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.

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.

Genes

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.

Diet

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 (source).

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

Exercise

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.

If your German Shepherd is very active then it would be more likely that it is not getting enough calories. It would help to discuss this with your vet the next time you see them.

Illness

If your German Shepherd has become skinny suddenly then it might be the case that it has gotten an illness. This would be more likely if it has been showing signs of being ill such as vomiting, being fatigued or a change in its behavior.

If it does seem to be ill or it has become skinny suddenly and you have not changed anything in its lifestyle then it would be important to take it to a vet.

Anxiety

It might be the case that anxiety is causing it to be anxious. This would be more likely if it was not always skinny and it became more skinny since something happened that could be causing it to be anxious. Things that might have caused it to become anxious could include someone mistreating it, moving homes, another pet dying or an owner leaving.

Consider whether or not it has always been skinny

When trying to figure out what has been causing it to be skinny it would help to consider if it has always been skinny or if it has suddenly become skinny.

If it has become skinny suddenly then it would be more likely that it is due to things such as illness, anxiety, suddenly being a lot more active without eating more or a sudden change in its diet. It would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it became skinny. In this case, it would be important to take it to a vet.

If it has always been skinny then it would make it more likely that it is in its genes to be skinny. However, it could still be the case that there is a problem with its diet and it would help to make sure you’re feeding it the right foods in the right amounts.

How to get your German Shepherd to be less skinny

The best way for you to get your German Shepherd to stop being skinny will depend on the cause. However, I will show you some options that you have below.

Take it to a vet

If you are unsure of why your German Shepherd is skinny, it has become skinny suddenly or it has been acting unusually then it would be the best option to take it to a vet.

Make sure that it is getting the right diet

As mentioned above it could be the case that its diet is the issue. Generally, a German Shepherd should be getting 1273 to 1540 calories per day unless it is very active in which case it should get up to 2100. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding it.

Make sure that it is eating the right amount for its activity level

When feeding your German Shepherd it is important to consider how active it is. Generally, a German Shepherd should be getting an hour of exercise per day. If it is getting around an hour of exercise per day then it would be adequate to feed it a regular amount. Whereas, if it is spending most of the day doing exercise then it would be necessary to feed it more.

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Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now.

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Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.

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