How to make a Doberman gain weight

doberman playing in a field of yellow flowers

Is my Doberman too skinny

Dobermans are a lean and athletic build. However, if your Doberman looks too skinny or has suddenly lost weight there may be a medical problem. if you have concerns, especially if your dog is showing other signs and symptoms of ill health, consult your vet.

To determine if your Doberman is underweight there is a simple 3 step visual and hands-on check you can do.

Step 1: Run your hands along the side of your dog’s body. You should be able to easily feel the individual contour of your dog’s ribs. There should be a light layer of fat but the rib cage should still be able to be felt. If there is no fat covering the ribs at all your dog is mot probably underweight.

Step 2: Look at your dog’s body from above. There should be a visually discernable waistline and you should be able to see an hourglass shape. However, the spine should not be showing.

Step 3: View your dog from the size. The tummy should be tucked in so that the rib cage is lower than the belly. However, the rib cage should not be visible.

The American Doberman Pinscher’s weight is 75 to 100 pounds (34 to 45 kg) for males and 60 to 90 pounds (27 to 41 kg) for females.

European Dobermann’s weighs 88 to 99 pounds (40-45 kg) for males and 71 to 77 pounds (32-35 kg) for females.

These standard weights are only an indication and weights may vary. This may be due to the height, age, and body type of the individual dog.

If you are concerned that your Doberman is too skinny monitor their weight and weigh them regularly to ensure they are not losing weight.

Why won’t my Doberman gain weight

You may be concerned that your Doberman is unable to gain weight, despite them having a good appetite. There are many reasons why a dog may be not gaining weight even if their calorie and quantity of food intake are good. These can include:-

Poor quality nutrition

If the food you are feeding your Doberman is not providing nutritional value to your dog they will simply poop it out. The ingredients may not be giving their body the right nutrition. Some dog foods are simply full of fillers.

Underfeeding

You may not be giving your Doberman sufficient calories for their needs. The feeding quantities on dog food packages are only a guideline. If you Doberman is extremely active they may be burning more calories than they consume. You may need to feed them more or give them a higher calorie food.

Picky eater

Some dogs may be picky eaters. This is usually the result of being given special treats. They are trying to get you to give them something they want. They will not starve themselves but will hold out for as long as possible. For more on dealing with a picky eater see here.

Old age

As a dog reaches their later years they can lose muscle mass and store less fat. It is best to ensure they receive regular check ups by your vet.

Internal Parasites

There are a range of parasites, or worms, that your dog could be infected with. Weight loss is a key sign of a parasite infection along with scooting, vomiting, diarrhea, and a distended abdomen. Treat for Doberman with a worming medication. If they have worms they will come out in their poo. It is important to use a broad spectrum wormer as that will treat all varieties of worms.

Illness/Disease

There are a variety of diseases that can cause weight loss in a dog. If you have any concerns, consult your vet.

Diabetes

Weight loss is a common symptom of Type 1 Diabetes. Only symptoms include excessive thirst, increased urination, and dehydration. Again, consult your vet if you have any concerns.

Dental Issues

If your Doberman has bad teeth or other dental issues, eating may make eating difficult for them. You may want to give them a wet dog food in this case. It is also best to consult your vet and mouth infections can be serious.

How to put weight on a Doberman

Once your veterinarian as confirmed that your Doberman’s low weight is not due to a medical problem, there are a few things you can do to help them put weight on.

Increase calorie intake

Add more calories to your dog’s diet either by increasing the quantity feed or switching to high-calorie food. If changing your dog food, do it gradually to prevent an upset stomach or diarrhea. Give 10% of the new food on day one, and increase each day until a full transition is made. You can also give additional treats and snacks.

Feed your Doberman higher levels of protein and fats. Foods that have a high carbohydrate content will fill your dog up with empty calories.

Change their feeding schedule

Increase the number of meals you give each day. If you are only feeding them once a day, break that food quantity into three or four smaller meals. Also, give them their last month an hour or two before going to bed at night. This will cause their body to store the fat during sleep.

Modify their exercise

It may seem logical to cut out your Doberman’s daily exercise to prevent burning calories. However, physical exercise will help increase a dog’s appetite.

In addition, a large percentage of a dog’s weight should be muscle. Cutting out too much exercise will cause them to lose muscle mass. Instead, reduce aerobic exercise and increase strengthening and muscle-building exercise. For a guide to muscle building exercises for dogs see here.

Best food and supplements for Doberman weight gain

These are a number of dog foods and supplements you can give your Doberman to increase their daily calorie and boost their protein and fats. These are my top picks:-

Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food

Bully Max is the top brand for putting bulk on a dog. Their dry premium dog food is high in both protein and fat along with much-needed vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Bully Max has meat as the number one ingredient and contains 535 calories per cup.

View Bully Max dog food on Amazon

Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food

Pro Plan is my preferred brand of dog food. This formula is designed for dog athletes and so is high in calories along with high protein (30%) and fat (20%) levels. It has 475 calories per cup.

View Pro Plan dog food on Amazon

Bully Max / Gorilla Max Canine Supplement Combo

This is a combo of two weight gain supplements for dogs. Combo contains Bully Max 60 day supply and 30 servings of Gorilla Max. Dogs gain an average of 7 lbs of muscle and weight in the first 60 days.

View the Bully Max and Gorilla Max Combo on Amazon

Dyne High-Calorie Animal Supplement

This is a liquid supplement that you simply add to your dog’s food. An ounce of this supplement will provide an extra 150 calories.

View Dyne High Calorie supplement on Amazon

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