If your German Shepherd seems to be fat you might be wondering why and what you should be doing differently with it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be the case and what you can do about it.
So, why is my German Shepherd so fat? Possible reasons are that it is eating the wrong foods, it is eating too much, it’s not getting enough exercise, someone is feeding it without you knowing, illness, being old or it could be in its genes.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why it might be fat. Depending on the cause, there are also many things that can be done about it.
Why your German Shepherd is so fat
The different reasons why your German Shepherd is fat will likely come with a number of clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why it might be the case and what would make them more likely.
It is eating the wrong foods
The cause could be that it has been eating the wrong foods. This would be more likely if it suddenly became fat when you changed its diet. However, it could also be the case that it has been eating them without you knowing or that someone else has been feeding them to it.
You can look here to see what foods you should be feeding it. Consulting with your vet on the diet your GSD is getting would also be helpful.
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 is eating too much of the correct foods
It might be the case that it is eating the right foods but it is being fed too much. Generally, German Shepherds should be getting between 1,272 and 1,540 calories per day. If your German Shepherd is getting more than that then it is likely contributing to it being fat.
It would help to check the calorie guidelines on the packaging of the dog food that you give it and to make sure that you are feeding it the right amount. It would also help to speak to your vet the next time you see them about what the right amount of food would be for your GSD.
It’s not getting enough exercise
Another cause of it being overweight could be that it has not been exercising enough. The German Shepherd is a breed that was bred to work long days as working dogs so they require a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause many issues including becoming fat.
Generally, it is recommended for a German Shepherd to be getting at least and hour of exercise per day. If yours is not getting that much then it could be why it is overweight. In this case, it would help to give it more exercise after getting a checkup from a vet.
It is eating things without you knowing
It might be the case that you have been feeding it correctly but it has been eating things without you knowing about it. This would be more likely if you know that food has been going missing or if it has access to areas where there is food around for it to eat.
It would help to try and figure out if it might have been eating things without you knowing. If it is then it would help to restrict its access to those things.
Someone is feeding it without you knowing
It could also be the case that someone has been feeding your German Shepherd without you knowing about it. This would be more likely if other people are around it often without you being present. It would help to ask the people that are around it if they have been feeding it and to politely ask them not to so that you know that it is being fed correctly.
There are some diseases that can cause it to start gaining weight source. This would be more likely to be the reason if it has gained weight suddenly, if it has been showing signs of being ill and if it has been acting differently.
If it does seem like disease could be the cause then it would help to take your GSD to a vet to get it checked up on.
Injuries such as hip dysplasia can cause dogs to be less active and injury could be the cause of your German Shepherd gaining weight. This would be more likely if it has put on weight suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as not running when it normally would or limping.
Again, in this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet to get it looked at.
As dogs become older they become less active. The reason why yours is gaining weight could be that it is not as active as it used to be but it is still eating the same amount. This would be more likely if it has gradually gained weight and it is not as active as it used to be.
It could be the case that it is in its genes to be large. This would be more likely if it has always been fat and if it did not become fat suddenly.
With that being said, it could still be the case that you have been feeding it too much or that it has been eating without you knowing. It would also help to ask your vet about it on its next checkup.
Consider if it has always been fat
When trying to figure out why your GSD is fat it would help to consider whether or not it has always been fat.
If it has always been fat then it would be more likely that it has either been being fed too much, it is in its genes or it might not have been getting enough exercise. It could also be a combination of the three.
Whereas, if it has gained fat suddenly then it would be more likely that it is due to disease or illness. However, it could also be due to things such as a change in its diet, getting less exercise or being fed without you knowing. It would help to consider what happened when it started to gain weight.
How to get your German Shepherd to be less fat
The best way for you to get your German Shepherd to lose fat will depend on the cause. However, I will show you some options that you have below.
Make sure that it is eating the right foods
It would help to make sure that your German Shepherd is eating the right foods. You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding it.
It would also help to make sure that it is not eating things without your knowledge and that no one else has been feeding it.
Make sure that it is eating the right amount of calories for its activity levels
German Shepherds are a breed that is supposed to be active so an active German Shepherd that is getting around an hour of directed exercise per day should be getting between 1,272 and 1,540 calories daily. It should only get more than this if it is spending most of the day as a working dog or if your vet says so.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, German Shepherds are a breed that is meant to be getting a lot of exercise daily. If yours is not getting much exercise then it would help to make sure that it does by walking it, getting it to play fetch or by getting a dog walker to do it for you.
Take it to a vet
If you are unsure of why your German Shepherd has become fatter, it has become fat suddenly or it has been showing signs of illness or injury then it would help to take it to a vet. When you are seeing the vet it would also help to ask them if you are feeding it correctly and what could be causing it to be fat.
This post contains affiliate links. Germanshepherdsowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price you pay and we are very grateful for any support.
Most Recommended For German Shepherds
Best German Shepherd Training Program
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.
Best German Shepherd Guide
Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook (on Amazon) - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.