In this article, we will be taking a look at how to get your german shepherd to lose weight. Some dog owners find it difficult to refuse their dog a treat or table scraps when it pesters for one. This often leads to your german shepherd being overweight.
These tips and tricks are quick and easy for anyone to implement to help work towards their dog losing weight quickly but also safely.
How To Help Your German Shepherd Lose Weight
If your german shepherd needs to lose weight then try these:-
Know The Calories Your Dog Needs
When trying to increase or decrease the weight of your pet it is essential to know how many calories it requires to maintain its lean body mass. The serving charts on the back of high-quality dog foods similar to the one in the image below are usually the easiest way to work this out. Just be advised that some of the lower-quality dog food brands will not provide these guides on their products.
As you can see in the image above, they work their feeding sizes out by your dog’s current weight rather than its age as weight is usually an easier and more accurate way. If in doubt, you can always visit your local veterinarian for a checkup and their exact serving size recommendation.
Restrict The Calories Your Dog Has Access To
Now that you know the number of calories you should be offering your german shepherd each to for it to maintain its weight, we need to restrict them to put it in a calorie deficit. Most sources recommend that you restrict calories by between 10-20%.
If we use the chart in the section above for an example and pretend your dog is 31 pounds we would come up with the following calorie breakdown.
- Cups of food required to maintain = 2
- Cups of food at a 10% deficit = 1.8
- Cups of food at a 15% deficit = 1.7
- Cups of food at a 20% deficit = 1.6
A study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention discovered that as few as ten additional kibbles in your pet’s meals over the course of a day can end up adding a pound of body weight over the course of the year.
As many german shepherd owners will simply pour their dogs food into its bowl without checking it, imagine how many additional kibbles are being accidentally added to your dog’s diet! As we are trying to get our german shepherd to lose weight though, we can manipulate the data in this study to presume that as little as ten fewer kibbles in your pet’s meal throughout the day can result in a loss of a pound of fat over a year. Our article on how to get your dog on a diet may offer further actionable advice for you.
Control Access To Treats
Another common reason that pets end up overweight is too much treating and too many junk treats. Rather than use a mass-produced grain-based treat that is high in calories and low in anything else why not try a new product?
We always recommend Stewart Pro Freeze Dried Treats. They are 100% freeze-dried real meat with no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors added to them. They are also available in a number of different flavors but for example, the chicken liver flavored treats contain nothing but 100% chicken liver. They have proven extremely popular with the dog owners community too, you can click here to read independent third party reviews from dog owners of these dog treats.
Depending on the flavor they are around 5 Kcal per gram or 129 Kcal per ounce. The treats are also easy to break up and half so you can treat your pet for being a good dog while restricting the number of calories it has access to.
Take Advantage Of Exercise
Another thing many dog owners seem to relax on is ensuring that their dog is getting plenty of exercises. German shepherds have been bread to assist farmers with their clocks and they are a high energy dog, use this to your advantage when trying to get your dog to lose weight.
Even something as simple as playing fetch using a Chuckit! to increase your throwing range can help. This takes advantage of the training principle of high-intensity interval training by getting your dog to run at maximum effort for the ball that you can now throw even further due to the Chuckit! before taking a little rest before the next throw. There have been a large number of studies done with humans to prove that high-intensity interval training is an excellent way to lose weight.
Our articles linked below offer additional advice you may find helpful:-
- How To Get Your Dog To Jog With You!
- How To Get Your Dog In Shape Quickly!
- How To Get Your Dog To Play With Toys Easily!
- How To Get Your Dog Swimming By Itself!
- How To Get Your Dog To Walk On A Treadmill!
When taking your dog out for a potty break walk, try to walk for at least twenty minutes rather than a quick two minutes around the block. Although not an efficient weightloss practice for your dog, it is better than nothing.
My German Shepherd Puppy Is Overweight
If you have an overweight german shepherd puppy then you can still implement most of the strategies above. The only thing we would recommend is that you use a food designed for puppies. Our post on the best puppy food for german shepherds should be able to help you with this.
Why Is My German Shepherd So Overweight
The most common reason german shepherds are usually overweight is due to their owners overfeeding them and under working them. Weight gain and weight loss go by the simple equation of calories in vs calories out. To put weight in, increase the calories in, to lose weight, increase the calories out.
Thankfully, these are both easy to correct, simply use the methods mentioned earlier in the article to manipulate this equation into your favor. By decreasing the calories in as well as increasing the calories out you are manipulating both sides of the equation in your favor to help your dog lose weight.
Doing this will usually end up with you getting results quicker. That said, we don’t recommend that you restrict your dogs recommended calorie intake by more than 20% with between 10-15% being the usual restriction.