Many dog parents wonder whether their German Shepherd is of a healthy weight or not. They take care of their food and health to ensure that they grow up healthy.
The problem happens your puppy isn’t eating food, losing weight, and becoming skinny but that differs from one puppy to another.
So, are German Shepherd puppies skinny?
Some puppies are skinny while others are of a healthy weight. It depends on the factors that affect your puppy’s ability and willingness to eat such as illnesses, vaccination, parasites, environment, and dental problems.
Also, it depends on the amount and quality of food that you provide to your puppy and whether your puppy is a picky eater.
Reasons that your German Shepherd is skinny
Illness has been shown to cause your German Shepherd to lose their appetite.
Some of these illnesses include your puppy having dog flu which will cause them to have a loss in appetite.
Some of the symptoms of these symptoms of dog flu include coughing, sneezing, runny eyes, fever, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and nasal discharge.
Your German Shepherd puppy may also have an upset stomach where they vomit and have diarrhea.
This will lead your German Shepherd to have a loss in their appetite and eating less.
Another medical condition that will definitely affect your German Shepherd puppy’s willingness to eat is if they have cancer, liver, or kidney disease.
These conditions negatively affect your puppy’s ability to eat resulting in them losing weight.
Dental problems can also cause your German Shepherd puppy to have sores, ulcers, bleeding, and bad breath which makes them less likely to eat food.
The reason is that it hurts them when they do eat food so they end up losing weight due to not being able to eat.
What can you do?
If your German Shepherd puppy is sick, you got to take them to the vet so they can make a proper diagnosis and provide the best treatment for your puppy.
Depending on the type of illness, your vet will give them medications, intervene surgically, or provide a treatment plan for your puppy.
It’s really important to provide your German Shepherd puppy with proper vaccinations so they grow up healthy.
Some of the vaccinations that a German Shepherd puppy should receive during their first year are distemper, DHPP, and rabies
Each of these vaccinations is given at specific times in their first year.
However, even though they do protect your German Shepherd puppy from different illnesses and diseases, they have the side effect of causing your puppy to lose their appetite.
Even though a German Shepherd puppy loses their appetite for an hour or two after vaccination, it is completely a normal reaction to the vaccination.
What can you do?
However, you have to observe your puppy if they lost their appetite for a very long period of time such as not being to eat for one or two days.
You have to be aware of your German Shepherd when they stop eating for a long time that they start to lose weight.
If your puppy experiences this problem, you have to go immediately to the vet.
Worms can cause your German Shepherd puppy to lose weight by stealing what your dog eats every time.
These internal parasites will then make your puppy lose weight.
Some of the signs that your German Shepherd puppy has worms are diarrhea, bloated stomach, increased appetite, vomiting with worms visible in it.
What can you do?
If you suspect that your German Shepherd puppy has a worm infestation, go to the vet who will run tests on your puppy’s stool to check for worms.
Also, you have to conduct regular checkups for worms in the stool so you can prevent and treat your puppy if there is a worm infestation.
4.) A change in your puppy’s environment
If there is a change in your puppy’s environment, your puppy will be less likely to eat resulting in them losing weight.
Here are some of the situations where a change in your puppy’s environment causes them to lose appetite and weight:
- Change in the physical location
- A change in your puppy’s walking and feeding schedule
- A new pet entering your home
- Taken to dog care or cared for by a sitter
Why does a change in your puppy’s environment cause them to lose appetite and weight?
The reason is that they become anxious and stressed leading them to a lack of appetite and loss in their weight.
What can you do?
By resuming your puppy’s regular schedule and not changing their environment, you ensure that they will not become stressed enough to lose weight.
5.) Poor nutrition
Is your German Shepherd puppy eating foods that are high in nutrients and calories? If they aren’t eating the right food that their body needs, they may become malnourished and can become skinny.
This problem happens when you don’t feed your German Shepherd puppy a set of meals a day. This leads to them not having a proper nutrition amount of food that will keep them healthy.
What can you do?
