Boxer dogs have tight muscles that make them look lean and slim. But sometimes, a boxer dog will not gain weight or will lose a few pounds. You try your best to help them gain weight but they remain skinny.
Are you doing something wrong? Or is something wrong with your dog’s health? These are just a few questions that keep you up at night. And these are the questions we’re going to answer.
Why Your Boxer Dog Will Not Gain Weight
There are different reasons why your boxer dog doesn’t seem to be gaining weight. It could be part of their growing up process. But it could also be something unnatural going on in their body.
Boxer’s Skinny Phase
Boxer pups are adorable with their layer of “puppy fat.” Their muscles aren’t defined yet and they have a long way to go before being an adult.
But as they grow, the puppy fat starts to lose. It may happen suddenly and more rapidly as they grow taller. As the fats lose, they’ll look underweight as their muscles are yet to mature.
Boxer dogs do have what is known as a skinny phase. This normally happens when they are around 14 to 22 months old. It’s that awkward phase when they are growing in height but not in weight.
This is similar to our adolescence. This is a normal phase and doesn’t necessarily mean your dog has a problem. After this phase, their muscles will catch up with their height. Soon, your dog will look better.
As long as your dog is well fed and is healthy, you shouldn’t worry. Take time to bring your dog regularly to a vet to rule out any possible health problems. It’s also best to get their suggestions regarding your dog’s feeding schedule.
If your dog is still not gaining weight despite getting past the skinny phase, bring them to a vet. They might be suffering from several health problems that keep them from gaining weight.
Below are the most common health issues that can cause weight loss in dogs:
- Thyroid problems
- Intestinal Worms
- Liver problems
- Kidney problems
- Inflammatory bowel problems
- Problems with the pancreas
- Heart problems
- Immune system problems
- Gall bladder diseases
- Addison’s disease
- Intestinal tumors
- Gastrointestinal blockages
You might also want to observe your dog and check for more symptoms. It’s not enough basis for your dog to lose or not gain weight. Health issues may also cause any of the following:
- Moderate to a severe loss of appetite. Note that boxer dogs in their skinny phase continue to eat normally. If they ever lose appetite, it’s a mild case. They’ll continue eating more as time passes by.
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Dry heaving
- Lethargy or change in energy level
- Change in mood
- Dry coat/skin
The vet will have to do several tests including physical, stool, and blood tests. These can help diagnose the problem. They’ll also provide the best treatment plans and medication to cure your dog.
If your dog is not gaining weight, it’s likely because they are not eating well. Besides health issues, this may be due to food problems. Meaning they don’t like the food you’re offering so they aren’t eating it.
Your dog might not like the taste of the kibbles you bought. Or you might have suddenly changed their food from dry to wet food. Since they’re already familiar with dry dog food, the wet type may taste weird for them.
If you’re feeding your dog homemade dog food, ensure it’s not spoilt. Raw food can spoil very easily and just like you, your dog won’t eat anything spoilt.
How to Help Your Dog Gain Weight
Remember that boxer dogs have an ideal weight. According to AKC’s breed standard, a male boxer dog should weigh 65 to 80 pounds. Female dogs should weigh around 15 pounds less than the males.
Monitor your dog’s weight. They may look lean and slim but they’re most likely within the ideal weight range. If not, that’s the time you help them gain weight. But note that you shouldn’t stray beyond these numbers.
Here are things you can do to help your boxer dog gain some extra weight:
- De-worm your dog. If their tests have shown positive for parasitic worms, de-worming is important. Their vet might provide them with de-worming pills.
- Choose a better diet plan for your dog. Your boxer needs a good source of protein. If you’re buying dry dog food, ensure that the first ingredient is the protein source. Choose white meat if you’re cooking homemade dog foods. White mean includes chicken, turkey, or fish meat.
- Add more calories to your dog’s diet. It’s possible that they’re burning more calories than they take.
If your boxer dog will not gain weight, you can always get the help of a vet. They can rule out health problems and help you come up with the best feeding plan.