Although German Shepherds are naturally active dogs, this does not mean they cannot gain weight. Lack of exercise, poor diet including too many treats, and health issues such as thyroid disease can cause your Shepherd to become overweight. Being overweight can cause all sorts of health problems – especially extra strain on their hips – and even shorten their lifespan. Because of this, it’s important to know when your Shepherd is carrying around some extra pounds so you can slim him down again as soon as possible. Watch for the following 3 signs that your German Shepherd Dog is overweight.
#1 – Can’t Feel Ribs
You should be able to feel your German Shepherd Dog’s ribs when you run your hand over their middle. This can be difficult due to their double coat, especially on long-haired Shepherds, but you should be able to feel them if you lightly push into their coat.
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#2 – Panting
Unless your German Shepherd is stressed or too warm, panting is another sign he has too much weight on his body. If your Shepherd only walks a block and is panting, he may be out of shape and overweight. Definitely time to start an exercise regimen to slowly build back his stamina and lose some pounds.
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#3 – No Definition
German Shepherds have a certain look to their body that is pretty recognizable. Yours should have a deep rib cage that inclines to a defined waist at the hips. If your German Shepherd is missing this definition, she is overweight. Dr. Sophia Yin’s website has a great, easy to follow guide for checking your Shepherd’s body definition.