Why My Labrador Is Thin? (Let’s Find Out)

Have you looked at your Labrador and wondered, why my Labrador is thin? If your lab is thinner than other Labradors use our guide to help you increase their weight.

Labradors are famous for their giant size and are considered medium to large dogs. Their skinny bodies are easily noticeable and can be a concern for pet owners.

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However, it’s important to note that simply increasing their food intake may not be the solution. It’s important to understand the underlying cause before making any changes to their diet.

Why my Labrador is thin
Why my Labrador is thin

Why My Labrador Is Thin?

A Labrador can appear thin because of genetics, illness, and/or excessive exercise which can contribute to a condition where a Labrador’s body rapidly loses weight.

It is highly recommended to understand the underlying cause in order to effectively solve the problem.

Why is my Labrador not putting on weight?

Labradors are known for their large structure and are not meant to be skinny. Therefore, if you notice your Labrador is skinny, it is likely that there is an underlying issue.

As a Labrador owner, it is important to understand the actual reasons behind sudden weight loss. Some of the primary and common causes include:

1. Genetically thin

If you do not observe any physical signs of disease, it is possible that your Labrador’s skinny appearance is due to genetics. This would be the case if your Labrador has been skinny since puppyhood and has not suddenly become thin.

When you are providing the appropriate amount of food, and there are no other issues, then a skinny appearance may not be a cause for concern.

2. Diet

If your Labrador is not gaining weight, you should consider consulting with a veterinarian and replacing its regular diet with a healthier one.

It is possible that you are not providing the appropriate amount or quality of food, which is causing your Labrador to become skinny over time. Before offering meals to your Labrador, make sure that it is not allergic to any specific food item.

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3. Exercise

Labradors require a lot of daily exercise. If you are underfeeding them then they will lose too much weight. Discuss with your vet how much you should feed your lab for their exercise level.

4. Illness

This is the first reason that comes to mind for many dog parents when they notice weight loss in their Labrador. While illness can be a cause in some conditions, it is not always the case.

If the illness is the cause of your Labrador’s sudden weight loss, it will be evident in its activity level. If you notice any physical signs of pain or disease, it is important to schedule a visit with the vet without delay.

5. Stress

As we know, Labrador Retrievers are a social breed and are more prone to separation anxiety or stress if not given proper attention. It is possible that your Labrador is experiencing some pressure and this mental condition is preventing it from gaining weight.

Often, fear and new surroundings can cause stress in Labradors.

How thin should labs be?

Dog owners may feel concerned if their Labrador is too skinny. However, there is no need to worry if your Labrador’s overall body condition is good. If the ribs and vertebrae of your Labrador are visible, it is an indication that your Labrador is skinnier than average.

Before introducing any medication or special food, it is important for dog owners to know the ideal weight for their Labrador. The ideal weight for male and female Labradors will differ depending on their activity level and energy, but there are standards.

For male Labradors, 60 to 80 lbs are considered the ideal weight. If your Labrador is skinnier than this weight, it is considered too skinny. For female Labradors, 55 to 70 lbs are the ideal weight.

If a female Labrador weighs less than this, it is considered too skinny and weak.

What to feed a dog to gain weight?

A skinny Labrador is not a cause for concern when there are no severe underlying diseases. You can easily fatten up your dog with some good practices.

The key is to focus on their diet and exercise routine. Feeding your Labrador at regular intervals will help.

Sweet potato and pumpkin

Sweet potatoes and pumpkin are healthy ways to help your dog gain weight. If you want to reduce the amount of protein in your Labrador’s diet and help it gain weight, these foods are the perfect options.

They can increase the amount of fat and fiber in their meals and improve their digestive system. You can also give them canned versions of these foods, but be sure to monitor the quantity as too much can cause your Labrador to become overweight.

Regular exercise

There is a misconception that exercise is only for weight loss, but it is crucial for achieving the right weight goal for your Labrador.

It is highly recommended to exercise your Labrador regularly to maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, you can add high protein and fat to your dog’s meals to keep it fit and healthy.

Provide fresh food

It would be beneficial to replace the dry kibble of your Labrador with fresh food as it has a stronger scent that is more appealing to dogs. This way, your dog will eat properly and not be thin anymore.

If you choose to provide fresh food such as vegetables to your Labrador, make sure it is not spoiled. It is also recommended to serve warm food rather than cold or frozen food.

Proper routine

Food is processed differently by dogs than by humans, however, the two are quite similar. Individuals who eat within a couple of hours before bed, for example, have a higher probability of gaining weight. Eating just before bed prompts the body to store the nutrients as fat.

Serve your dog with eggs

Eggs are the best food for dogs when you want them to gain weight. Eggs are rich in fats, and protein, and serve the dog with amino acids. The presence of fatty acids is not only healthy for the body but also for the hair and skin of your Labrador.

Additionally, eggs contain many nutrients and are easy to digest as a snack. Choosing food rich in eggs is also a good option when you want your Labrador to fatten up.


Complete the carbohydrate portion of your Labrador’s diet by serving it cooked white rice. There is a wide range of recipes to make rice for dogs when you want them to fatten up.

However, dogs cannot rely on rice alone as it is not rich in protein and nutrition, but you can serve it with other meals. Providing rice as a snack food will boost the overall weight gain process of your Labrador.

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