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Why Is My Doberman So Skinny? 4 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on April 25, 2024 by Dogster Team


Why Is My Doberman So Skinny? 4 Vet-Reviewed Reasons


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you have a pet Doberman, you know that they are lean from birth and have an athletic build. However, you also know that there’s such a thing as being too skinny and that being too skinny isn’t healthy for your pet. If you have a skinny Doberman, this article is for you.

If you’re concerned that your Dobie looks a little too skinny, you can take him to the vet for a checkup. However, there are a few reasons for this as well. In this post, we’ll give you the top four reasons your Doberman may not be gaining weight. After the list, we’ll give you a guide on the things to look for when determining if your Dobie is too skinny or not.

The 4 Reasons Why a Doberman Is Skinny

1. Poor Eating Habits

One of the most common reasons for a skinny Doberman is poor eating habits. Most Doberman parents have read at some time or another that Dobermans are picky eaters or fussy eaters, at the least.

If your Dobie is a fussy eater, he may be hiding his food so that he doesn’t have to eat it. Hiding his food or refusing to eat will prevent him from receiving the required amount of food that ensures he reaches a healthy weight.

This could be because the dog is getting too many treats or scraps from the table during the day, making it easy for him to refuse his regular dog food. While you love giving your dog treats and bits of your food, table scraps do not provide all the vitamins, nutrients, and calories he needs to be healthy.

The problem could also be that the food doesn’t agree with him, so he hesitates to eat it or doesn’t eat it at all. In this case, it’s best to make an appointment with your vet to determine the best food to feed your furry friend.

Doberman 9 months old
Image Credit: Malisa Nicolau, Shutterstock

2. Dietary Issues

Dietary issues are another reason that your pet might be too skinny. This one also covers a vast number of potential issues. As previously stated, the food might not agree with your furry friend. The two most common issues are low-quality food and portion size, resulting in a calorie deficiency.

If the food you’re feeding your Dobie is low-quality, the problem could stem from malnourishment. While you might be on a limited budget and looking for budget-friendly dog food, you still need to ensure that the brand has the nutrients, calories, and protein your Dobie needs to reach its ideal weight.

For example, with low-quality food, your Dobie might get only half the nutrients and calories he needs, even though you’re feeding him the required two full cups of dog food daily.

That brings us to the next issue, if your dog isn’t getting the correct portion size, he will start losing weight. As with anything else, the number of calories your Doberman needs will depend on the dog, the climate you live in, the exercise your Dobie gets, and other factors.

If you’re unsure you’re giving your dog the right amount of food, it’s best to contact your vet for help.

3. Exercising Too Much

While you wouldn’t think it possible, one common issue with skinny Dobermans is exercising too much. If you own one of these majestic dogs, you probably already know they need at least two hours a day of physical activities. Some Dobermans need even more exercise to stay healthy and run off pent-up energy.

However, there’s also such a thing as too much exercise for your Doberman pal. Some pet parents go overboard with the training, taking their Dobie on long hikes or on walks that last for miles. While your dog will be happy with this, it could just be too much, causing the dog to start losing weight.

doberman dog jumping high to fetch a ball
Image Credit: Michsa, Shutterstock

4. Underlying Health Issues

If none of the previously mentioned reasons apply to your Doberman, it’s possible your pet has underlying health issues that need to be dealt with. There is a wide range of health issues that could cause your dog to lose weight. We’ll list a few of those issues below.

  • Parasites
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Kidney disease
  • Stress
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Canine cancer
  • Megaesophagus
  • EPI or Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

These are a few underlying conditions that can cause weight loss in Dobermans. These conditions will often be seen with other symptoms besides weight loss. Those symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, changes in temperament, and nausea. If you notice any of these signs in your furry friend, along with the weight loss, then it’s time to contact your vet to determine the underlying condition and treatment.

How To Tell If Your Doberman Is Too Skinny

Since Dobermans are lean, to begin with, it can be hard to determine whether your dog is too skinny. Look for symptoms such as your dog’s ribs being visible, or when you touch them, it feels like they are right under the skin with no fat layer between the skin and the ribs.

If your dog’s hip bones, spinal cord, and shoulder bones can be easily felt beneath its skin, they are probably too skinny. Also, if the bones at the base of your dog’s tail are protruding, it’s time to take action so that your Doberman can be healthy and happy the way it’s supposed to be.

Final Thoughts

These are a few of the top reasons that your Doberman is skinny. While Dobermans are lean, to begin with, they aren’t supposed to be so thin that you can feel their ribs or see their bones. It’s essential to feed your Doberman high-quality food. It’s also important to exercise your Doberman, but not so much that it’s unhealthy for your pet.

Finally, some health issues can cause your Dobie to lose weight. If you feel that your pup has any of the symptoms listed, or you’re just worried about him being so skinny, make an appointment with your vet. It’ll help your pet and give you peace of mind at the same time.

Featured Image Credit: Kateryna Orlova, Shutterstock

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