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Why Is My Pit Bull Skinny: 7 Reasons & What To Do

Is your pit bull looking too skinny? You’re not alone. Many pit bull owners worry about their dog’s weight.

The good news? There are simple reasons and easy fixes. Let’s dive in.

why is my pitbull skinny

Is Your Pit Bull Underweight?

Before making any adjustments to your pit bulls diet or exercise, make sure they’re actually underweight.

Sometimes, owners find out their dog is just fine.

You can talk to a vet, or check at home. Here’s how:

➡️ Rib Check

When your pit bull moves, you might see the shape of their ribs. But if they’re still, the ribs shouldn’t stick out too much.

It’s okay to feel the ribs a little. They should feel like they have a thin layer of fat over them. They shouldn’t feel super bony.

➡️ Waistline Check

Your pit bull’s waist should have a small curve in after the last rib. It shouldn’t look like they’re really pulling their waist in.

➡️ Hip Check

If you pet your pit bull, you might feel their hip bones. That’s fine. But the hips shouldn’t feel too bony.

➡️ Weight Check

Don’t forget to look at their weight, too.

Weight GuideMalesFemales
Pit Bulls35-65 lbs30-55 lbs

Male pit bulls are often heavier than females. Keep that in mind.

By doing this first, you’ll have a better idea as to whether or not your pit bull is actually skinny to begin with. Now let’s move on to the main causes behind this issue.

6 Reasons Why Your Pit Bull Is Underweight

Wondering why your pit bull is too skinny? Let’s look at the main reasons.

1. Not Enough Food ⭐

If your pit bull looks too skinny, maybe they’re not eating enough. They need the right number of calories to be healthy.

Calories depend on age, how active they are, and other things. If they don’t eat enough, they won’t weigh enough.

The quality of the food will also have an effect on the amount of calories per cup. Low quality dog food can have significantly less calories for the same one cup measurement as a high quality food.

2. Too Much Exercise ⭐

If your pit bull is super active, they may burn more calories than they eat. This can make them lose weight.

Just like with food, your dog’s exercise should match the calories they eat. Really active dogs might need 800-1000 extra calories to keep their weight.

3. Bugs Inside Them ⭐

Parasites like worms can make a dog lose weight fast. The worms eat the food before your pit bull can.

If your pit bull eats a lot but still loses weight, worms could be the reason.

You might see visible worms in their poop, but don’t always count on it. Parasites can exist even if we can’t see them.

If this is the case for your pit bull you may notice additional symptoms like lethargy, unusual behavior, depressed, not willing to be active or participate like usual, and drastic weight loss.

4. Bad Food ⭐

Quality of dog food matters. If the food isn’t good, your pit bull might not get what they need to be healthy.

Check the food. It should have the right amount of protein, fat, and carbs.

Pit bulls are athletic dogs that crave a high protein diet, medium to high fat, and low carb breakdown. If the food you’re providing doesn’t have a similar style macro-breakdown then this could be the cause.

5. Still Growing ⭐

If your pit bull is under two years old, maybe they’re still growing. They may not have reached their adult weight yet.

Keep this in mind if your young pit bull looks skinny.

6. Health Problems ⭐

Sometimes weight loss comes from health issues. These could be:

  • Worms in the stomach
  • Long-term stomach problems
  • Bad teeth
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney issues

If your pit bull shows other signs like throwing up, has diarrhea, being tired, or acting unusual, go to the vet.

So there you go! Now you know some reasons your pit bull might be underweight. Always talk to your vet for advice that’s just right for your dog.

Why Slow and Steady Is the Way to Go for Your Pit Bull’s Weight Gain

So you want to help your pit bull put on some pounds, right? But before you start piling on the food, let’s talk about why taking it slow is super important.

Not Just About More Food 👍

You might think, “Hey, let’s just give them more food or add extra calories!” That seems simple, but it’s not the best idea. If you add too many calories too quickly, your pit bull will mostly gain fat, not healthy muscle. That’s not the kind of weight you want them to put on.

Exercise Matters 👍

Did you know that sometimes just tweaking their exercise can make a difference? If your pit bull is running around too much and burning off all those calories, they won’t gain weight. So you might not even need to change their diet—just tone down the exercise a bit.

Find the Real Reason 👍

Getting to the root cause of why your pit bull is underweight is really important. Is it bad food? Too much exercise? Health issues? Once you know the cause, you can make better choices to help them gain weight the right way.

Helping Your Skinny Pit Bull Gain Weight

If you’ve got a skinny pit bull, you’re probably thinking, “How can I help them gain weight in a healthy way?” Just remember, adding lots of calories all at once is a no-no. Try one tip at a time and see how it goes over a few weeks.

1. Check for Health Issues ✅

First things first, make sure your pit bull doesn’t have a health problem. No point in trying anything else if a health issue is causing the weight loss. The sooner you find out, the better for your pup.

2. Pick Better Kibble ✅

If your pit bull’s food isn’t rich enough in protein and fat, it’s not the right food for them. Look for kibble that’s high in protein and medium to high in fat but low in carbs. That way, each meal gives them what they need.

We love Orijen and Acana. These two companies produce amazing food and our dogs have thrived on these brands for a long time (with no weight issues).

3. Watch the Exercise ✅

If your pit bull is super active, you might need to cut back a little. Pit bulls are usually good with around an hour of exercise a day. If yours is getting much more than that, either cut it back or add some more food to their bowl. Wait and see how they do.

4. Mix in Wet Food ✅

Wet food can be a great addition to dry kibble. It’s often more tasty and has more calories, protein, and fat. But don’t go all-in with wet food; a little mixed in with the kibble is just right. This can also help if your pit bull is a picky eater.

5. Add Some Treats ✅

If treats don’t mess with their main meals, go ahead and give a few more. Make them work for it though! Use this as a chance to train your pit bull. These extra nibbles can help your dog gain weight over time.

Just be smart about treats. Pick ones with natural ingredients and skip the fatty ones. And no table scraps—our food isn’t good for dogs.

More Helpful Tips

Last Thoughts

If your pit bull is having trouble with weight, start by checking for health issues. Then, figure out the real reason they’re underweight. Only after that should you think about adding more calories to their diet.

If you’re ever stuck and don’t know what to do, don’t guess. Talk to your vet right away.

Thanks for caring about your pit bull. They’re lucky to have you!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.