Why Is My Labrador Skinny?

There are several potential reasons for why your Labrador may be skinny.

They may have a medical condition that is causing them to lose weight, or they may simply not be getting enough food.

Labrador Retrievers are known as one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs in existence.

The Lab is also one of the friendliest and most loyal breeds of dogs.

This makes it a popular choice among pet owners everywhere.

However, there are many things to consider when choosing a Labrador for your family.

One of these factors is their weight.

Like all other dogs, Labs can get too thin or too fat.

In fact, they tend to fall into this category more often than any other breed.

If you have recently acquired a Lab puppy or kitten, you may want to know how much weight he should be gaining and what his ideal weight will be.

You don’t want to buy a puppy with a medical condition that causes him to lose weight, nor do you want to purchase a pet who won’t grow up to be a healthy adult.

Why Is My Labrador Skinny

The Ideal Weight for a Labrador

Labradors are generally considered to be a medium-sized breed, but there is no official standard weight for this breed.

The average weight for a Lab at birth is 7 pounds (3 kilograms), and by 6 months of age, the average weight has increased to 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms).

At 1 year of age, the average weight is 18 pounds (8.1 kilograms).

As with any other breed, there is an ideal weight for each individual Labrador.

However, it is important to remember that every dog is different, so there will always be some variation in the ideal weight depending on the particular dog’s genetics and physical features.

In general, however, the ideal weight for a Labrador should be between 20 and 25 pounds (9 and 11 kilograms).

This means that the heaviest Labs in this range would weigh between 27 and 30 pounds (12 and 13 kilograms), while those who are the lightest would weigh around 17 pounds (7.6 kilograms).

If your Labrador weighs less than 17 pounds (7.6 kilograms), then he probably needs more exercise and/or more calories in his diet.

On the other hand, if he weighs more than 30 pounds (13.6 kilograms), then he probably does not need to lose any weight.

The following information will provide you with a better understanding of how your Labrador can reach his ideal weight.

Reasons Why Your Labrador May Be Skinny

If your Labrador has been losing weight over time, it could be because he suffers from one of these conditions:

  • Hypothyroidism – This is a thyroid disorder in which there is an underactive thyroid gland. The symptoms include poor hair coat and loss of energy. It can also cause depression, lethargy, excessive thirst, and increased appetite.
  • Cushing’s Disease – Cushing’s disease is caused by an adrenal tumor that produces too much cortisol. The symptoms include obesity, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, muscle weakness, and decreased appetite.
  • Diabetes – Labradors are prone to diabetes mellitus (DM). Symptoms include polydipsia/polyphagia, hyperglycemia, polyuria, and polyphagia.
  • Malabsorption Syndrome – Malabsorption syndrome (MAS) is a condition in which there is malabsorption of nutrients. The causes of MAS include pancreatic insufficiency, intestinal lymphoma, or gastrointestinal obstruction. Symptoms include weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV)
  • Acute gastroenteritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Foreign body ingestion

What to Do if You Think Your Dog Has One of These Conditions

If you think your Labrador might be suffering from one of these conditions, contact your vet immediately.

Depending on what you discover during the examination, your vet will likely recommend a diet change or medication to help with weight loss.

When to Worry About Your Labrador’s Weight

If your Labrador is losing weight, there are several things that you can do to help him gain it back.

The first thing you should do is make sure that he is eating properly.

Make sure that he has plenty of fresh water and treats to keep his energy up.

If you notice that he is starting to become lethargic, take him outside to play and get some exercise.

This will give him something to do and help him burn off any excess energy.

Another good idea would be to start feeding him more frequently.

If you feed him once every two days, try to feed him three times a day instead.

This will allow him to eat more in one sitting and hopefully add a little more fat to his body.

In addition, you should also increase his exercise time each day so that he gets as much use out of his muscles as possible.

It’s important to remember that even though he may seem thin, his bones are still strong and sound.

He just needs a little extra nutrition to put on some muscle.

In addition to all of this, you should also consider talking to your vet about what is going on with your Lab.

You never know when something might be wrong, but if he does have an underlying health issue, then you need to seek treatment right away.

A lot of dogs can experience weight loss due to kidney disease or cancer.

These conditions can cause a dog to lose weight quickly, and without any warning whatsoever.

