Although dogs are more likely to become overweight than underweight, several circumstances can lead to your dog being slightly below a healthy weight. Being underweight is especially common in rescue dogs who have experienced trauma or gone a long time without proper nutrition, but it can also happen to a dog living in a loving home where they are fed regularly.
If your dog isn’t gaining the right amount of weight or has too much weight loss, there are many ways to help them out. The main one is getting them to a calorie surplus. Luckily, many dog foods give your dog the additional calories and nutrition they need.
Keep reading to find out the best dog food for weight gain as well as other tips for bulking up your dog and keeping them at a healthy weight.
When choosing dog food for weight gain, it can be tricky finding the right balance for your underweight dog. It’s important to understand your dog’s needs and to do your research to find out what’s out there.
Here are our tips for choosing the best dog food for weight gain options to get your dog up to a normal, healthy weight.
How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Weight Gain
When choosing dog food for weight gain, you must first decide whether you’re looking for dog food or if a weight gain supplement is a better choice for your dog. While switching their food out to a new high caloric food may be preferable, if your dog is a picky eater, this may be difficult. If that’s the case, mixing a weight gain supplement into their regular food might be a better choice as it’s less change for your dog. They often won’t even taste the supplement!
Beyond that, when choosing the best dog food for weight gain for your pet, there are a few qualities to look out for, including:
- High calories: Your dog will only gain weight if they get a calorie surplus. Therefore, it’s important to feed them more food than they burn. If your dog is a picky eater and doesn’t want to eat a large quantity of food, then choosing a dog food with a high amount of calories is your best option.
- Protein and fat content: You should aim to get dog food with a good balance of proteins and fats. The fats ensure that your dog gains the body weight they need, while the protein allows them to form lean muscle a lot easier, which is beneficial to their overall health.
- Nutrients: You shouldn’t just pay attention to the fats and proteins in your dog food. Check out the other nutrients your dog’s food of choice contains, such as vitamins and minerals, which could help improve your dog’s overall health.
Tips on Bulking Up Your Dog
As a dog owner, changing your dog’s diet is the best way to ensure that they increase their mass to a healthy weight, but there are other things that you can do to speed up the process and guarantee that they remain at the weight. Here are a few additional tips for helping your dog gain weight:
- Feed them more frequently: If you don’t want to switch out their food, then you might be able to get them to eat more. Feed your dog multiple times a day instead of once to see results.
- Free feeding: Try leaving food out for your dog to eat as they please. They may begin nibbling more often when they’re bored, increasing the calories they take in each day.
- Try softer foods: One problem that could cause your dog to lose weight is tooth sensitivity. This is especially common in older dogs. Try switching from dry food to wet food and see if you notice them eating more.
- Try Puppy Treats: We have a great post to help you find healthy treats for your dog.
Proper nutrition is a critical part of your dog’s life, so it’s important to monitor whether they’re getting enough of it. If you don’t know where to start, choosing a more neutral dog food such as Miracle Vet’s 8-in-1 Dog Food is a good choice. You may also luck out by adding a supplement such as Buddy & Lola’s weight gainer to the food they already love to help your dog gain weight.
If your dog continues to lose weight even after changing their diet, contact your vet immediately as there could be a more severe problem.