I have had my Australian Shepherd for a while now, and I am a bit concerned that she might be too skinny. I don’t know this for sure, but she seems thinner than what I think a dog of her size should look like.
Concerned, I took to the internet last night and dug up some information. Here is what I found.
Is My Australian Shepherd Too Skinny?
Australian Shepherds males should weigh fifty-five to seventy pounds and females should weigh thirty-five to fifty-five pounds. If your Australian Shepherd’s backbone, hip joints, ribs, or other body parts seem to push out more than what is considered normal for a dog, they may be too skinny
This can be seen and felt. If you think your Australian Shepherds bones when you run your hands along their body, they are likely too skinny.
Healthy dogs will always have a somewhat skinny appearance, but too much accentuation of the bones can mean they are too skinny. There should be a subtle layer of body fat around the bones and other areas that shows they are healthy and well-fed.
If you feel your Australian Shepherd is too skinny, it can be helpful to check their diet and daily intake of food compared to their output of energy used in activities or work.
It may be necessary to increase their diet or change up their food to something more nutrient-dense.
Beyond that, it is always best for an Australian Shepherd pet parent to take their dog in for a complete checkup since some illnesses, treatable and not, can cause any dog to be too skinny.
Their veterinarian will do a comprehensive evaluation which may or may not include blood work, and offer their diagnosis and advice.
Suppose your Australian Shepherd is too skinny per their veterinarian. In that case, they can likely provide information on correcting this issue with a more daily intake of food or modification of activities until somewhat is put on.
While there are set guidelines of what is considered healthy for every dog breed, some dogs do not naturally fall into this guideline and may be thinner or heavier.
If they are too skinny, pet parents may need to up their food intake to compensate for extra activity on certain days, which can be easily done by adding more food to their meals and providing a few added healthy snacks here and there when needed.
Weight is not the same for every one dog or human, but there are obvious signs of poor health and lack of nutrition that show up in a too skinny dog of any breed.
Australian Shepherds are active dogs; they love to work, play and have fun. Full of enthusiasm for life and life’s adventures, they have an overabundance of energy to expel.
This energy is one of the reasons they are perfect for active families and individuals looking for a furry companion to take along on their exciting life journeys.
That being said, this level of activity can mean that they need more nutrition and water in their daily diet, so they don’t become too skinny or lose weight. It is easy to accomplish this by providing them with the most nutritious food that the pet parent can afford.
For any dog to be too skinny, there will not be a thin layer of fat around their body which all dogs should have. Their ribs or other bones may protrude outwards, either felt or seen by the pet parent or veterinarian.
These are signs of malnutrition and poor diet.
It is easy to remedy this situation by increasing their intake of healthy, nutritious food.
Adding a bit more food to their bowl when they are fed their meals and perhaps a few extra treats when they receive them for good behavior may do the trick and increase their weight.
This should be the first course of action for pet parents who believe their Australian Shepherd is too skinny. If the Australian Shepherd hasn’t put any weight on and still appears to be too skinny after a few days or weeks, it is best to consult their veterinarian.
Their veterinarian will evaluate their health, including diagnostic testing like labs, and offer their advice if something is wrong, or even if it is not.
They can instruct on ways to increase a dog’s diet for those dogs that are extra energetic and enthusiastic about life and work or play.
The Australian Shepherd is one such breed, and often this is likely the case. They simply need added nutrition in their diet because they work and play hard.
Another alternative is to temporarily reduce their activity for a few days while feeding them extra food, but this may or may not work with the Australian Shepherd.
This breed can suffer behavioral problems if its needs for activity are not met. They might enjoy a few days inside the house playing with kids and other pets, but they will likely get bored and wind up misbehaving at some point.
Pet parents should be prepared for this and act accordingly with diversions like tug of war with their Australian Shepherd or taking them for a drive where they can smell the fresh air.
Nutrition is the foundation of all good health; therefore, problems with weight gain or loss or any other issues related to their body can point towards issues with their diet.
Some guidelines can help pet parents ensure that their Australian Shepherd is healthy, but this is just a guideline.
No two dogs are alike, and while these guidelines give a baseline for weight, some dogs will fall into the category, others will fall outside of it, above or below.
If your Australian Shepherd is that way, this doesn’t mean that they are unhealthy or too skinny or overweight.
If all areas of their life seem healthy, they are getting sleep and don’t appear tired, and they exercise but don’t seem exhausted, it is likely no cause for concern.
If your Australian Shepherd is playful and engaging and doesn’t appear to be unwell in any way, fitting into this guideline is unimportant.
What Can Cause My Australian Shepherd To Be Underweight?
Poor health, malnutrition, and getting older are the usual reasons an Aussie is losing weight. If your Aussie doesn’t gain weight with increased feedings, they may have a health problem or it may be a normal sign of aging.
All dogs, regardless of breed, can sometimes lose weight with age. There might be underlying health problems that bring this about, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed.
There might also be a lack of interest in food. As dogs age, like humans’ they may have less appetite for eating due to discomforts in their body’s digestive system or something else.
They might lose weight or even gain weight as well as suffer other discomforts. Bones might ache; they might become forgetful or have teeth that ache.
The best-case scenario in this situation is to try various foods that might interest them which are healthy.
It can be helpful to feed them more meals throughout the day. Instead of providing the senior Australian Shepherd two meals per day, it might be beneficial and more enticing if they are fed smaller but more frequent meals.
Instead of two big ones, four small meals might be gentler to their stomach as they are not as full at one time.
Making mealtime more enticing can also be helpful. Making eating exciting by playing a game before or after and sharing words of praise and comforting pats on the head and scratches can make them feel loved and more relaxed.
This can give them comfort and love at a time when they might not be feeling enthusiastic about eating.
Australian Shepherds usually weigh anywhere from thirty-five to seventy pounds, with females weighing less, but this is just a guideline. Suppose you find your Australian Shepherd doesn’t fit in this guideline.
You can feel their bones, and they don’t appear to be eating well regardless of age. They should see their veterinarian as a precaution.
Skinny Australian Shepherd
Many factors can play into an Australian Shepherd’s weight. Age, diet, exercise, stress level, and lifestyle all play a part in their health.
To determine if an Australian Shepherd is too skinny or not, one must look at all these factors together and possibly consult their veterinarian.
A healthy diet is the foundation of good health. Without it, disease and malnutrition can happen, leading to an Australian Shepherd being too skinny. If your Australian Shepherd appears to be skinny, you can do much, like offer a few extra treats as needed. After all, who doesn’t enjoy some extra love!