German Shepherds are one of the biggest dog breeds in the world. Therefore, one of the essential aspects that you should focus on is Weight. They are very diligent and bright and so will need a lot of energy to go about their lives.
It is crucial to maintain the correct nutrient balance as underfeeding would lead to malnourishment, while overfeeding would lead to obesity for the lazier breed. A time may come when your dog seems not to be gaining Weight properly.
It may be because you are feeding him the wrong food, or he has developed some medical condition that is making him lose Weight. This article aims to educate you on how you can identify the reason as to why your dog is not gaining Weight and how you can go about fixing the problem.
First Things First
Before you embark on any ‘healing’ measures, you need to be sure that your German Shepherd is not losing Weight as a result of some form of illness. Illness leads to depression, and as a result, the appetite drops, and eventually, so does the Weight.
Let us briefly look at some of the most common forms of illnesses that affect dogs.
This normally your dog reacting when it is introduced to new foods, some of which its body may not be able to tolerate.
It comes in two forms; one that causes diarrhea or the other which causes constipation. It would be wise to find the cause; otherwise, your dog would lose Weight a lot.
This is a major cause of low body weight in German Shepherds. It comes about as a result of infections, parasites, irritations, or inflammations.
When diarrhea occurs, the nutrient absorption by the body does not happen in a usual manner, and this eventually leads to weight loss. It is vital that you find out early enough what portion of the dog’s diet brings about this problem and ensure that you get rid of it.
Another point you should note is that the dog’s body has a self-protection mechanism, whereby he will go into a fast until he gets better. Therefore, it is up to you to find out the cause of the problem lest your favorite pet dies of starvation.
This is a liver disease which, as you would expect, leads to weight loss. This is because this vital organ has a crucial role to play in the digestive process in the body. If it encounters any problems, the proper absorption of nutrients in the body will not occur.
An imperfect digestion process will also lead to a decline in the energy levels, which are a great necessity in the life of a German Shepherd.
When your dog contracts this disease, it will experience weakness and weight loss as well. This illness will test your patience as it takes what seems to be a lifetime to heal.
Keeping the German Shepherd Healthy
Once you have ruled out the presence of any form of illness and given your dog a clean bill of health, then you should know that you will not have a problem in getting your pet to achieve the weight gain that you desire.
You will now have to focus on his diet, and ensure that he consume the right amount of nutrients to get him to the necessary weight level.
The nutrients can either be Essential or Non-essential; the essential ones being the nutrients that the body needs in its finished form while the Non-essential being the ones that the body can produce on its own.
Different Types of Nutrients that the Dog Needs for Weight-Gain
There are six major classes of nutrients, and we shall briefly go through each one of them.
Proteins are an essential part of weight gain as they will help your dog add some flesh. They help in the production of enzymes and hormones, besides helping the body develop resistance to diseases.
If you wish for your dog to consume the right amount of protein, ensure that you feed him plenty of high-quality meat. The positive aspect of high-quality meat is that you do not have to feed your dog too much of it.
Not that excess protein may lead to kidney failure, so be careful with the amount you feed him.
Just like human beings, water takes the most significant share of the dog’s body. Its main functions include flushing out toxins and regulating body temperature. So, you need to ensure that he consumes a sufficient amount that will help in carrying out its functions.
This is an essential content of the diet as it helps in providing crucial nutrients for weight gain. You can find this element under the skin or around the major organs of the body. It should be of great help to know that the dog can absorb animal and plant fats as well.
You can find carbohydrates in dry foods, and their main role is to provide fiber in the body that will prevent constipation. Additionally, Carbs also provide instant energy, provide heat and control protein and fat metabolism.
Try your best to replace processed foods with whole foods in your dog’s diet.
Preparing Dog Food At Home
You can also prepare the food right at home, provided that you keep it fresh and have the right mix of ingredients. The meals should include fruits, vegetables, meat, and grains.
Be sure to consult your vet on the right mix of ingredients so that you avoid making catastrophic mistakes.
This is important in weight gain since after a ‘workout’ routine, the dog will be hungry since all the nutrients in his body will be used up as energy. The nutrients will be absorbed better, and the digestive system will remain healthy.
For the depressed dog, regular exercise will help in improving the mood, and the appetite should follow suit soon. At the end of it all, your pet should have gained significant Weight.
We hope that this article has helped make you understand the importance of weight gain in a German Shepherd, what affects it, and how you can get back towards that upward trajectory concerning the dog’s Weight.
Just like with human beings, if the situation persists or the weight gain process does not go according to plan, ensure that you consult the help of a professional.