Having a skinny Labradoodle can be quite daunting, and often it can be hard to tell if it’s just some minor issue or if it, in fact, is something more serious.
So why is my Labradoodle so skinny? A skinny Labradoodle is usually caused by an improper diet as Labradoodles are high energy dogs, that require proper nutrition. But it can also be due to a more serious issue.
If you’re sure you feed your Labradoodle correctly consult a vet so you can discover if it’s something that might require medical assistance. Read on the learn more about the different signs and symptoms to look out for if you’re worried about your dog getting too skinny.
Symptoms of an Underweight Labradoodle
When talking about a skinny dog it is almost always due to it being underweight. But besides being skinny there are also some other symptoms you’re Labradoodle will be showing. So besides noticing your dog has lost weight, you should also be on the lookout for the following.
If the food you serve your Labradoodle doesn’t have enough nutrients in it, your dog won’t be able to get the power he needs to make sure his/her muscles continue to grow. And on top of this, when a dog’s (or humans) body gets too starved of the energy it will start eating itself. And when that happens, the muscles are the first thing to go.
In the most severe cases, an underweight Labradoodles’ ribcage will start to show. You must never allow your dog to reach this point, but if for some reason that’s the situation you must take them to the vet instantly.
Vomiting, Diarrhea and General Loss of Appetite
Digestion troubles is another very common sign of weight issues. This might display itself in a loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. And while this isn’t a direct symptom of a skinny Labradoodle it can usually be a cause. There’s also a risk that it’s a sign of a more serious health issue.
Lack Of Energy (Lethargy)
If your Labradoodle is underweight and skinny, there’s a high risk that he/she will also be going to lack energy. This is due to their body not getting enough of the needed nutrients, which in return means they’re obviously not going to have as high energy-levels as usual.
A Boring, Lifeless Coat
A boring and lifeless coat is also a sign of an underweight Labradoodle. As with other possible causes, when they aren’t getting the proper nutrients in their diet, their body will start to suffer, and in many cases, the declining quality of your dogs’ fur will start to show quite early.
Possible Reasons for Weight Loss in a Labradoodle
If you really think that your Labradoodle has been getting too skinny, or recently has been losing weight, then I would always advise that you take a trip to your vet to ensure that everything’s okay.
But typically, you don’t have to worry too much, as there are many different reasons why your Labradoodle is a bit skinnier than usual.
Are you completely sure what you’re feeding your Labradoodle is high in all the right nutrients? And if you are, are you feeding him/her enough?
Labradoodles’ are high-energy dogs, that require a lot more nutrition than just any regular lapdog. This problem can also occur with Labradoodles who aren’t fed a specific amount of meals every day. Some people just throw a handful of food in their dogs’ bowl every day and think that will suffice.
The problem with this method is that you can’t really measure the right amount of food you’re giving your dog. It means that on some days they’ll get more than enough, and on other days they won’t.
Different brands of food also have different calories. So while you might think that you’re giving your Labradoodle plenty, the reality is that you might not.
Anxiety or stress in your furry friend can also lead to a loss of appetite. Dogs have to feel safe in order to properly eat, and that means that if they are stressed or anxious with their surroundings or with some people in their environment, they might not feel safe and secure enough to eat on a regular basis.
According to the ASPCA, some of the signs of anxiety are:
- Biting/digging/destructive tendencies
- Constant howling/barking
- Defecating/urinating in the home
If your dog has diabetes, another symptom of that is weight loss. But, besides weight loss, you might also notice other symptoms such as excessive thirst, urination, and urinary tract infections if your dog suffers from diabetes. (Source)
If your dog is infected by tapeworms of some other form of internal parasite, that will also typically lead to weight loss, and these can be quite hard to detect.
If your dog gets a parasite, it will often result in a sudden weight loss,
If your dog is suffering from an intestinal tapeworm, there won’t be enough nutrients for him/her as the tapeworm will consume most of the food eaten by your dog, which will obviously result in weight loss.
While it might not seem possible, but many times when a dog has dental issues. you might not even be aware of it, as dogs’ are masters at hiding their pain.
I’ve previously had a dog that had a tooth that chipped and it ended up rotten. It was something we didn’t notice for a long time but fortunately, it wasn’t affecting his eating, but it very well could have, and eating with a toothache isn’t fun at all.
And it’s not only having a broken tooth that could be an issue with your dogs’ teeth, as there are also many other problems that could be a reason why your Labradoodle won’t eat.
So if you want to be sure there isn’t anything wrong with your dogs’ teeth you should have a vet check for other dental problems such as sores, and ulcers.
A quick way for you to check yourself is by touching your dogs’ mouth, and if he/she recoils it instantly, there’s a high chance that it’s aching.
As with dental issues, mouth lesions can also result in a loss of weight in a dog because eating food is just too painful for it. The most reliable way to detect these issues is by taking your dog to the vet as soon as you notice a lacking interest in food and a subsequent weight loss as a result.
Just like your human body, a dogs’ body is also controlled by hormones, and any imbalances in these hormones in your dog’s body can be due to a thyroid issue.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that will result in a rapid metabolism that leaves your dog in danger of experiencing an extreme loss of weight. It doesn’t matter how much they eat, the rapid metabolism of their body will quickly break down the nutrients it’s getting through the food and passes the nutrients through your dogs’ system without absorbing much of it.
