German Shepherd Weight – What You Need to Know
Recommended German Shepherd weight:
Male: 30 – 40 kg. (65 pounds – 88 pounds)
Female: 22 – 32 kg. (48 pounds – 71 pounds)
Letting your German Shepherd become overweight can shorten its life dramatically. German Shepherds that are overweight are more susceptible to illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other debilitating problems.
By carrying too much weight on its body, a German Shepherd that is overweight is also putting extra strain on its joints and backs, which can lead to arthritis. If your German Shepherd is overweight, it’s in your and your German Shepherd’s best interest to get it slimmed down as soon as possible.
I highly recommend taking action before your German Shepherd’s weight becomes an issue. It is just as with humans, it is a lot easier to keep your German Shepherd weight in the normal range, rather than having to lose weight.
What Does It Mean When A Dog Is Obese/Overweight?
A rule of thumb says a dog is obese if it weighs 15% above its optimal weight. For example, a male German Shepherd, with a normal weight of around 85 pounds (if the German Shepherd is physically active), is defined as obese if it weighs above 98 pounds.
How Do I Found Out If My Dog Is Overweight?
If your dog’s body fat is above 20%, well then I hate to break it for you – your dog is obese!
Calculating your dog’s body fat can be done in a lot of different ways. You can have your veterinarian help you with this. The calculation is based on a method, where the circumference of the dog’s waist and the distance between the knee- and hock-joints on the hind legs is used to calculate the “lean body mass”. That basically means the pure body mass. This is then inserted into a formula that calculates the dog’s ideal weight and current body fat percentage.
You can easily get your veterinarian to do this for you, but you can also conclude if your German Shepherd’s weight is too high. You can use the “weight” standards for the German Shepherd (see at the top of this post) to some extent. But it is even easier to just observe your German Shepherd get an idea if the dog is obese.
Feel the dog across the back. You should be able to feel the spine, and there has to be a reasonable amount of muscle and fat across the back. You should also be able to feel the ribs when you sweep over your German Shepherd’s side.
I recommend always looking out for signs of your German Shepherd’s weight is too high because the diseases that follow obesity aren’t something to kid about.
How Do I KnowIf My Dog Is Overweight?
Obesity is really harmful in the long run and causes a variety of lifestyle diseases – just as it can with humans.
Diseases often caused by obesity:
- Arthritis and joint problems
- Reduced fertility
- Heart disease
- Trouble breathing
How To Get Your German Shepherd Weight Down?
I am afraid there is no quick fix, there is only one way to lose weight: Fewer calories and more exercise!
If you know your dog’s ideal weight, you can easily calculate how many calories your dog has to consume every day.
The simplest and most gentle way to weight loss is to feed your German Shepherd with “weight loss” dog food. The point of “weight loss” dog food is that only eats that food for a period of time to lose weight.
When preparing “weight loss” food for dogs, one will reduce the energy content of the feed by reducing the fat content and increasing the protein content, while adding more fiber to the food, in order to give the dog a better feeling of satiety. The protein content of the diet should be relatively higher since it’s important that the dog doesn’t lose muscle mass.
The error must dog owners make is usually giving the wrong dosage of the feed to the dog. For it is very important that the dog ONLY gets the amount of feed that is recommended for the dog’s weight and nutritional status. And treats and other goodies are to be calculated into the calorie balance.
Even more important is to adjust the number of calories per day as the dog loses weight, it is especially this that people forget, and then they get mighty frustrated when after some time they discover that the dog is not losing weight anymore.
Measuring cups for measuring a given amount of food is fine, but there is some uncertainty of how precise this is. The absolute best and most precise method is EVERY day to weigh the given amount of food on a kitchen scale.
Your veterinarian can help you calculate your dog’s body fat percentage, body mass and build a completely custom-made “weight loss program” for your German Shepherd.
The second part of a weight loss process is increasing the amount of exercise. The more your dog burns per. day the more it will lose weight (it’s not really rocket science). The most obvious way to increase your dog’s exercise, is to increase the length of its walk.
Exercise in water is unsurpassed, if you want a gentle exercise (for example for an older dog). It can be both outdoors (swimming in lakes and the sea in the hot season) but more expensive clinics and dedicated dog training centers offer exercise in water either in the form of a swimming pool for dogs or a “water walker”, which is a treadmill in water. Both are very gentle on the joints, but require a bit of getting used to. Most dogs get used to it and actually come to love the exercise form.
Can My Dog Lose Weight Too Fast?
As in humans, it is not healthy for dogs to slim down too quickly. If the dog loses weight too fast, you risk the dog losing muscle mass and putting pressure on the internal organs. There a slow weight loss is highly recommended.