Is your dog underweight? If this is the case, they may suffer from all kinds of health problems such as low energy, lethargy, vomiting or diarrhoea, low muscle mass, and dull hair.dog gain weight
Of course, you don’t want that for your dog. You want them to return to normal weight so that they get the energy they need to run, play and feel happy and healthy again.
But to gain weight in malnourished dogs is not always easy – especially since many underweight dogs have a low appetite and don’t necessarily want to eat more.
So what do you do in this situation?
Here at the pet ask club we know a thing or two about gaining weight on a dog. And in this article, we share 5 tips that you can use to increase your dog’s natural weight – naturally and healthy.
1- Before thinking how to make dog gain weight …record the weight of your dog
Record the weight of your dog. If you think your dog is underweight, you need to start tracking your dog’s weight in order to track your dog’s weight loss, and then do a dog gain weight strategy. Make sure to share this information with your vet.
A BCS system is used to help determine if your pet is very thin, very heavy, or of ideal weight.
If the dog appears to be underweight based on BCS, you should speak to your veterinarian about a method to help your dog gain weight.
In general, the dog’s weight is healthy if you can see his waist, you can feel his ribs while foreplaying his side without seeing the ribs and the curves of his upper abdomen facing the hips.
If you can easily see most or all of the ribs, spine, or hip bones, then your dog is probably very thin.
Some breeds, such as Greyhounds, and some Border Collies and Pointers dogs tend to be smaller than others such as Mastiffs and Labrador Retrievers.
2-Ask your vet before deciding to your dog gain weight
You should make sure that nothing causes the dog’s weight loss needs medical attention. Your dog may have a disease or a parasite that it is not immediately clear to you that your vet will be able to determine it.
Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hepatitis, and inflammatory bowel diseases may appear with weight loss, but they require additional treatments and medications. Therefore, a pet will not improve with an undiagnosed condition with food alone. In fact, it will get worse without proper treatment.
It is best for your veterinarian to perform a fecal test for intestinal parasites, but if you are unable to do so, you can diagnose and treat your dog from worms from home.
A dog with an intestinal parasite infection may be underweight because the parasites sucks nutrition from dog food before the dog can handle it.
3-Check the appropriate nutritional values available in your dog’s meal
If your veterinarian rules out health problems, it’s likely that your dog isn’t getting the right number of calories. The recommended daily calorie for the dog should be calculated, and the calorie count depends on the breed, dog level, and reproductive status. Sterile animals may not need as many calories as healthy animals
Feeding food with higher calories may be beneficial if the dog has poor appetite and does not finish the recommended portion of the food. However, this should only be attempted after parasites are examined, treated, blood work and other diagnoses to rule out health problems.
Diets that are free from the primary balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates may also be responsible.
You must feed your dog an AAFCO certified (complete and balanced) diet for growth, in addition to choosing a diet appropriate for the assumed adult size. “For example, large and giant breed dogs must eat a diet intended for large dogs.
Despite what you might think, diets designed for growth are not always of high quality so you should be careful about what you offer during dog gain weight journey.
Eating raw is also not a cure. The margin of safety is narrow during growth and this can be a problem not only for nutritional imbalances but also for infectious diseases.
4-Adding calories to your dog’s diet is the start of dog gain weight
- Add an extra meal to your dog’s daily diet to start the dog gain weight If you feed your dog once a day, add a second meal. If your dog is already fed in the morning and evening, add a meal during the middle of the day. Don’t necessarily change the diet you are already feeding on, just add one meal a day to add calories.
Keep in mind that by increasing your dog’s diet with a full meal, you are also changing your dog’s bath habits, which may require changing his walking schedule.
- Evaluate the quality of your dog’s food. Dog food comes in various forms of quality. You should make sure that the food you feed your dog provides sufficient calories and the appropriate balance for feeding.
It is easy to check the protein and fat content in the food you are currently feeding by checking the information provided on the side of the dry food packaging.
- Complete dog food with healthy, home-grown food. Adding some delicious and safe home food to your dog’s diet can help increase your dog’s enthusiasm for eating. Skimmed chicken broth, salt, beef broth or vegetable broth is very tasty, especially if you heat it up before putting it over dog food. Some tablespoons will add a nice flavour to your dog’s food.
- Some tablespoons of grilled chicken without skin, boiled eggs or regular sardines (or mackerel) often help awaken the appetites of most dogs and are healthy sources of protein and calories.
- Dogs can get sick if they are fed a lot of fat, so stick to protein and carbohydrates to add healthy calories to your diet.
- Other foods you can try are water from canned tuna, skim cheese, plain non-fat yogurt, or regular canned pumpkin.
- Avoid foods that can be dangerous to the health of dogs, such as chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, garlic and anything mouldy.
Try a different kind of food. If your dog does not respond well to the food he eats, try giving him different dry (high-quality) food, high-quality canned (moist) canned food, or follow a respectful dog food diet. High-quality pet foods are usually included in the formulation as a protein, such as “beef” or “chicken”.
If you are at home cooking the entire diet for a dog over a long period of time, it is extremely important that the diet is complete and nutritionally balanced. It is recommended that you use a reliable source from your veterinarian for dog food recipes, and be sure not to leave any ingredients when cooking until a complete meal helps in dog gain weight in a healthy manner.
- Add water to the dog’s dry food. If your dog is not eager to eat his dry food, try adding hot water to the dried food and then allow it to cool until it’s soft. This makes food more attractive to dogs.
5-Don’t forget exercise during dog gain weight journey
During dog gain weight journey, you will need to make sure that they are exercising as well. Remember that you don’t want your dog to gain a lot of unhealthy fats – instead you want your dog to maintain a healthy mix of fats and muscles. This means that you will need to incorporate a good exercise routine.
Exercise can also help combat muscle wasting (which can be a side effect of malnutrition). It can also help stimulate a dog’s appetite, which is important when he needs to gain weight.
A word of caution, however: If your dog is currently underweight, you may not want to start a rigorous exercise plan right away. Start with ease, and increase it slowly and gradually. If your dog has any medical conditions, always ask your vet how to better integrate the exercise routine without causing any injuries.