If your German shepherd has less weight than they should, you should as a responsible dog parent to look for any underlying causes that should be treated.
The reasons can range from the canine not getting enough food to unknown medical issues. The former is very common because most people fail to realize that dogs require different nutritional supplements in various stages.
Identifying The Problem
Regular checkups are also mandatory. Make sure you take the dog to the vets for a checkup any time you think they are gaining enough weight.
Sometimes you may be paranoid and assume that your dog is underweight when they actually have the correct weight. A visit to the vet will ensure you get the right information and assessments, as well as the best professional advice regarding the best course of action that you should take.
Some of the common signs to look out for in your dog include their physique. If the dog suddenly gets a curve from the chest area to the hind legs, then you should be concerned.
If they have their ribs showing, then you should also seek medical intervention immediately. Some of the common illnesses that cause weight loss in German shepherds include:
Colitis is a condition that comes from the dog being unable to tolerate other foods. It usually manifests itself as diarrhea or constipation. Treatment is easy; you just have to discover what the dog is intolerant to and stop giving it to them.
If some types of foods irritate the german shepherd or if there are some illnesses affecting the intestines, then the canine will lose weight. Specific foods usually trigger such reactions, so it’s important to monitor how the dog reacts to different meals.
Liver disease in dogs is one of the major causes of weight loss in German shepherds. Apart from fast weight loss, the condition may also cause your dog to be fatigued. Treatment isn’t usually easy and may take a long time.
If it turns out that the dog isn’t getting enough food, you’ll have to start checking the recommended quantity of the food when feeding them. The food also has to have all the important elements that are important for the specific age of the canine.
These are measured in terms of calories as well as minerals, proteins, vitamins, water, and carbohydrates. For instance, adult German shepherds are usually expected to consume at least 1,200 calories and at most 1500 calories if the dog isn’t very active.
Active dogs will need more calories. The recommended quantity for puppies also differs depending on their sizes and the level of activeness.
Making Sure The Dog Eats Extra
One of the main challenges is getting the dog to actually eat more food. Apart from increasing the quantity of food, you can also add another time for feeding.
Increasing the feeding intervals will ensure the dog consumes more food without feeling too overwhelmed.
If you usually feed the dog three times a day, add another mealtime, preferably before the dog retires to sleep. This is easier for you and a dog and should be the first option you try out.
If the dog doesn’t gain weight after a specific duration, then you can start increasing the quantity you give them in every meal.
Another option is to give your dog the freedom to eat when they please whenever they want. Just leave some food in the open, and the dog will get to it whenever they feel like it.
This could be when they become bored or whenever they feel hungry. Make sure you practice some caution with this option. Only leave food that has a longer shelf life and won’t spoil easily.
Dry foods are good for your dog’s teeth and gum, but you should keep in mind that the dog could feed poorly instead. This is because some dogs prefer to have specified feeding times and might lose interest when they have a constant supply of food in the open. Study your dog and choose an option that works for them. Read my review of the best dog food for German shepherds here.
Giving the dog some treats can also help them eat more. Don’t use the treats as the main meals but only as supplements. Give a few extra treats in addition to the meals and use treats that are filled with nutrients that the dog needs the most.
Making treats at home is also better than buying ready-made treats, especially if your German shepherd has the notion that something that comes from the fridge at home is better than something that comes out of a bag.
If the treats don’t work, then consider adding some extra layers on the meals as toppings. Just add something nice on the top layer to pique the dog’s interest.
If you didn’t have time to cook for the dog, then just given them the same food you eat in your house. Some dogs like human foods and may enjoy eating them more. Try to provide them with decent meals rather than leftovers that have been scraped off.
Change the behavior
Understanding your dog’s habits is also crucial in getting the dog to gain weight. Some German shepherds usually like staying active and will be dull when they don’t do some form of exercise.
You should, therefore, make sure that the dog gets enough exercise. Like humans, these dogs will have better absorption rates and better health when they work out. This will help in better nutrient absorption and improved diet that will eventually lead to weight gain.
Carry out some exercise routines for the dog for at least one hour every day. You’ll have a better dog both physically and mentally.
With these, how to increase the weight of a german shepherd dog should not be a problem anymore. However, you should still look for expert advice before embarking on a feeding program to gain weight.
Avoid diagnosing the dog yourself and allow a qualified vet to look at the dog and make relevant conclusions.
Remember that if the German shepherd is a puppy, then you should give them 10% of what they weigh, and if it is an adult, then 4% of the body. Make sure you only buy quality foods in order to reduce the chances of diarrhea that could lead to weight loss