Why Is My German Shepherd So Skinny? 8 Reasons For Explanations

Why Is My German Shepherd So Skinny
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Many pooch owners worry about the unstable weight of their pets. They wonder: Why is my German Shepherd so skinny? 

If your pet experiences the same thing, you can blame the parasites, diseases, poor nutrition, or age. The environment may also worsen the situation. 

We will discuss each factor in detail. You can learn how to help your puppy become healthy too. Let’s read on to discover! 

Why Is My German Shepherd So Skinny?

There are many reasons for making your pet excessively. Check out these cases first. If you notice the same symptoms, fix the problems as soon as possible. 


If your dogs lose weight seriously, worms and parasites may be the cause. Dogs might have tapeworms, which thrive in their intestines.

Now we have the treatment for parasites in pets. These occurrences are also becoming less common. However, situations might get a lot worse for your pet at times.

Keep in mind that not all parasite-killing remedies are helpful. Some worms, such as the tough whipworms, may still be in your pet’s intestines.

If your pets suffer from parasites, you will notice other symptoms aside from losing weight, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody stool.


Disease is the main reason that makes humans shed pounds. This idea also works for dogs. 

  • Liver

The liver plays one extremely vital role in the body of your dog: it delivers nutrients from the foodstuff they eat.

Your pet’s ability to consume nutrition will decrease if they have liver disease, leading to substantial weight loss.

Degenerative disease, fatty meals, infection, certain drugs, or toxic plants are the most common causes of liver problems.

It’s time to take your dog to the vet if you see these signs: appetite loss, exhaustion, diarrhea, jaundice, and vomiting bile. 

  • Cancer

Cancer is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous and common illnesses in dogs. Various forms of cancer might cause your pets to lose weight.

The cancers include osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and lymphoma. 

All of them are deadly, and even if detected early, they can be hard to treat.

If your German Shepherd is so skinny, don’t worry or expect the worst case. You should visit a veterinarian to diagnose whether your pet is suffering from a life-threatening disease and plan treatment. 

  • Kidney

Kidney disease is increasingly common in dogs when they become older. This disease does not cause weight loss in dogs, but it does make their kidneys less effective at absorbing nutrients.

When the kidney disease worsens to this stage, your pet will lose weight and look skinny. 

If your dog has been skinny for a time, the sickness may have developed beyond the first stage.

Excessive drinking and urination are also frequent signs of chronic renal disease, including vomiting, pale gums, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, and anxiety.

  • Gastrointestinal disorders

Gastrointestinal issues cause your dog to become skinny over time.

Their bodies cannot absorb nutrients from their meals due to symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Aside from these concerns, dogs may experience maldigestion or malabsorption. Such disorders make it difficult for the intestine to process and consume nutrients.

  • Diabetes

If your pet gets so skinny while also drinking and peeing excessively, it might be a symptom that they have diabetes.

Diabetes often happens to middle-aged and old dogs that are overweight. In most cases, the disease is a mix of genetics with other health issues.

How Can You Tell If A German Shepherd Is Purebred
1. Diseases is the worst case (Link)

Poor nutrition

Simply feeding your dog too little food each day, offering the wrong sorts of food, or even eating food of poor quality is a typical method for your dog to lose weight.

Your pet requires a constant supply of protein, fat, and carbs to achieve the proper balance of energy input and output.

The nutrients keep your dogs from being skinny while also providing the nutrition they require to stay at healthy body weight.

Between 8 weeks and 6 months, a German Shepherd puppy needs one to three cups of food every day. As the dog gets older, they need two to three cups. 

German Shepherds may grow quite big. As a result, they require the proper amount of food to support their maturation.

They are also dogs who never stop working. They can walk, run, and play all day long. They require the optimum food to restore the calories they spend. Otherwise, they will shed pounds. 

There are several dog food choices available. Some may contain ingredients with little nutritional value. 

When choosing German Shepherd food, make sure it’s a high-quality product that’s intended for your puppy’s maturity.

Search for brands like Orijen, Royal Canin Breed, Acana, and Taste of the Wild to get high-quality food.

Feeding is important for the health of your do

  1. Feeding is important for the health of your dog (Link)

Dental problems

You might not realize it, but dental issues like tooth decay or gum disease can harm your pet and make it skinny. 

If your pet’s teeth are missing or their gums are sore, they may not be able to eat normally, or there are just some kinds of food that they can eat. 

Changes in diet

Your little companions lose weight if you’ve suddenly changed their food. Every pet food brand offers a varied nutritional profile, and the concentrations of these nutrients will also differ.

The longer your dogs eat the same food, the better their digestive system adapts. They can break down and absorb the nutrients easily. 

If you change the diet, their body will need time to adapt to the new food. They won’t be able to digest all they eat.

It’s preferable to incorporate the new foodstuff into the existing diet gradually. There will be no dramatic changes, making it easier for their bodies to respond.

See more:
15 Vegetables German Shepherds Can Eat: And 7 to Avoid
What Can German Shepherds Not Eat

Why Is My German Shepherd So Skinny

  1. Give your pets time to adjust their eating habit (Link)


Your pet’s age may also be a cause of their weight loss. Most German Shepherd owners claim that they start losing their appetite as their dog’s ages.

As dogs mature, they may have health issues that lead to appetite loss, such as cancer, arthritis, and dental problems. 

Older dogs are also less energetic, so they eat less. However, if your pet drops pounds too fast, let the vet tell the problem. 


Stress might result from a sudden change in the pet’s environment, such as renovating the house or relocating to a new place. Such things may affect their appetites.


Depression has a range of impacts on a dog’s health. When dogs are upset, they decrease their appetite and cannot eat properly, making them skinny.

This video tells you what may stress your pet. Check it carefully to avoid making the German Shepherd depressed.

Your dog may be depressed

  1. Your dog may be depressed (Link)

Tips For Skinny German Shepherds

Once you know the causes, it’s simple to find the solution. 

Adjust their diets

Don’t simply go and get any dog food. Your little friend needs food meant for it since it has more fat and protein content. 

In addition, there are formulae for puppies, older dogs, and elderly dogs. Make sure you buy the right one for them to get all the nutrients they demand.

They’ll want puppy food if they’re pups. Mature active dogs need an active formula with more protein and some other nutrients to aid in their recovery after a strenuous workout.

If your dog doesn’t seem to be eating enough, consider having an additional meal. You don’t have to worry about feeding your pet too much as long as they can finish their food.

Start from food

  1. Start from food (Link)

Track their progress

It’s nice to know that your pet is gaining weight gradually but steadily. If you keep track of their progress, you’ll see that your actions have worked. 

One way is to weigh dogs once a week. Buying a dog scale is a good investment. If you can’t afford it, use the scale at the animal hospital. 

Another method is to take note of your dog’s schedule, including the food type and food quantity. Then, check what you have noted every week or two weeks. 

Take them to the vet.

Even when your pet isn’t losing or gaining weight excessively, you should take them to the vet for a comprehensive check-up, which should include blood testing.

The examination can discover whether they have any health concerns or not. Then, the vet will recommend the proper treatment. 

In A Nutshell

Your German Shepherd may get skinny because of many reasons. If you notice some severe symptoms, immediately take your pet to the vet. 

Besides, prevention is better than cure. Try to feed your little friends nutritious food and pay attention if there is any weird signal. 

Hopefully, your pet can always be healthy. If you need more tips on taking care of the dog, please comment below. We will get back to you soon.

Thank you for reading! 



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