Wont Eat 5 Potential Reasons

My German Shepherd Puppy

Youd be right in being concerned if your GSD looks like they are losing significant weight, or they have noticeably lost their appetite for an extended time.

There can be various reasons this might be happening.

In this guide we discuss issues related to weight and eating such as:

how much a healthy German Shepherd might eat

5 reasons your GSD might not be eating

And, what you might do when your GSD isnt eating as they should be.

Lets take a look at each of these issues in deeper detail!

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Most Recommended For German Shepherds

Best German Shepherd Training Program

Our preferred: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you desire a pleased as well as loyal canine, this is among the most effective online canine training programs available right now.

Best German Shepherd Guide

Our preferred: The German Shepherd Handbook â Shows you all you need to understand to keep your GSD delighted, healthy and balanced and also mannerly.

Best German Shepherd Treats

Our faves: N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring â Great for German Shepherd pups. American Journey Dog Treats â Great for adult German Shepherds.

Gsd Not Gaining Weight

sophhskz said:I have a 1 year old German Shepherd, super tall and skinny. I’ve tried just about everything to help him gain weight. I will try and upload a picture later of what he currently looks like he has been going up and down in weight but has always been underweight. Even with his rapid pace of growing he’s too underweight for it to be normal and he doesn’t care to eat his food like normal dogs.Stool is normal size and shape and color. He had giardia once when he was younger but it was rechecked and cleared up. He has been checked for ELI and his pancreas and both are normal. I have him on Nulo dog food currently- it’s grain free and has live probiotic cultures. I also supplement him for his joints and have him on probiotics that I keep in the fridge. I’ve tried different dog foods, and yes I know to switch them over slowly- I have a degree in animal science and I know what I’m doing so I’m at a loss right now as to what to do.Most recently tried to incorporate raw meat following the guidelines and that hasn’t worked.Any ideas?

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Choose Foods With A High Protein And Fat Content

Look for foods high in protein for a healthy weight gain program.

If your German Shepherd eats normally but isnt gaining weight, you may need to switch to different food. Look for foods that have a higher percentage of fat and protein than your current food.

Adults and seniors should eat about 20 to 25 % of their daily calories from protein and 25 to 50 % from fats. The rest of the calories should come from carbohydrates.

Those are mainly the essentials, so if you arent feeding your German Shepherd this amount fix this issue immediately.

How Can I Get My Dog To Gain Weight Fast

Why is my German Shepherd skinny?

4 Tips for helping your dog gain weight

  • Choose a higher calorie food. Select a food that is higher in calories and protein like what you would offer a canine athlete.
  • Feed small meals throughout the day or consider free feeding.
  • Supplement meals with snacks.
  • Use wet or fresh foods.
  • Picky eater.
  • Old age.
  • Recommended Reading: How Much Raw Meat To Feed My German Shepherd

    Why Is My German Shepherd A Picky Eater

    You will release that when you feed your GSD in its feeding bowl they will just walk and niff the food out then walk away. The true question to this would be why is my German Shepherd A picky eater? The main reason for this would be bad habits, like for example feeding your puppy from a tender age crap at the table that you dont want.

    Doing this can turn your puppys mind from the original dog feed that is originally made for them for a tastier treat that they will most of the time prefer. This is the main causes of why German Shepherds become a picky eater this will also pas with all the dog breeds out there in the world.

    The bad habit starts from their owners and most of the time you do it without even realizing that you are training your dog a bad habit until its probably too late. The next common thing that would fall similarly to what I just mentioned is letting anyone feed your dog.

    Doing this will give your dog a lousy treat habit and a very antisocial diet, these are usually been broken in your dog from the puppy stage. Am not saying you should not give your dog human food because that good for them at times but at the puppy stage when they will prefer the tastier treat you should try to do this every time you are eating.

    Changing Your Dogs Diet

  • 1Look for food with a higher fat content. If your German Shepherd is eating normally but not gaining weight, you may need a new food. Look for foods that have a good balance of fat and protein. Adults and seniors should be getting about 20 to 25 percent of their daily calories from protein, and 25 to 50 percent from fats, with the rest coming from carbohydrates. A puppy should be kept on a puppy-formulated food for the first six months to one year.XResearch source
  • Puppies that are struggling to gain weight may need additional nutritional supplements, or they could have worms. Talk to your vet about the right choice for your dog and have your puppy regularly dewormed.
  • Gradually transition between foods. Start by mixing the higher fat food with your dogs regular food. Slowly increase the amount of new food each day until they are eating nothing but that.
  • 2Switch to puppy food. If your adult or senior German Shepherd is underweight on a nutritionally balanced dog food, they may benefit from a puppy food diet. Puppy food is higher in calories to encourage growth. Try a mix of half your dogs regular food and half puppy food to help them gain weight.XResearch source
  • Talk to your vet first to make sure its safe for your dog to be eating a puppy food thats high in protein.
  • If your dog is a puppy, they should only be fed puppy food. You may need to increase the amount and/or frequency that you feed your puppy to help them gain weight.
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    How Can I Bulk Up My Puppy

