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A German Shepherd comes from the family of German herding dogs. During the latter part of the 1800s, Captain Max von Stephanitz crossed various strains of the said herding dogs from the different districts of Germany. It resulted into the ancestors of the Sheperds we know now. Now, let us dive into the main topic which is how to fatten up a German Shepherd.
This guard dog breed is known for its incredibly large size, impeccable alertness, high intelligence, and noble character. Out of all the things that put them in the ranks of canine royalty, it is their loyalty to their owner, to whom they will give their own life to, which outstands all.
If you notice that your German Shepherd is a bit skinny, it is indeed something to worry about. If when your dog is standing up and you look down at it from above and its body is somewhat hourglass than triangular or bulky, it may be underweight. Now, don’t panic. Instead, you have to quickly analyze the situation to know why it is underweight. Is it eating nutritious foods? Is it eating enough? Is it completely healthy? Only then you can think of ways on how to fatten up your German Sheperd.
SYMPTOMS OF WEIGHT LOSS
Certainly, an underweight German Shepherd will lack in energy.
2. DULL COAT
A German Shepherd’s coat will be the first to manifest the signs of the dog being underweight. Indeed, lack in the needed nutrients will show up in its lifeless fur.
3. DETERIORATING MUSCLES
A bad diet, which causes weight loss, won’t give a German Shepherd the energy it needs. There are times that the body’s default inclination when faced by this condition is to eat up on muscles.
4. LOSS OF APPETITE
7. APPEARING RIBS
If your German Shepherd’s ribs are already showing, it is already an extreme case of weight loss.
CAUSES OF WEIGHT LOSS
A German Shepherd needs a low-fat and high-protein diet for it to be able to build muscle and maintain an ideal weight. If it doesn’t eat healthy foods with the right amount of nutrients, it will be underweight.
A German Shepherd is known for its agility, meaning it needs a lot of energy which in turn is something that it can have if its body is jam-packed with nutrients. If you aren’t feeding it enough or as many times as it needs, then it will be underweight.
A German Shepherd’s underweight condition may be brought upon by a health problem. It may be suffering from chronic diarrhea caused by intestinal issues, parasites, infections, inflammation, small bowel cancer, as well as kidney or liver disease. Hepatitis is a liver disease which results to a drastic decrease in the dog’s appetite. Also, the dog may also be suffering from colitis that triggers diarrhea or the colitis that triggers constipation. Another health problem to consider is diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t only result into weight loss but as well as excessive thirst, urination, and some urinary tract infections. Dental problems are also included in this broad list. A chipped, rotten, or broken tooth may make your German Shepherd to stop eating, thus resulting to weight loss.
A picky German Shepherd will of course lose weight. Therefore, the key here is to observe what it wants and give it that.
It is normal for a senior German Shepherd to eat less. Without a doubt, it is natural too with all the other breeds.
Any change in their surroundings, whether big or small, may affect a German Shepherd’s weight because of stress.
HOW TO FATTEN UP A GERMAN SHEPHERD?
FOOD WITH HIGH AMOUNT OF CALORIES
How to fatten up your German Shepherd? Adding more calories to your German Shepherd’s diet may be a good idea. To do this, look for dog foods that are a bit high in fat content and with some carbohydrates too. Furthermore, it is said that with about 525 calories per cup, a gain in your dog’s weight will be noticeable. Now, remember that the protein content of the said food should be high as well. The ideal thing to do is to prepare a meal that is both rich in protein and has an excess in calories.
Also, this is where treats come in the spotlight! From commercial to homemade treats, you indeed have a lot of options. Just bear in mind that you shouldn’t feed them a lot of it, so they can still have their appetite ready for their main meals.
PROVIDE FOOD FOR SEVERAL TIMES OF THE DAY
Another thing that may work on how to fatten up your German Shepherd is to feed it for three to four times a day. It doesn’t matter if you are feeding it dry or wet food. Just make sure that it is getting both. Also, for dry foods, make sure that they don’t have a lot of fillers.
Besides, other owners’ method is feeding their dog four small meals a day. Others prefer to feed their dog two big meals and then one small meal. Overall, it depends on what you think is best for your German Shepherd.
GOOD FOODS FOR GERMAN SHEPHERDS
- DRY KIBBLE DOG FOOD
To fatten up your German Shepherd, this type of dog food which is available in a variety of flavors can help. On the other hand, the only downside of this is that it may not be easy to chew for senior German Shepherds. The solution is to add water, so they will be able to eat the hard morsels.
2. WET CANNED DOG FOOD
Not only is this a good food for German Shepherd puppies but as well as for dogs who have dental problems. Obviously, it is easier to chew and digest. Of course, the large amount of water aids the successful digestion of the nutrients. You just need to refrigerate this type of dog food.
3. SEMI-MOIST DOG FOOD
Compared to a wet canned dog food which is almost 80% water, this one has around 65%. On the other hand, commercial dog foods which are semi-moist do tend to have some chemical additives, preservatives, and artificial colors. So, you have to put your eye on that and buy wisely.
4. FREEZE-DRIED DOG FOOD
This type of dog food is produced from real cooked food that underwent a process of removing almost all of its water content. After that, an airy food is put in an air-tight container and it can last for years.
5. FROZEN-THEN-THAWED DOG FOOD
This type of dog food went through a minimal process, so it is really good for German Sheperds. As a result, it makes a dog to look and feel young by improving its health and strength.
6. ORGANIC DOG FOOD
This type of dog food went under super minimal processing or even none at all. Now this is the reason why this is most likely the best food for your German Shepherd.
7. DEHYDRATED DOG FOOD
This type of dog food is produced from raw ingredients that went through a minimal processing and then slowly dehydrated to remove all of its water content. Surely, your dog will be able to get all the nutrients from the food. This is different from the freeze-dried type in a way that it uses warm air to remove moist. The latter, on the other hand, utilizes cold temperature.
MAINTAINING YOUR DOG’S IDEAL WEIGHT
Once you are able to make your German Shepherd gain an ideal weight, your next mission is to sustain it. How to do so?
- Have a food journal of its daily meals. With this, you will be able to cover everything that you are putting in its body for a later evaluation.
- Schedule weekly weigh-ins, so you will be able to monitor your dog’s weight. As a result, you will be able to see if the diet plan you implemented is working or not. You will be able to know what is working and what is not which will save your dog’s health as well as your resources and energy.
- Have a regular exercise. Truly, a German Shepherd is a strong breed that has a protective nature. Its body does a lot, so in order to have that power and strength, it needs to be trained. Remember that the weight that they are adding to their body shouldn’t only come from foods, but as well as with building muscle mass.
In the first place, you shouldn’t wait for your German Shepherd to be already underweight before you take actions. Of course, your pet dog’s health should be a top priority for every single day. On the other hand, if you already found your dog in an unfavorable condition such as being underweight, the really best thing to do is go to a veterinarian. Consulting one in authority will be the best thing to do because he/she can tell you what exactly to do.
Next thing is to follow the guidelines stated here on how to fatten up a German Shepherd. Once you are successful in this endeavor, you have to maintain the ideal weight for your dog’s overall health and safety.
Obviously, a German Shepherd will protect you at all costs. It is ready to put itself between you and any danger of any kind because it is just that loyal. Consequently, that loyalty should be reciprocated by you as its owner. So, have a fun, loving, and responsible German Shepherd parenting!