When dealing with thyroid issues, you should contact your vet and let him/her detect and assess the situation. Once that is accomplished, thyroid issues are easily managed with the help of medications.
Addisons’ Disease is an adrenal insufficiency in your dogs’ body that results in a deficit of steroid hormone. Symptoms of Addison’s disease include diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, and low blood pressure. PetMD also mentions that additional symptoms include shaking, a lack of appetite, increased thirst and increased frequency of urination.
PetMD also mentions that Addison’s disease with dogs is moderately rare and that it is most often seen in young to middle-aged dogs, females, and those breeds from the Bearded Collie, Wheaten Terrier, Portuguese water dog, West Highland white terrier, Rottweiler, and Standard Poodle.
And seeing as Labradoodles are bred from Poodles, that’s why it could be an issue with your dog.
As with a human female, a pregnant dog can also go through an early period of nausea during pregnancy, and it’s therefor not uncommon for a dog to lose some weight in the first period of pregnancy from a lack of appetite arising from nausea. This alone isn’t a cause for concern, but it is important to be aware of some other issues that could accompany pregnancy.
There are other symptoms that could lead to weight loss during pregnancy and range from anxiety (lack of appetite), poor digestion, or heart disease. If you notice a dull coat, poor muscle function, diarrhea, dry skin, vomiting, and depression or lethargy, it is vital to contact your vet immediately.
Your Dog is Getting Old
As your Labradoodle enters his/her senior years they might start eating less and less every day. And this is sometimes just the way things are, but other times it could be because of an issue with their health.
And once again, your best bet is to take your dog to the vet and get it checked for any serious issues.
When you notice your Labradoodle is underweight then your best decision is to consult a vet to ensure that nothing serious is wrong with them. And when your vet has given them the all-clear, take a look at some of these great ways that you can help your Labradoodle gain weight.
Give Them Better Food
Consider putting your Labradoodle on a diet that’s tailor-made to your specific dog, while it will obviously cost more than the average run-of-the-mill food you get from your local pet store, it can have a huge impact on your dogs’ life.
You can see how much switching to fresh food changed my dogs’ life if you take a look at this article.
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What’s fantastic by a service such as Ollie’s is that they tailor the diet to your exact dog, taking factors such as size and every-level into consideration, ensuring that your furry friend gets everything they need to lead an active and healthy life.
But fresh food like Ollie isn’t the cheapest solution, so you could also consider some other quite good products, that come at a lower cost.
Bully Max has a range of high-performance dog food that’s great for a dog looking to put on some weight. And this product is based on real meat unlike a lot of other dry food that is plant-based.
Increase Their Number Of Meals
I’ve seen people recommend feeding your dog anything from four smaller meals a day to two large meals and one smaller meal, but it’s basically all down to your personal liking.
Giving them two big meals and one small meal can have the benefit of being similar to the routine they already have now. But giving them four smaller meals throughout the day is a lot more manageable to a dog that’s struggling to eat enough.
Whatever you end up choosing, just make sure you tailor it towards your specific dogs’ needs.
Allow Your Labradoodle to Eat When They Want
If you aren’t able to feed your Labradoodle several meals each day, then you could instead try to leave their food out and allow them to eat anytime they want.
And while this is a great choice if you’re unavailable to do it yourself, it does come with some downsides too.
Firstly, you’ll have to make sure you’re only leaving out dry kibble for your Labradoodle as wet food will most likely go bad very quickly.
And secondly, if your Labradoodle realizes they are able to eat whenever they want, they could end up eating even less than what they did previously, as they might start thinking that they aren’t in any hurry to eat as food is there constantly.
Give More Treats Throughout the Day
Another good idea could be to give your Labradoodle a lot more treats throughout the day. Your dog will love it and you’re guaranteed to also increase the number of calories your dog is eating!
But remember to stick to treats that are healthy and don’t go overboard with it. If you give your Labradoodle too many treats they could end up being too stuffed to eat any of their ordinary meals.
A good rule is that you give your dog 10-15% of his/her diet as treats, and make sure that you’re only picking treats that are high in protein and fat. Bananas, peanut butter, chicken and eggs are all great choices.
Journal Their Meals & Weekly Weighing
This might sound like a bit of a hassle, but you should try journalling everything you give to your dog and also weigh him/her every week. By doing this, you’ll be able to get a good understanding of exactly what’s happening when your dog starts losing weight, or when they’re gaining weight.
If you do this, you’ll be able to see what’s working and what isn’t working, what you should continue doing and when there’s something you should stop doing.
It’s going to be a massive help if you’re being organized like that, and it’s also one of the best things you can do to help your Labradoodles gain weight.
More often than not, having a Labradoodle that is getting skinny, is mostly down to the quality and amount of the food they get, and not some life-threatening disease.
As you can see there are several things you can do to help your Labradoodle gain some weight, as there are quite a few things that could be the cause of their weight loss.
If your Labradoodle is losing weight you should consult a vet to see what’s going on and make sure it’s nothing too serious. And if the vet can give them the all-clear then here’s a quick recap of the different ways you can help them gain weight.
- Use premium food such as Ollie’s Petfood or Bully Max High-Performance Dog Food.
- Try feeding them more meals every day or allowing them to free feed.
- Give them more treats.
- Journal their meals and regular weighing them.
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