Weight Gain in a German Shepherd Puppy

by Mariana
(Sacramento, Ca)

I purchased a four month old German Shepard about two weeks ago and she eats like crazy but hasn't gain any weight I can see her hip and rib bones. What do you think the problem might be?

Total German Shepherd:

Hey Mariana,

Well, for one thing I would encourage you to get your German Shepherd puppy to the veterinarian (if you haven't already) for a checkup and to make sure that your GSD puppy is not wormy or anything and that she is in the best health possible.

Next, assuming you have taken her to the vet and she is healthy, I can tell you that in many cases that is fairly common in German Shepherd puppies. As long as she is playful, active, energetic and eating well on her own I would not be too concerned.

However, that being said you might want to increase the amount you feed her a bit, or, even better, increase the amount of meals times you give her. A puppy that age could easily get 4 meals a day - my 18 month old GSD still gets 3 meals a day and he's a healthy 100 pounder - all muscle. Once he gets to 2 years old or so I'll cut him back to 2 meals a day which he will be on from then on.

So my advice to you would be to increase her food portions a little bit each meal and to offer her at least 3 meal times a day if you're not already offering her food that often. Remember, she is still a baby - even if she's a big baby.

And as she ages she will probably look thin too as she goes through her teenage stage - one of my best GSD friends told me long ago that this stage was called "the uglies". So you can expect her to be thin but you don't want her to look anorexic. So if you ever are unsure is she's too thin, just run her by your vet's office and let him take a quick look.

Overall, I would encourage you to keep your German Shepherd more on the thin side of things as opposed to too heavy because that extra weight is terrible on their joints no matter whether they are young or old. But good luck with your puppy - get her checked by your vet, ask him about feeding suggestions and then up her meal times/amounts a bit to fill her out some if she's too thin. Good luck!

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Mar 01, 2015
The Response Helped Me
by: Susana

I had a similar question regarding a 20 month female who was running off all her food calories. The vet said she was an example of a high-drive, athletic GSD, and she was very healthy, even though I could see her hip bones. She looks like a teenager, and the word that describes her physically really is the "uglies."
It was comforting to know all is well.

Oct 23, 2012
to thin
by: Misha

In addition to the comment that was made re: vet check-up, you may want to try adding some cooked white rice, about 3 TBS to her meals. They love it and as long as her stool is regular, it will help.

If her stool is runny or not forming, there is something not working well with what you are feeding. The rice will help with that too.

The thing to look for also is if she is "tucked up" in her belly. If that is so, please get her in for check-up as she is not assimilating food properly.

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