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8 Reasons Why Schnauzers Get So Skinny + 4 Helpful Tips

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Schnauzers love being active which helps keep them relatively skinny. However, if you’re noticing your schnauzer is becoming a little too skinny, it can become worrisome.

Is it normal for schnauzers to get so skinny or is something wrong?

Why Is My Schnauzer So Skinny:

Schnauzers become too skinny when they are having problems digesting their food. When the food they are eating does not sit well with their stomach it creates poor nutrient absorption which causes them to lose weight. Schnauzers will also lose weight if they are depressed or stressed.

In this post you’ll discover:

  • 8 real reasons why your schnauzer is so skinny.
  • When your schnauzers weight is something to be worried about
  • 4 tips to help your schnauzer not get so skinny (Tip #1 is super important!)
  • And much more

Let’s jump right in.

8 Reasons Why Your Schnauzer Is So Skinny

1) Food Allergy

When your schnauzer is allergic to one of their food’s ingredients it’ll cause them to have problems digesting their food.

Which will almost always result in your pup having diarrhea because their food’s nutrients aren’t being digested and absorbed properly.

And if this goes on for too long it will directly impact your schnauzers ability to gain, or keep on, weight.

Food allergies are difficult to identify because sometimes they don’t show up until 2-3 months after a food change.

If you think your schnauzer could possibly have a food allergy it’s a good idea to take them to the vet.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

2) They’re Upset

Just like humans, when dogs get upset their appetite often diminishes.

So, if there’s been a recent change or something’s happened that’s left your pup feeling down in the dumps it could be the reason they’re not interested in food.

When dogs get considerably depressed it’s usually because someone they love dearly isn’t in their life anymore.

Which could be them passing away or going away for a long time.

In both situations your pup doesn’t understand why they aren’t around anymore and it makes them incredibly sad.

A study done in 2016 found that dogs are able to mourn just like people do when a loved one passes away.

This study specifically looked at when a canine companion passes away.

They found that dogs mourning the loss of a beloved canine companion would eat 35% less and 31% more slowly.

Which means if your schnauzer has been depressed for some time now it could be why they’re so skinny.

Related Reading: 7 Ways To Tell If Your Schnauzer Is Depressed + Helpful Tips

3) Big Environment Change

Your schnauzer, and dogs in general, are creatures of habit and feel safe and secure when their environment stays the same.

But, when there’s a big change that takes place it can really throw them for a loop and leave them feeling anxious.

Some examples of big environment changes are:

  • A new baby being born
  • A move to a new house
  • A pet being added to the family
  • Someone new taking care of them for several days

If your schnauzer is experiencing anxiety because of one of these changes it can lead to them not wanting to eat.

Which in turn will cause them to lose weight.

So if any environment changes have happened recently for your schnauzer it could be contributing to why they’re so skinny.

4) Sore Mouth

If your schnauzer has a sore mouth, if it gets bad enough, they’ll choose not to eat.

And if that goes on for too long it will cause them to start losing weight.

The most common dental problem for dogs is periodontal (gum) disease which is when the gums become infected and pull away from the teeth.

This leaves pockets of bacteria that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and even loss of teeth.

Without a good dental hygiene routine, roughly 90% of dogs will develop some form of periodontal disease by the age of 2.

Which means if you haven’t been brushing your pups teeth or giving them dental chews, there’s a good chance their mouth isn’t in the best shape.

Related Reading: Top 17 Teeth Cleaning Products for Dogs | Best Oral Health

5) New Dog Food

A lot of times when people switch their schnauzers food they’ll notice that their pup is a little skinnier than usual.

But, don’t worry as this is pretty normal and nothing to be concerned about.

When you first switch your pups food it takes their body some time to get used to the new ingredients and nutrients.

So, for the first few weeks, they may not eat as much as they normally do.

But, after a few weeks, they should start to eat more and their weight will go back to normal.

It also depends on how you switched their food.

If you completely change them over to their new dog food one day, their body will have trouble adjusting.

Which will either cause them to have diarrhea or eat less in general.

