Best Foods for Underweight German Shepherd - German Shepherd Dog Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 11
Smile Best Foods for Underweight German Shepherd

Hi there!

My name is Noah and this is my first post on this forum! I'm really excited to be apart of the community and look forward to getting some tips and tricks along the way

So, I just got home from adopting a beautiful 4 year old German Shepherd (though I would assume she is not... she definitely looks purebred- photos to come) from a local animal shelter and am awaiting the completion of her spay surgery to pick her up sometime this week. Upon meeting her I noticed how very underweight she was and how malnourished she looked. I was told she was just getting over Kennel Cough and would be remaining on medicine until the 6th. The wet and dry food in her bowls were untouched.

I am wondering first how I can start getting her excited and interested in eating again because she seems to be a bit turned off to the idea which may change once she's out of the environment but if it doesn't I want to know what I can do to make it easier for her. Second, what are some good either food brands or simple recipes I can buy/make to feed her that will help her gain weight quicker. And on top of that how frequently should I feed her. Really just any tips or advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I have done tons of research prior to my decision to adopt but I just want to compare what I've found with people who have much more experience. I promise I took time to inform myself before making this decision!

Thank you so much! I can't wait for you all to meet her soon
SocalGSDLover is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:15 PM
Crowned Member
Nigel's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Washington St.
Posts: 6,966
Congratulations and welcome to the forum! The stress of being in the shelter may be a factor in her loss of appetite. Every dog is different and what they eat ravenously, just pick at, or ignore will vary. My four will eat Fromm and Honest Kitchen without fail, but I do give things like chicken feet, beef, and such on occasion, generally if I'm making dinner and it's something they like then they'll get some too. You may find she likes plain kibble or does better with a raw diet, it'll take time to see what works best. I recall a thread on making "Satin balls" for weight gain, you might try the forum search bar and looks for threads on it to see if it's something you want to try.
SocalGSDLover likes this.
Nigel is offline  
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:55 PM
Crowned Member
Momto2GSDs's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4,533
Hi Noah and WELCOME!

You can try a small amount of plain, unflavored, no sweeteners (especially no xylitol) yogurt or goats milk mixed in her kibble which could entice her.

Go slow when trying to make changes to her diet. Keep her on the same kibble the shelter is feeding for several weeks until she gets comfortable with the transition. Always transition with small amounts of new food mixed with old, taking a week or two to change eventually transitioning out the old food.
If stool gets loose, go back to previous amount fed (where stool was solid) and hold at that amount for a few days until his gut gets use to it. Then increase again. This is called "bowel tolerance".

Fromm’s: Store locator:
You can rotate flavors within the Fromm line to keep her interest.

(the Instinct is high protein so if you choose this, transition in very small amounts so as not to cause diarrhea)
Store locator:

I would also suggest a high quality Digestive Enzyme (helps to assimilate food) & a ProBiotic (keeps the "good" bacteria in the gut). Since about 75% of the immune system lies in the gut it is very important to keep it healthy.
Below are Human Ingredient Products made for dogs:
Sunday Sundae (click on the email to order)
Gut Sensehttp://dr-dobias-natural-healing-usa...ducts/gutsense
Mercola Digestive/Probiotic:
Digest All Plus:
Animal Essentials: Plant Enzyme w/ Probiotics 3.5 oz 100 gm - Animal Essentials

Best of luck!

SocalGSDLover likes this.
Momto2GSDs is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:09 PM
dogma13's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: michigan
Posts: 5,503
I've dealt with a few very anxious shelter dogs in the past and at first I would hand feed them.If dry kibble was rejected,I would mix in something delicious and smelly.Chopped boiled eggs,canned dog or cat food,beef or chicken broth.GSDs tend to be one family dogs so it takes some time and patience for them to relax and settle in after being uprooted.Good luck!
SocalGSDLover likes this.


Samson Blk/Slvr GSD. RN
Misty Husky Mix
Z-Z Terrier/potato mix
Devo Yorkie Mix at the bridge
Dakota Wht GSD at the bridge
dogma13 is offline  
post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 11
Thank you for the tips! I'll definitely look into the Satin Balls. And yeah I am hoping that just being out of the shelter will also help. Thanks again
SocalGSDLover is offline  
post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 11
Thank you for the tips! I was wondering how long I should take to transition her from the shelter kibble, so thank you! And the links... you're a superstar !!! Thank you so much I have lots to research now
SocalGSDLover is offline  
post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 11
Great tips thank you! Yeah I am thankful I'm not working a lot this week or next so that I can be home with her while she settles in. Thanks again!
SocalGSDLover is offline  
post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 07:45 PM
Elite Member
eddie1976E's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 1,768
If you want a good high calorie food that is easily digested try dr. tim's momentum. Watch the weight gain though, this food has over 500 calories per cup.

Linc Remington vom Sequoyah Haus, "Remi"- D.O.B 2/3/14

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
eddie1976E is offline  
post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 07:48 PM
Crowned Member
LuvShepherds's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4,194
Kennel cough and a spay are a lot for her body to deal with. It is too bad they didn’t wait to spay until she was completely well. I’m not surprised she has no appetite. It could be due to medication, too. Once you get her home, pick a food and gradually switch her over. Also consider raw or modified raw. Her appetite should pick up once she is home with you and feeling better.
Sabis mom likes this.
LuvShepherds is offline  
post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 11
Hi guys!

Update! We got to take her home yesterday and she's doing pretty well! She has some pretty bad separation anxiety which makes total sense, so I haven't really left her side except for at night when shes in her crate. She is still coughing and yacked up a tiny bit of mucus today from her Kennel Cough, but she seems to be doing better from the rest and medicine.

I've noticed twice now that she keeps licking her front paws and legs. I read that could be a sign of her separation anxiety because it releases endorphins, but she just did it for the second time just now while shes laying next to me.

Also, she doesn't like to sleep. I can tell she's tired because she laying down now but with her head up like in the attached photos and her eyes keep closing and opening like shes falling asleep but she is like keeping herself awake almost? Lastly, she won't stop panting. Her water bowl hasn't been empty once and she's been drinking plenty so I know she isn't dehydrated.

Sorry this post is all over the place! Just kind of venting out all my thoughts and concerns haha. She has a vet appointment tomorrow so I'm sure I'll get more answers to my questions then as well.

Anyway, without further ado I'd like to introduce everyone to sweet Maisie!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4237.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	63.7 KB
ID:	522085   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4236.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	83.0 KB
ID:	522087   Click image for larger version

Name:	58196835575__8826523B-60DC-42BA-A4EF-2A353BB03218.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	149.4 KB
ID:	522089  
SocalGSDLover is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome