Skinny German Shepherd

I have a beautiful German Shepherd named Bullett, he is 2, but to look at him, he looks like I do not

feed him. He goes to the vet for his checkups and does not have worms, parasites, etc. He eats like a


pig, but will not put any weight on.

I have tried different foods, but nothing is working. I know dogs are like people as far as some will

be fat, some will just be skinny, but he is really skinny, you can see his ribs, and his bones in the

back. When I watch animal cops and see the dogs that they take away because they are being abused I say

to my hubby, if they saw Bullett they would think the same thing.

He goes outside, but he is an inside dog. I do not trust people (terrible to say) since three of my

dogs were poisoned. I give him extra treats, he is a big spoiled baby, but just plain skinny.



Skinny German Shepard

Sometimes the stool check they do at the vet's office does not pick up on all parasites (some parasites

are very difficult to pick up by scope like giardia, etc.). A prophylactic measure may be to have your


vet prescribe a broad-spectrum dewormer. (I'm not crazy about giving any medications, but may be

necessary in this case).

Also, I wonder if Bullett is getting enough protein. Bullett sounds like a high-energy dog. Most

dogs need approximately 80% protein in their diet. Check your dog food bag and make sure it says 80%+. If not,

I would recommend supplementing with "people food", i.e. real meat, even hamburger. I have seen many

skinny dogs improve on a diet of high quality protein (the protein in most commercial dog foods is low

quality, ie chicken beaks, etc., stuff not fit for human consumption.) If they won't feed it to humans,

why are they giving it to our animal companions?

Check out the "BARF" diet on the web. Good luck! (03/19/2005)

By kriso


Skinny German Shepard

Great advice Kriso. But I wouldn't recommend the barf diet to just anyone although I know it has been

very successful with many dogs. Personally, I don't like to handle all the raw meat & have it on my

surfaces, etc. The Whole Dog Journal is a very respected dog journal written by holistic/traditional vets

and I consider it my dog bible. They have recommended dog foods every year and I've learned a lot. Also will send free brochures about what's in dog food. Shocking. I have educated myself

extensively over the years and only feed a good all natural dog food. Yes, it's a little more expensive,

but guess what, I have had almost no health issues with my dogs over the years and I save on vet bills.

The last dog I had put to sleep was 20. She was the oldest dog in the history of my vet. Besides, they

are entitled to the best. In the past I have gone without to make sure of it. (03/19/2005)

By Vicki

Skinny German Shepard

When in doubt, ask your vet. (03/19/2005)

By Linda

Skinny German Shepard

Try Bil Jac. It's sold in the freezer section of your store. (03/19/2005)

By Kelly-boxer owner

Skinny German Shepard

Does he get enough water? Has he been tested for diabetes? Must be something else going on. I would

take him back to the vet. (03/21/2005)

By guest

Skinny German Shepard

My German Shepherd/Akita/Chow mix is having the same problem. No matter how much fatty food we give her,

we can't reverse it. My aunt says that some growth spurts can cause this, and that they'll eventually

grow as tall as they are long. (05/30/2005)

By Cara

Skinny German Shepard

I'm not a vet, but you might want to ask yours to check for any thyroid problems. The thyroid controls

metabolism. If his thyroid levels are too high, it will cause his digestion to be faster than normal.

This would result in a skinny puppy.
Just thought I would throw that out there.
Best of luck!

By Julie

Skinny German Shepard

I too have a very lanky German Shepherd. He is two and although very big, still so very thin. Our vet

told us quite honestly that if you have an "American" German Shepherd, they will indeed be lankier and

leaner than their bulked-up "German" German Shepherd counterparts. If he's eating well, and active and

happy, let sleeping dogs lie and just enjoy your pet. (12/21/2005)

By Althea

Skinny German Shepard

I own a 6 year old German Shepherd wolf mix. He is very energetic, but so thin that people would rudely

comment on his weight. I tried every thing and finally found the key, Innova Evo with 42% is

the best dog food on the market that I have found for this issue. It costs $40 a bag, but is well worth

it. He finally is at a perfect weight and his coat is gorgeous! (02/12/2006)

By miakita3

Skinny German Shepard

Thank goodness I'm not the only one!
I get looks for my super-skinny Shepherd. Had her checked for everything, including EPI, and she's just

skinny. Not a big eater either. I had her on raw food and that worked for a while (though she was eating

four to six pounds of food a day and weighs only 50 lbs herself, so she was eating her own weight every

10 days!)
Innova Evo is one food that she will eat, but my vet thinks the protein is too high and carbs would help

her keep weight on. I mix it with mashed potatoes, and that's helped her weight stabilize. (04/10/2006)

By Fiona

Skinny German Shepard

Hi there, I'll bet your dog has Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. This is actually quite common in

German Shepherds, however I never heard of it till my German Shepherd was diagnosed at 8 months, she is

now 2 and I'm still having trouble getting her to gain weight. So my suggestion is go back to your vet

and have them test for this. Best of Luck (07/20/2006)

By Melissa

Skinny German Shepard

I also have a skinny Shepherd. She is healthy according to Vet. I have now put her on Wellness Puppy

food. I also use some stage 2 weaning milk mixed in with it when she doesn't seem to want to eat her

portion at any given time. She is recovering from having some foreign body in her throat. She got down to

45 lbs. She has gained 10 lbs in one week is continuing to recover. I have also found her to be an

extremely picky eater. She won't eat anything with beef in it. She will eat anything with chicken in it.