How to Help a Skinny Labrador Gain Weight

If you suspect that your Labrador has lost weight due to a health issue, your first step should be to consult with your vet.

The vet will perform an exam and check their vital statistics.

If they notice any abnormalities in your dog’s physical appearance, such as a change in skin color or hair loss, this could indicate that your pet needs more vitamins or minerals.

Other than a nutritional deficiency, there can be other reasons why your Labrador’s body isn’t growing properly.

Some of these include kidney disease, cancer, and liver problems.

It is possible that your dog has some sort of genetic disorder that causes them to become underweight.

This type of disorder can also cause a lack of energy.

If you think that your Labrador just isn’t eating enough, it’s important to make sure that he is getting enough calories.

Keep in mind that even though your dog looks like a skeleton, his bones are still made up of muscle tissue.

So, if you’re feeding him too little, then he won’t be able to grow properly.

The next thing you need to do is to take your Lab back to the vet.

They will give him some tests to determine what the problem is.

Once they figure out the reason behind his poor nutrition, there’s usually a solution that can help your pet gain weight.

However, before you go through with any treatment plan, you’ll want to discuss it with your vet.

You might end up having to put your pet on a special diet, which could be expensive.

Make sure that you ask the vet what exactly you can expect from the new treatment plan.

Depending on how much weight your Lab is losing, it could be difficult to correct the situation without putting extra stress on your pet.

Feeding a Skinny Labrador

If you suspect that your dog is underweight, it is important to take the proper steps to get him back on track.

While there are many different types of diets available, one of the most common ways to help with weight loss is by feeding a high protein diet.

A high protein diet can help dogs gain weight because they require more energy from their meals than other foods.

Protein-rich foods include chicken, fish, beef, and eggs.

High protein diets do not necessarily need to be specially formulated for Labs.

Many commercial dog foods contain a higher percentage of protein than regular kibble.

This means that if your dog’s current diet does not contain a large amount of protein, you should consider switching to a higher protein diet.

One important thing to remember when feeding a high protein diet is that the calories must come from protein.

For instance, if you feed your Lab 100 grams of meat for his normal daily meal, he will only consume 50 grams of carbohydrate and fat.

The remaining 50 grams of each macronutrient (carbohydrate and fat) must come from protein.

In order to meet the caloric requirements of your Lab, you would have to give him at least 150 grams of protein per day.

It is also important to note that some dogs have difficulty digesting proteins in their system.

If this is the case with your Lab, it is best to avoid feeding him any type of protein that contains soy, corn, wheat, or other grains.

These types of proteins can cause gastrointestinal upset.

While it is important to provide your Lab with a high protein diet, it is also very important to ensure that he gets enough carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates play an important role in helping to regulate metabolism in both humans and animals.

However, it is possible for dogs to become overweight or obese due to an imbalance between their intake of carbohydrates and their output of energy.

The easiest way to ensure that your Lab is getting enough carbohydrates is to feed him table scraps.

Your Lab will probably enjoy eating table scraps as much as you do! Just make sure that you do not overfeed him, or he could end up gaining too much weight.

Another way to ensure that your Lab is consuming enough carbohydrates is to feed him a small portion of cooked rice or pasta.

Although this might seem like a waste of time, it will actually help to keep his body active so that he can burn off excess calories.

A good rule of thumb is to feed your dog twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

It is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to feeding your Lab.

Even though he may not appear to be hungry, it is possible that he is just being fussy and wants to eat something else.

You should always monitor your Lab closely while he eats.

If he seems to be having trouble swallowing his food, it may indicate a problem with his throat or digestive tract.

You should consult your vet immediately if you notice anything unusual.

Sometimes, dogs will eat too fast and swallow air.

This can lead to stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death.

Finally, it is important to realize that most dogs gain weight as they age.

As long as your Lab is healthy and happy, he will continue to put on pounds until he reaches old age.


Although there are many possible causes, if your Lab is thin and weak it is likely that he has an underlying illness — either one that is being treated or one that has been overlooked.

A skinny Lab should never be ignored.

It could indicate a serious health problem that needs immediate attention from your vet.

If your Lab has lost weight recently, it might be because of something as simple as eating too much or not getting enough exercise.

Talk with your vet about what could be going on, and follow their recommendations for correcting the situation.

Megan Turner

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