    Here are some of the best human foods to help your dog bulk up:

  • Eggs Raw, scrambled, over easy.
  • Cottage Cheese Full fat.
  • Lean meat Raw or cooked to match their diet.
  • Quinoa It provides usable energy and is one of the only carbs that contains a full spectrum of essential amino acids needed for muscle building.
  • How To Get My German Shepherd To Gain Weight

    My New Puppy! (German Shepherd)

    The first step in getting your German shepherd to gain weight is to go to the vet for a check-up to see if there is an underlying illness causing weight loss. Feeding more often and using high-protein and fat foods helps German shepherds gain weight. Change their diet gradually so as not to give the dog diarrhea or an upset stomach.

    Also Check: How Long Should I Feed My German Shepherd Puppy Food

    Why Is My German Shepherd Skinny

    If your German Shepherd is skinny you might be wondering why and if there is anything you should be doing differently.

    This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be the case and what you should do about it.

    So, why is my German Shepherd so skinny? Possible reasons are that it is in its genes to be skinny, there might be an issue with its diet, it might be ill or it could have some anxiety issues.

    There are a number of nuances to consider and, depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.

    Your German Shepherd Isnt Eating Enough In General

    You might be unknowingly feeding your canine comrade smaller portions. You might be used to feeding them a certain amount because you got them when they were just a juvenile. It could be easy to overlook just how fast theyre growing.

    Thats why its crucial to keep track of your German Shepherds age regularly. They might not be able to communicate to you that they want seconds or that theyre hungry. It could also be because theyre a picky eater, so make sure to watch whether they clean their plate.

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    The Appearance Of The Abdomen:

    The abdomen of a healthy shepherd slopes gradually upward from the ribcage. In the case of a skinny shepherd, there wont be any noticeable body fat, and the abdomen would look sharply tucked.

    Take note of the appearance of your dogs abdomen. It is very important to know if your dog is skinny or not.

    Change To Puppy Or High

    Why is my German Shepherd Puppy so Skinny ...

    Some adult and senior dogs benefit from a puppy or high-performance food. Both puppy and high-performance food is higher in calories to support complex energy needs and sustained growth.

    Test out a mixture of half of your dogs regular food combined with half of the puppy or high-performance food to help with weight gain.

    If you want quality high-performance or puppy food then go with Victor Active Dog & Puppy Grain-Free dog food for a healthy way to add fat to your German Shepherd.

    Puppy foods generally have added nutrients to support puppy growth which can help your underweight German Shepherd gain weight and fatten up in a controlled manner which is what you want.

    Mixing regular adult and puppy or high-performance food helps your GSD gain weight and fat in a regulated manner. But dogs with certain kidney problems shouldnt eat a high protein diet which is why its best to check with your vet first.

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    For More Caloriesfeed Dry Kibble

    Dry kibble is denser and contains more calories than wet food because the moisture has been removed from dry foods.

    Therefore, dry food has up to 4 times the number of calories as the same amount of wet food dry kibble is a weight gaining powerhouse!

    If your dog is currently eating wetmeals, then try mixing in some dry food with their wet food to help stimulateweight gain. Wet foods may taste better to your dog, so mixing in the dry foodswith the wet still encourages your dog to eat in order to not lose more weight.

    Look for dry food with higher protein and fats to encourage weight gain in a healthy manner and go with one of the foods mentioned above for fat gain that is healthy.

    What Can I Give My German Shepherd To Gain Weight

    High quality lean protein will help pack on the pounds for shepherds having difficulty gaining weight. Steer clear of lamb, duck and other naturally high fat meats. Lean meats with no higher than 8% fat are ideal. Suggestion: 3Ps lean meat options: turkey with bone, goat, venison, rabbit and kangaroo are the leanest.

    Also Check: How Many Puppies Can A German Shepherd Have First Litter

    Insufficient Calories / Low Quality Diet

    The first place to consider is their diet. A German shepherd that isnt receiving enough calories for how active they are will eventually lose weight. So too will a GSD that is consuming low-quality food in general.

    Moderately active German shepherds need around 1250-1550 calories per day, whereas highly active German shepherds need around 1550-1750 calories per day. Highly active working GSDs may even need upwards of 2000 calories.

    Either the quality of the food is fine, but the portion sizes are too small , or the quality of the kibble is lacking. Its commonly found that there are fewer calories and overall nutrition in low-quality kibbles than in high-quality kibbles .


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