Is my German Shepherd Overweight? How to help my GSD lose weight?

Is my German Shepherd Overweight

German Shepherds are huge, but their massive build not always means a muscular body. When looked closely, some of them are maybe growing overweight with exceeding fat proportion than required.

Obesity in them is as common and as dangerous as humans (if not more). If not looked upon at the right time, an overweight fat German Shepherd dog may develop several diseases.

Excessive weight gain in dogs can happen due to two very common reasons, More eating and less exercising. Along and apart, several health conditions can also make a dog overweight. However, fighting the situation isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

The way your German Shepherd has gained weight, the similar way he can lose it as well.

Go through the article and have insights on several concerns, including:

  • Is my German Shepherd Overweight? What is the ideal weight for a German Shepherd?
  • Why is my German Shepherd Overweight?
  • How can I tell if my German Shepherd is overweight?
  • How can my dog lose those extra pounds? And dangerous associated with obesity in dogs.

We have covered everything you need to know about overweight German Shepherds. How to tell if your GSD is overweight and how you can help them lose excess weight. We will share some tips to keep your GSD healthy too. What are some of the signs and reasons that your German Shepherd dog is obese?

Article Published on 7th December 2021 » Updated on 15th January 2022

aditi chef editorWritten By Sergey Uhanov Certified Veterinarian.
Sergey Uhanov is a certified veterinarian for dogs over 10 years, breeding 3 dogs. He loves dogs and has his own pet clinic in Israel. He likes to help other people with their dogs by sharing his experience and knowledge.

What is the ideal weight for a German Shepherd?

Your German Shepherd’s weight varies from sexes, genes, environment, and upbringing. While some of them may remain smaller, some can grow excessively bigger yet healthier.

  • Ideally, a male German Shepherd weighs around 66 lbs to 88 lbs.
  • Whereas a female German Shepherd weighs around 48 lbs to 70 lbs.

Their weight will begin to grow right from birth and continue until they are 18 months or 2 years old.

In some rare cases, German Shepherds may continue to grow (weight and height) up to 3 years.

The growth process slows down after the age of 1 year and becomes very gradual.

How to find if my German Shepherd is overweight?

It isn’t easy to determine a fat German Shepherd. Because they are Infront of your eyes every day, noticing small chances gets tricky.

However, a few tips will definitely help you figure out whether your GSD is gaining weight excessively.

7 Signs your German Shepherd is overweight.

  • One of the easiest ways to discover obesity is keeping a check on weight. The number on the weighing scale is getting higher than the ideal weight.  If your dog seems visually bigger than usual, get the weight checked.
  • German Shepherds have a slight definition between their top and lower half of the body, at their waist. If you cannot determine their waist virtually, chances are they are gaining weight.
  • Every time you touch your dog’s rib, you should be able to feel them and not any layer of fat. Though if you feel fat, signs are your GSD is getting overweight.
  • German Shepherds have a wider chest, with a sucked in the belly. When standing, their belly never falls below their chest (except for pregnant dogs). However, if you detect so, a fat German Shepherd is leading its way.
  • German Shepherds who start panting only after a minute of walk or activity are probably overweight. Because these dogs are super energetic and hyperactive, them getting tired so early is definitely a sign.
  • While your GSD struggles to groom themselves, the indication is their weight is coming in between. They will find it difficult to scratch or lick themselves, basically lacking flexibility.
  • While usually, German Shepherds are active and energetic, obesity in them will make them sluggish. They will avoid getting into any kind of physical activity, will lie down at the same place for long hours and show the least interest in things that require their energy.

Why is my German Shepherd fat?

Reasons for excessive weight gain in German Shepherd dogs

German Shepherds aren’t those naturally chubby dogs. Thus, if they are gaining weight, there must be some of the other contributions of both dog and the owner.

Here is a list full of reasons explaining Obesity and Overweight in German Shepherds:

  • Be it humans or animals, the most common reason for weight gain is overeating. Your GSD is having large meals or is totally going with free-feeding. Because they neither have an eating schedule nor a nutritionally balanced diet, their weight gain will eventually take speed.
  • German Shepherds who behave lazy and lethargic mostly tend to gain those extra pounds. Or, dogs often tend to become overweight are the ones with those apartment owners who fail to provide the right physical stimulation.
  • Dog diet means dog food. And if your GSD is getting feed all kinds of human food and table scrape, the habit must stop right away, and it will not only make them gain weight but also lead to other illnesses.
  • High carb and high-calorie diets in dogs can lead to obesity. One has to be very particular about what, how, and when they are feeding.
  • Spaying and neutering German Shepherds may result in those extra pounds. It is because, after spaying or neutering, a dog’s metabolism slows down. Hence during the phase, if you aren’t keeping a check on your dog’s diet and exercise, they will put on some extra numbers.
  • Some underlying health conditions can make your dog obsess. From Hypothyroidism to diabetes, water retention, dog peeing on other dogs, thyroid, stress, depression, and several health conditions can make GSDs gain weight more than usual.
  • And, of course, genetics. Genes play a very important role in both human and animal clans. Thus, if the parent GSD is/was overweight, keep a close look at the kid. While genetics is something unavoidable, fighting obesity isn’t.

How can I help my overweight fat German Shepherd lose weight?

The moment you find out your German Shepherd is overweight; it is time to begin the weight loss journey. Though before you begin the journey at home, first get your GSD medically examined. Rule out all and every medical condition that can lead to a fat German Shepherd.

Once you find out that their obesity is totally situational and not conditional, here are some tips to follow:

Reconsider your German Shepherd’s diet. They have a blueprint for everything from what they eat to how much they eat and when they eat.

Also, make sure you follow it every day. The idea here is not to reduce what they eat but to manage their nutrition and feed them through multiple small meals.

Encourage physical and mental stimulation in your dog.

Begin with a 15 minutes short walk (twice a day) and increase it gradually.

Ensure you engage both their physical and mental energy.

Reduce the size of treats or eliminate them completely.

If you offer multiple treats every day to your dog, cut it 1/3rd or eliminate it completely.

Feed early and light dinner so that your GSD does not gain those extra pounds during their night sleep.

After half an hour of every meal, consider engaging your dog in some or other physical activity.

It can be anything from stair climbing and alighting, a quick racing session, or a short game of fetch.

While following the weight loss journey, make sure you are monitoring the progress as well. However, if none of them helps, it is time to visit your veterinarian.

An educated expert can always guide you better and smart. Your Vet can help your design a diet chart for your GSD, especially based on personal nutritional requirements. From the quantity of food to what type of dog food is best for your canine, a Vet can suggest you the best.

Wrapping Up

We hope that you have most of your answers concerning German Shepherd overweight. Obesity for none is a healthy condition. Especially when it comes to your beloved voiceless canine, it can risk them to several ailments and even a shorter life span.

Thus, always have an eye on your German Shepherd’s physical growth and manage it before it gets too late.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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