Read about the most healthy food that you can give to your German Shepherd puppy so you can serve them these foods.
You can also consult your vet about the types of food that you can give to your German Shepherd puppy.
Once, you know what to serve your puppy, never limit the quantity or these foods so that your puppy doesn’t lose weight.
6.) Dental problems
Your puppy may have broken teeth that prevent them from eating. It is painful and uncomfortable when they begin to eat so they don’t eat as much.
This leads them to lose weight and results in them looking skinny.
What can you do?
Always check out your puppy’s teeth for any dental problems that may be causing your puppy pain and making them unable to eat.
If you do find something, go to the vet immediately.
7.) Picky eaters
Your puppy may be a picky eater who doesn’t eat all of the food that you serve them. So, why are some puppies picky about their food than others?
The reason that your puppy may be a picky eater is that they may not like the food that you gave them or they aren’t comfortable eating when you are around.
What can you do?
If you find any of these reasons to be the main cause, you can change your puppy’s food or leave them to eat by themselves.
You could also watch and observe your puppy if they have any medical condition that is stopping them from eating. Go to the vet when you see signs of illness.
What are the signs of an underweight puppy?
1.) Lack of energy
When your German Shepherd puppy is skinny, they will be tired all the time and their energy will be so low; they won’t be moving around all the time.
The reason is that they aren’t getting enough nutrients. Nutrients are responsible for keeping your puppy’s body which means that they will not have the energy to do anything.
2.) Dull coat
A dull and lifeless coat is a sign of an underweight puppy. When your puppy doesn’t receive the proper nutrition needed, their body will suffer greatly.
They will become skinny and their coat will look dull and lifeless. A coat can regain back it’s lifely look only if you provide your puppy with the proper nutrition.
3.) Digestive problems
Your puppy may show symptoms such as a loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. These problems may cause your puppy to lose weight very easily when they happen continuously.
In other cases, these symptoms can be a sign of a serious health issue.
4.) Deteriorating Muscles
When you don’t give your puppy enough nutrients, they won’t have the energy needed to keep their muscles growing so they won’t grow smoothly.
Also, when they don’t eat or have a proper diet, their body will starve and will begin to eat itself. Oftentimes, muscles are the first thing to go.
5.) Ribcage showing
In really extreme cases of malnutrition, your puppy’s ribcage will show. This is because they aren’t eating enough nutrients and have lost a lot of weight.
If this situation happens, go to the vet immediately so they can give your puppy a proper diet plan and restore their health again.
Nutrient requirements that German Shepherd puppies require
Your German Shepherd puppy will need to have all the nutrients that they need to make them grow healthy.
They will need to have nutrient requirements such as water, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, fats, and vitamins for their bodies to grow.
Like humans, a dog’s body is made of water so they will need to drink water to stay hydrated.
Water has many benefits such as carrying nutrients, flushing away bad substances, and regulates body temperature.
When you give your puppy water, you have to provide them with a clean bowel so they don’t develop an infection in their mouth.
Your puppy will also need to fat in order to keep their skin and coat in good condition.
Fats provide essential nutrients that your puppy needs. Thus, it is important to keep a balance of fat so your puppy’s health is alright.
Fat shouldn’t be too much or else it will cause your German Shepherd puppy to gain weight or too little that your puppy doesn’t get the needed nutrients for their health.
Protein is critical for building your German Shepherd puppy’s body into a strong and muscular one.
So, if your puppy is skinny, you have to make sure that you are providing them with adequate amounts of protein.
The quality of the meat is more important than the quantity because high quality will definitely provide your puppy with the nutrients that their body needs.
Never give your puppy too much protein as this can cause them to have health problems such as kidney failure.
Your puppy also needs to eat carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates provide your puppy with instant energy and provide fiber so your puppy doesn’t experience constipation.
Mostly, carbohydrates are found in dry food so you need to actually give your puppy carbohydrates but in moderate amounts, so it doesn’t cause them problems.
Minerals and vitamins
Minerals and vitamins are also important to give to your puppy. They provide your puppy with what they need to grow healthy.
