How To Put Weight On A Skinny Great Dane The Healthy Way

by Ken Alden

Seeing any dog underweight can be scary, but it can be even worse with a large dog, like a Great Dane. If your Great Dane is skinny, you can help them reach a healthy weight. But you need to know the right tips.

How To Put Weight On A Skinny Great Dane...

The best way to put weight on a skinny Great Dane is to feed them high-quality, high protein dog food. However, make sure the dog doesn’t gain too much weight. Watch their weight and adjust their food intake and exercise levels to ensure they don’t become overweight.

Whether you have your first Great Dane or your fifth, you should know how to help them gain weight when they’re skinny. That way, your dog can have enough muscle and energy to get through the day. Read on to learn more...

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How to put weight on a skinny Great Dane

Why Does My Great Dane Look So Skinny?

A few things can make your Great Dane look skinny. Every Great Dane will have a unique body composition based on their age, gender, and family history. Most of them are very lean and muscular, so they can look skinny if you aren’t used to that.

But consider a few other reasons why a Great Dane may look skinny.

  • Age: Puppies and young adult Great Danes are still growing, and they won’t reach their full physical size until they’re about three years old. Because of that, you could have a healthy, one-year-old Great Dane that just happens to look skinny, but they aren’t necessarily underweight.

  • Underweight: Of course, a dog of any age can be underweight. If your Great Dane isn’t growing as fast as they should, you may easily see all of their ribs. In that case, you should feed them more to help them gain weight. That way, they can reach a healthy size. 

  • Sick: Some illnesses can make your Great Dane lose weight or not be able to gain it. If your dog is sick long enough, it may start to look skinny. Even if they eat, if they can’t hold onto the weight and nutrients in their food, they won’t gain or maintain weight.

Because Great Danes are so muscular, it can be hard to tell if your dog is skinny or just lean. But you can look for a few physical and other signs that your Great Dane could gain more weight. Here are a few things to think about if your dog looks skinny.

  • Lethargy: Great Danes are normally very active and energetic. If your dog is lying around a lot and just not doing much, something will probably keep them from being active. They may be sick, in pain, or have another issue that is keeping them from gaining muscle and weight. A vet can help diagnose the problem so that you can treat it. 

  • Visible ribs: You are supposed to see the last rib bone on your dog when they’re standing. That’s a sign they’re a healthy weight. But if you can see all of your dog’s ribs, that means your dog is too skinny and needs to gain weight.

  • Weight to age: Great Danes grow a lot in their first few years of life. While the growth can differ between dogs, most follow a similar pattern of growth. If your dog is getting bigger but not putting on much weight, it’s probably too skinny. By six months old, they should weigh 65 to 100 pounds, so not reaching that milestone may mean your dog isn’t gaining enough weight.

How To Put Weight on My Great Dane

If you determine that your Great Dane is too skinny, you can put weight on them. You should be careful and help your dog gain weight carefully. However, they should be able to gain weight and maintain it. 

Consider a few things you can do to help your dog put on weight.

  • Switch foods: If you aren’t already, you should switch your dog to a high protein, high-calorie option. Make sure the food has high-quality ingredients, like chicken or beef. You may also want to feed your dog more of that food if you aren’t feeding them much, to begin with.

  • Give treats: When playing with your Great Dane, you can give them treats throughout the day. Treats can add more protein and calories to your dog’s diet without having to give an extra meal. They’re an easy option to use at home or on the go, so you can make sure your dog eats enough.

  • Reduce stress: Dogs can feel stress, especially when you move or have a big shift in your routine. When dogs feel that stress, they won’t want to eat. So if your dog is skinny because of not eating, you should aim to make your dog as comfortable as possible. That way, they will want to eat when you give them food.

  • Encourage eating: You can also encourage your dog to eat instead of just putting their food bowl down. Sit near your dog but give them space to approach the food. Let your dog know they can have it, and give them some positive reinforcement when they eat. You can say things like “good dog” to help them get the message.

  • Don’t force food: If your dog doesn’t want to eat, don’t force them to. They will eat eventually so that you can leave their food bowl on the ground. If they still don’t eat, you should take your dog to the vet to see if they’re sick or in pain. Then, the vet can help you treat your dog and help them reach a healthy weight.

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Best Food for Great Dane To Gain Weight

The best food for a Great Dane to gain weight is a food with a lot of protein and calories. That way, your dog doesn’t have to overeat to get enough nutrients. Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, you can find some good dog food to help them grow.

wellness puppy food

Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy (from The Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy food is an excellent option for growing Great Dane puppies. It contains at least 9 percent protein and 1,226 kilocalories per kilogram. The food has high-quality protein and vegetables to give your dog a balanced diet and help them grow. 

holistic dry dog food

Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food (from If your adult dog is struggling to put on weight, you can try the Holistic Select Natural Dry Dog Food. It contains protein and probiotics, and prebiotics, so it’s great if your dog hasn’t gained weight due to digestive issues. It also contains antioxidants and omega fatty acids to help your dog have a healthy diet.

How To Keep Weight on a Great Dane

Once you get your Great Dane to reach a healthy weight, you have to maintain those habits for your dog. If you don’t, they may revert to not eating or not eating the right foods to lose weight again. Luckily, you can be proactive to keep your Great Dane at a healthy weight.

Feed them enough: To keep weight on a Great Dane, you have to feed them enough but not too much. Most dog foods have a portion chart where you can find the right amount of food per day. That way, you can give your dog enough food so that they don’t lose weight. 

Adjust their activity schedule: If your dog has a hard time maintaining weight because they’re active, you can adjust their schedule. That could mean taking them on shorter walks or playing with them at home instead of a large dog park. Your dog should still be active, but if they’re too active, they will lose weight, even if you feed them enough.

How To Put Weight On A Skinny Great Dane...Final Thoughts

Putting weight on a Great Dane is easy when you give them high-quality dog food with protein and calories. That way, your dog can reach a healthy weight. But make sure you don’t give them too much food, or they could end up overweight.

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About Author

About the Author...

Ken Alden, a dedicated Mastiff owner for over eight years, is acclaimed for his expertise in care, grooming, and training. Read more About Me and my dog Shadow.

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