Why is My German Shepherd Dog Losing Weight?

Why is My German Shepherd Dog Losing Weight?

If your German Shepherd is losing weight abnormally, that is a red flag, and you should figure out the possible causes soon enough.

Some of the common reasons why your German Shepherd could be losing weight include poor nutrition, kidney disease, age, change of environment, depression, cancer, and other possible causes we have highlighted on this page. Immediately you notice an abrupt loss of weight, you should visit a vet for diagnosis and treatment before it is too late.

This article will help you understand how dental problems, worms, and parasites, poor nutrition, among others will bring about weight loss to your German Shepherd.


Why is My German Shepherd Dog Losing Weight? [15 Common Reasons]

1. Worms and parasites

Worms like tapeworm, hookworm, or roundworm might attack your dog. You might have dewormed him, but there are some resistant worms like whipworm that might not just be terminated by some products. These cases are rare but they might affect your German Shepherd. A dog that has a parasite will diarrhea, lose appetite, vomit, or have a bloody stool.

2.Poor Nutrition

It’s always advisable to be keen on what you are feeding your dog. German Shepherds are known to be big and active dogs, this means they require the best food that is specially formulated for GSDs. If you feed your dog with too much food with less nutritional value or less food with but nutritious, your dog will lose weight.

3.Changes in Diet

You might think that your dog is tired of eating his usual food and decide to change his diet.  You might select his next food without considering the wholesomeness of the ingredients. Your dog can also dislike the new food making him not eat it which leads to weight loss.

4.Dental Problem

A broken tooth or gum infection can make your dog have difficulties while eating. If you rarely check your dog’s teeth, he might lose weight due to prolonged eating problems. Oral problems if not treated early, they lead to heart and kidney diseases.


Aging in German Shepherd is accompanied by many health complications. Your dog might develop dental problems, lack of appetite. They also don’t play or exercise much thus no eating much. An old German Shepherd is most likely to be skinny.

Related: How long do German Shepherd dogs live?

6.Change in Environment

If you introduce a new pet, environment or a friend moves in with you, chances are that your dog will take time to adapt.

He might get uncomfortable for some time and he can have problems eating. Fortunately, GSDs adapt easily so with time they will be back to normal.

7. Liver disease

German Shepherds are at risk of getting liver disease. If the liver is infected, it will have trouble releasing nutrients to the body. This will make him lose appetite or vomit and eventually lead to weight loss.

8. Depression

Depression brings about many changes in a dog’s body. He may be depressed for many reasons like change in environment, giving birth, or death of a partner. In case of the death of a partner, baby, or another pet, dogs normally grieve a lot. They can stay a whole day without food or water leading to weight loss.  A depressed dog will withdraw from people and stop doing his normal things like playing.

9.Kidney Disease

Always take your dog for a kidney disease checkup because, unlike other diseases whose weight loss is one of the signs, its signs are notable when the disease has already progressed. Your dog can lose weight as a result of a progressed kidney disease.


Diabetes mellitus affects most German shepherds, the pancreas fails to release insulin to the body. This condition makes your dog urinate frequently, be very thirsty and lose weight. This disease is hereditary and unspayed female dogs are much prone.

13. Pickiness

German Shepherds can be picky, they might not like the food you choose for them. In some cases, they do not like your company when eating. You should change the type of food you feed them and also leave them alone during mealtime.


Cancer can make your German Shepherd lose weight within a short time. A dog suffering from cancer will look exhausted, have shortness of breath, drool excessively, skin sores on the skin among others. It also causes oral tumors which makes it very hard for your dog to swallow food.

14. Gastrointestinal disorders

This disease makes your German Shepherd thinner with time. It causes vomiting and diarrhea hence the body doesn’t have time to absorb nutrients from the food. Dogs with this disease are skinny regardless of the type or amount of food you feed them.

15.Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease might be a possible cause of your dog’s weight loss. This condition will reduce the production of hormone from the adrenal gland resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.


You should check your dog’s mouth for any dental problems. Don’t be so strict with your aging dog, give him the food that is pleasing him to cheer him to eat more.

Take your dog to a vet regularly so that he can be tested and treated earlier before any disease takes down their life or weight.



Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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