Rottweilers, or Rotties as they are commonly called, were first found in Germany and they were used by farmers and butchers to pull heavy carts and drive cattle.
Rotties in historic times and today are characterized by a very bulky and muscular body and a wide chest to give them a lot of strength and endurance.
If a Rottweiler falls ill from a disease or is seriously injured, he may suffer from quite a bit of weight loss. Others items can occur in which you have a Rottweiler that is considered underweight.
Fortunately, you can change several factors in his daily life to get him back to a healthy and happy four-legged companion.
Signs of An Underweight Rottweiler
Some signs of an underweight Rottie can help you to decide if you need to enlist the help of changing items to get him to gain weight.
Lack of Appetite
Just because your dog is underweight doesn’t mean he will be gobbling up more food than necessary to gain weight, but contrarily, he will most likely be eating much less than he should.
Low Energy Levels
Rottweilers are generally very active and playful dogs. A poor diet will not give him the normal energy levels that he should have and you may notice that his exuberance in play is lacking energy.
Exposed Ribs or Spine
It’s easy to feel your dog’s ribs and spine to see if he is indeed underweight. You just simply run your hands over the spine and ribs and you should be able to slightly feel them underneath his skin, a double coat of fur and fat. If they are protruding, then your dog is too skinny.
Rottweilers have beautiful coats that are mainly black and they are very shiny when they are healthy. If your dog’s coat looks dull then it is not getting the right nutrition for good skin and coat growth and appearance.
What Causes a Rottie to Be Underweight?
There are several causes of making a dog underweight. If he eats a poor diet and it’s not balanced, he can be underweight and thin. Either he is not eating enough food or doesn’t have the nutrients in it for good health.
A lack of vitamins and minerals in your dog’s diet can also lead to him being underweight. They need the right minerals and vitamins to build strong bones, and connective tissues and for their health in general.
Dehydration can certainly cause a dog to be skinny. Their water supply is not only needed to be hydrated, especially when they lose a lot of water due to exercise and play. Too little water can also not allow the nutrients in your dog’s diet to be absorbed as they should and this leads to poor nutrition.
Internal parasites can make your dog underweight. Worms of several kinds feed on your dog’s gastrointestinal tract in the intestines and make your dog really sick.
Helping A Rottweiler Gain Weight Through Food
Choose a balanced dry dog food that states on the bag that it is a complete and balanced diet. This statement means that it contains proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, and carbohydrates for good nutrition.
Always feed your Rottweiler the right life stage of dog food. Puppy food for puppies, adult food for adults, and senior food for older dogs.
The foods are different from each other because they are specially made for good growth as a pup, maintaining good health as an adult, and maintaining weight as a senior dog.
You can always add an extra source of protein to your dog’s dry food. Cook any lean beef or chicken and cut it into small pieces and add it to the dog food to entice him to eat more.
Dogs can also benefit from the addition of vegetables and grains to their food, such as carrots, green beans, spinach, and kale.
These should be fresh vegetables so they will maintain their vitamins and minerals. Remember to avoid garlic, onions, fruits with seeds, and mushrooms as dogs can’t digest these well.
You can increase the number of meals you feed your dog to encourage a better appetite as well.
If you normally feed him twice a day, increase it to three times a day and put the same quantity of food in his bowl for all three meals that he normally eats.
There are also items to add to your dog’s food bowl to encourage him to eat more. You can try adding water to moisten his hard kibble and he may consume more food.
You can add beef or chicken bouillon that is low in salt and doesn’t contain other flavors such as onion or garlic.
You want to dilute it to half the strength by adding double the amount of water to ensure it isn’t too strong. You may be surprised at how quickly your Rottie starts to gain weight and get more healthy.
Alternately, you can choose a commercial dog food topper or gravy to add to your dog’s regular dog food. These are very tasty liquids that smell amazing to humans as well as dogs.
It moistens the food, adds moisture to the diet, and can encourage the pickiest eaters to gobble down their bowls of food, thereby increasing their weight and muscle mass.
You can increase the amount of good quality dog treats that your dog gets each day to help him gain weight.
The treats should contain fiber and protein to give him nutritional benefits as well as treats with dental benefits that are crunchy instead of soft treats.
Most dogs will love you to death for giving them extra yummy treats and most treats are calorie-rich as well.
Veterinary Help For Your Dog To Gain Weight
Your vet can prescribe a specialized diet for your underweight Rottweiler. The prescription diet for underweight dogs has an increased amount of calories and your vet may recommend supplements for weight gain in addition to this special food.
The Raw Food Diet for Dogs
You can try feeding your pretty pet a raw food diet that includes raw eggs, grains, vegetables, meat bones, and fruits.
It may take some time for him to begin to gain weight and you must follow the exact proportions of each of the types of food in order for it to be a balanced diet.
The benefits from a raw food diet are reported as your dog having firmer stools, an improvement in dental health, healthier coat and skin, reduced allergies, weight management, and a much more muscular build.
The foods included in a raw food diet for dogs should be in the correct proportions for each type of food for good results.
It should include between 12% and 15% bones, meaning bones with meat on them. This includes the legs, necks, wings, and thighs of chicken, turkey necks, lamb ribs or necks, and beef tail bones.
It should also include between 10% and 30% organs. We may not eat organs in our diets, but they are great for dogs and contain the most nutrients in a raw diet for dogs. You can add kidneys, hearts, brains, livers, and lungs from any type of meat.
Muscle meat should be included at the rate of 35% to 50% in a raw diet. It includes protein, enzymes, and vitamins.
For beef, meat includes ground beef, stew meat, and cheek meat. For bison, feed him ground bison or stew meat.
For lamb meat, it includes stew meat, ground lamb, breast, or shoulder meat. For pork, meats include pork loin, shoulders, and butts as well as boneless ribs. Add chicken breasts and boneless thighs and thighs, breasts, or ground turkey.
Other Weight Gaining Strategies
Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation of supplements to help your dog gain weight. There are several types on the market and you should only use one approved by your vet.
Getting your dog to exercise more will naturally increase his appetite because he is burning more calories and his body will try to compensate for this by eating more. You can increase his walks by 15 to 20 minutes or encourage more play with you, such as fetch and tug of war.
The most important thing to remember when you think your beloved Rottie is too thin is to take him to the vet to get checked out for any sign of a disease or condition that could be causing this.
Then ask your veterinarian for his opinion on what to change in your dog’s diet and routine to make your Rottweiler gain weight and be healthy. You have several options, but the vet always knows best.
Best Products for Rottweiler
- Best Dog Food for Rottweiler: HORIZON PET NUTRITION Legacy Adult Grain-Free
- Best Harness for Rottweiler: Rabbitgoo Dog Harness
- Best Brush for Rottweiler: JW Pet Company GripSoft
- Best Collar for Rottweiler: Black Rhino - The Comfort Collar Ultra Soft Neoprene
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- Best Dog Toy for Rottweiler: Starmark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball
- Best Dog Treat For Rottweiler: LIFE ESSENTIALS BY CAT-MAN-DOO
- Best Rottweiler Dog Bed: BarksBar Snuggly Sleeper Large