If you gradually transitioned them over to their new food you should notice less complications.

6) Being Underfed (Accidentally)

Sometimes the reason your schnauzer is skinny is simply because you’re accidentally feeding them less than they need.

Some dogs have faster metabolisms than others.

Which means they’ll need more food than average to maintain their weight.

And if you’ve been unintentionally underfeeding your schnauzer it could be why they’re so skinny.

It also depends on your pup’s activity levels.

If they exercise more than the average pup, they’ll need more food than the average pup to refuel.

The general guideline on the dog food bag is far too general to be accurate for 100% of dogs.

Which means some need to eat more than the recommended amount.

A simple conversation with your vet can help with this situation.

7) Potential Worm

Intestinal parasites could also be behind why your schnauzer is so skinny.

They’re more common in puppies but adult dogs can get them too.

These are commonly known as worms and some of the most common types are:

  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Whipworms
  • Tapeworms

If your pup has an intestinal worm, every time they eat, the worm is stealing most of their food.

Leaving very little for your pup which causes them to lose weight.

8) They’re Unwell

There are many different health conditions that could be causing your schnauzer to lose weight.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

If your schnauzer is in their late adult/senior years and becoming skinny it’s a good idea to take them to the vet.

As your pup gets older they have an increased likelihood of having a health issue.

So it’s better to be safe and have a professional take a look at them.

Top 4 Tips To Help Your Schnauzer Not Be So Skinny

1) Help Give Structure

If your pup is feeling depressed or anxious, giving them more structure in their life can help bring back their appetite.

Whenever your schnauzer is feeling upset for an extended period of time it can affect their hunger.

They’ll feel less motivated to move around and their stomach will be twisting and turning.

When both are paired together their desire to eat becomes even less.

And while you may not be able to change their environment back to the way it was.

You can help them get structure in their new environment and build new routines.

Which can help them start to feel normal again.

One thing in particular you can start doing if you haven’t already is brushing their teeth daily.

If not daily, at least a few times a week.

Not only will it bring some structure to their days and ensure your pup doesn’t get any dental health problems…

But it’s also quality 1-on-1 time for you and your pup.

Setting specific times for walks, eating, dog park visits, playtime, etc. each day can be just what your pup needs.

The better mental state your schnauzer is in the more they’ll be interested in eating which will prevent them from getting too skinny.

2) Diet & Physical Activity

A healthy, balanced diet is key to keeping your pup’s weight in check.

You should be feeding them high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, weight, and activity level.

Along with making sure they’re getting enough exercise.

A pup that isn’t getting the appropriate amount of both diet and physical activity will be more likely to become skinny.

In terms of their diet, 90% of your schnauzers daily calorie intake is their dog food.

And only 10% of their daily calories coming from treats and snacks.

Pair this with consistent, daily exercise and your pup will have the best chance at staying healthy.

3) Take Them To See Your Vet

If your schnauzer has been losing weight for an extended period of time, it’s best to take them to see your vet.

The vet will be able to do a full health check and determine the underlying cause of their weight loss.

This is important because if left untreated, some of the causes can lead to more serious health conditions.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

4) Find What They’re Allergic To

If your vet thinks your schnauzer has a food allergy that’s causing them to be so skinny you’ll have to do some testing.

Take a look at their current dog food, write down it’s ingredients (or just keep the bag) and try a new food with different main ingredients.

You’ll have to continue doing this until you find a food that doesn’t make your schnauzer’s stomach upset.

When you finally find the right food, they should start to put on weight and their coat should look healthier too.

Hypoallergenic dog food is also an option if nothing you’re trying seems to be working.

Other posts you might find interesting:

9 Reasons Why Schnauzers Get So Hyper + How To Reduce It

8 Reasons Why Schnauzers Itch So Much + 4 Helpful Tips

8 Reasons Schnauzers Are Always Hungry | Dangers + 6 Tips


Canine Food Allergy

Owners’ Perceptions of Their Animal’s Behavioural Response to the Loss of an Animal Companion

Separation Anxiety

Periodontal (Gum) Disease in Dogs