The Vet told me to keep her on puppy food until she has her weight on. (01/20/2007)

By Gloria

Skinny German Shepard

I see a lot of you don't realize that Shepherds are prone to the pancreatic disorder that does not enable

them to metabolize the food they eat. No matter how much they eat, they do not absorb the nutrients from

the food. I had a friend who had a cat with the same problem. He gave his cat a product called "Total-

It replaces the enzymes that the pancreas is not secreting enabling the body to once again absorb

nutrients. His cat had lost more than half it's body weight. After taking the supplement for a few

months, the cat is almost back to his original weight. I now have a Shepherd that has the same problem.

I've ordered the product for him and I plan to start him on it ASAP. Hope this helps. (07/09/2007)

By Rosemary

Skinny German Shepherd

I have a 3 1/2 year old female GSD and she finally is gaining some weight. She is about 75 lbs. now, I

have been feeding her with Eukanuba dry food for GSD, about 4 cups a day and I mix it with rice and

sardines (1 or 2 pieces) and she loves it. She was skinny for a long time till about 6 months ago, which

is in a way is better, you don't want a dog that looks like a pig. Anyhow as long as they are healthy it

should be OK if they are a little light, try mixing the food with rice and sardines, it worked for me.

Sometimes I give her pork or chicken also, she is very healthy, they are great dogs. (11/28/2007)

By jporres

Skinny German Shepherd

Bullet is only two so he will still bulk up more. Have you tried feeding him a raw meat diet? Our

Shepherd had the same problem and our vet offered high fat packaged dog food. However, that was the worst

thing to give our Shepherd. She didn't need fat, she needed nutrients. It was a naturopathic vet that

turned us on to raw meat. Bullet will love you for it. Check out holistic breeder web sites and websites

that support holistic feeding and medical care. A good site to start with,


By Katy

Skinny German Shepherd

This can also be a lack of proper exercise. German Shepherds with good genes will typically not get

overweight, so feeding them a lot doesn't mean they will gain weight. In fact, you don't want your dog to

gain fat, you want them to gain muscle. Now, unfortunately a lot of people are taking in German Shepherds

as pets and not offering them the exercise they need to develop muscularly. If you want to "bulk up" a

Shepherd, it needs vigorous, difficult exercise. I start by running my Shepherds with a bike until they

can run at least 10 miles without breaking. Then, get them a weighted training vest and do hill charges

with them. This is how we get working dogs in shape, and if you want a bulky, muscly Shepherd, this kind

of training is the best way. They love it too. I should mention you shouldn't have them do this vigorous

of work until they are 18 months due to their hips still developing, up until then, swimming is the best

and healthiest approach. Give them exercise, feed them well and you will have a beautiful, in-shape dog.


By Steve

Skinny German Shepherd

Another thing to consider is Addison's Disease! If your dog has been checked for EPI and does not have

it, think about Addison's. Addison's can go undiscovered until a crisis hits and then it can be awful. I

had no idea what was wrong with my first Shepherd. She was tall and skinny, had a lot of diarrhea, but not

the characteristic greasy yellow stools of an EPI dog. The vet tested her for EPI and it was negative and

he had no idea. She went in for grooming and the groomer mistreated her and she went into an Addisonian

Crisis! I rushed her to the vet who quickly gave her an injection of prednisone and she "arose from the


A month later we tested her for Addison's and it was a borderline positive. We started treating her

and she is doing well. She is now 10 1/2 years old and her Addison's is under control and she has gained

20 healthy pounds. Addison's affects their ability to eat as it affects their jaw muscles, as well as

other things.The vet did some studying on Addison's and he feels there are a great number of undiagnosed

AD dogs who never get treated and are destroyed because they simply never do well and their owners give

up. (09/20/2009)

By Meezermom

Skinny German Shepherd

By all means get another vet. I feed my GSD Purina One Large Breed Weight Management food. That works

well for her and she likes it. She's healthy and her weight is good. You don't want an overweight GSD,

but you don't want him emaciated either. Let another vet get a good look at him. There seems to be

something causing him to be so thin if he doesn't have parasites, etc. I've had so many GSD's, and I have

been fortunate that they have all been healthy. Good luck! (10/02/2009)

By Stngray

Skinny German Shepherd

In the past few months I've been forced to read a lot of literature about mal-absorption in dogs and

specifically in German Shepherds. Ignorance among various vets including even faculty members of

allegedly well respected institutions is astounding. For example, most vets do not understand that B12

deficiency itself can cause mal-absorption of B12, i.e. a chain reaction whatever started it originally.

If a dog is B12 deficient most treatments of any underlying GI problem will not work.

Second, German Shepherds are prone to SIBO as a standalone disease. I think I may have caused it in

mine by treating his Lyme and forgetting to re-inoculate his intestines with probiotics. Hopefully I can

correct it, but it has been hell. My dog is finally gaining weight, I feed him probably 10 cups daily and

spritz sublingual B12 behind his cheek. Most of it is wasted, but some gets absorbed through the mucous

membranes in the mouth. Since daily need is only micrograms, 1.2 milligrams is probably OK. Vets can

give injections of 500 micrograms weekly. If your dog cannot absorb much because of Small Intestinal

Bacterial Overgrowth you may need to treat it with Oxytetracycline (best), Tylosin, or Metronidazole.

At Tufts Vet. School, they think 10 days of anti-biotics is enough. It is NOT. If the intestinal

permeability is increased then the infection will recur. 4-6 weeks or longer is needed to let the time

for the intestinal lining to heal (if not permanently damaged by stupid vets putting your dog on a food

trial for 1-3 months and wasting time while your dog suffers). The problem is that if intestinal

permeability is increased your dog will probably be allergic to ANY normal food after a short while. I

tried a bunch of foods and after a couple days rest the diarrhea always came back. Allergies in this case

maybe the effect, NOT the cause. (12/29/2009)

By pensive


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