To know more about what types of food that have the best minerals and vitamins, check out Best Dog Food for German Shepherd Puppy.
How many calories should a German Shepherd puppy eat per day?
German Shepherd puppies need at least 500 calories a day so they can grow healthy.
Until the age of 6 months, puppies should have 3 to 4 small meals during the day. It is important to divide your puppy’s food throughout the day so they don’t have stomach problems such as vomiting.
When your German Shepherd puppy is 6 months old, you can split their food into two meals per day.
Ways to let your German Shepherd puppy gain weight
Step one: Determine the cause of your puppy’s loss in weight
This is the first step when you are trying to figure out why your German Shepherd puppy is losing weight.
You can know why they are losing weight by visiting your vet. Sometimes the main cause of your puppy’s loss in weight is that you aren’t feeding them enough food.
Your puppy can also have a disease, infection, or injury that will cause them to lose weight.
If this is the case, your vet will treat your puppy from what they have.
Step two: Start a schedule of weighing your puppy
Always weigh in your German Shepherd puppy weekly to know if they are gaining, losing, or staying the same weight.
This is very important when you change your puppy’s feeding schedule and you want to monitor if they are gaining or losing weight.
If you see a lack of results, you have to take them to the vet.
Step three: Offer your puppy high-quality food
You got to give your puppy foods that are high in protein, vitamins, fats, and minerals. All of these nutrients are needed to build your puppy body so they can be healthy and fit.
If you are buying puppy food, always look for high-quality puppy food so that they get all the nutrients that they need.
You can also give your puppy homemade food; however, give them those that are healthy and high in calories.
Here is a video about tips for feeding your German Shepherd:
Step four: Provide food several times a day
Provide your puppy with food several times a day. You can leave out food for them out for them all the time. This type of feeding allows your puppy to eat whenever they need to if they are feeling hungry or bored.
This allows them to eat more so they can gain weight. You can do this approach when you serve your puppy dry food.
Dry food is best when it is high in protein and low in fillers such as cornmeal and ash.
Let food be available for your puppy so that they can eat as much as they want.
Let your puppy eat three and four times a day.
Step five: Offer your puppy homemade or natural snacks
You can give your puppy homemade snacks such as carrots and celery.
This doesn’t mean that you give them leftovers food instead give them healthy snacks that can help their digestive system run smoothly.
To know the best German Shepherd puppy diet and much more, check German Shepherd Puppy Diet Guide
Step six: Let them get regular exercise
Give your German Shepherd puppy regular exercise so they can stay fit.
It is also important for them to exercise so they don’t gain fat instead they gain muscles that will help them maintain proper weight and health.
Some of the exercises that you can give to your German Shepherd puppy include walking, running, and any activity that involves playtime.
Step seven: Keep your puppy hydrated
Underweight puppies are more likely to be dehydrated because they don’t drink or eat a lot. If your puppy doesn’t drink enough water, it can cause them health issues that are really bad.
Thus, it is very important to provide your puppy with water at all times so they can stay healthy while eating and gaining weight.
Things to avoid when trying to make your puppy gain weight
Some dog parents may be tempted to give their puppy supplements without consulting their vet so they can help them grow. However, giving your puppy supplements can lead to many problems that will harm them.
For example, excess vitamin D can be very toxic to your puppy leading them to life-threating problems.
Sometimes, dog parents may mistake the healthy weight of a puppy as being too skinny so they feed them more food. This can lead your puppy to become obese.
It is recommended by vets to regularly take your puppy to frequent weight checks to know their weight, how it changes, and whether to do make calorie adjustment when they are gaining weight so fast.
A German Shepherd puppy may become skinny due to many different causes.
These causes can be solved when you take care of your puppy’s nutrition and observe them know if there is an underlying cause so you can act to make them healthy again.
It’s a dog parents’ responsibility to always make sure that their puppy is healthy.
Share your experience. Was your puppy skinny and what did you do to restore them back to health?