Last Updated on March 8, 2023 by Woody Pet
There are a number of reasons why your dog might need to gain weight including illnesses, being a picky eater, stress, age, and the like. Try out these dog weight gain tips to help them in their dog weight gain journey!
5 Useful Tips for Healthy Dog Weight Gain
Before you decide to help your dog gain weight, you must determine if it’s necessary to do so. You should pay close attention to their physical appearance and disposition.
If their ribs can be seen and felt easily, and their waistline curves more to one side, then your dog is most likely underweight and would need to gain more weight. To assess your dog, place your thumbs on its spine and flatten your palm over its ribcage. A dog with a healthy weight would have their ribs felt just enough under its coat and skin. Another way is overhead inspection. A healthy dog would have an hourglass figure as you look at its body from above. If you can see your dog’s ribs individually and that their waist is narrower than their ribcage, then they’re underweight. Showing low signs of energy and lack of shine in their coat are also good indicators of necessary dog weight gain.
Dog weight gain is especially important to monitor after your dog goes through an illness. Their digestive system will be sensitive enough to not be able to function as well as they normally would. Their normal feeding portions might be a cause for overloading their digestive system resulting in an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.
What’s the normal weight for dogs?
The normal weight for dogs varies depending on many factors: age, breed, and sex. Given that, every pet needs to be assessed by a professional in order to get an accurate diagnosis of their health and general well-being. There isn’t one standard weight for every dog so don’t feel too bad if they don’t fall in what is considered to be the ideal range.
Check out the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)’s chart on the ideal dog weight range.
5 Dog Weight Gain Tips
To help your dog gain weight, it’s a common misconception to just feed them more frequently and in larger portions. However, there are many more factors that need to be considered before making changes in their diets.
Getting into a dog weight gain journey is a delicate one that should be properly assessed first before making the first step as it could lead to serious health issues such as obesity. The mechanics are not that different from how we would approach weight gain and loss so it won’t be too difficult to understand. Take note of the following dog weight gain tips for a healthy and safe weight gain:
Change their diet
As obvious as this tip is, there are still some crucial details and information that every dog parent should know about. It’s not just about the portion sizes that affect your dog’s weight. Rather, the components of the dog food that you feed them have more of an impact on their bodies. Given that, the next time that you’re on a shopping spree for dog necessities, look for dog food that has higher amounts of lean proteins and is lower in fats and carbohydrates. If your dog is a senior or a younger one, you should give them food that is rich in protein as it helps maintain muscle mass, especially for a diet that is restricted in calories.
Adjust their feeding schedule
The way dogs process their food is not that much different from ours. Eating just hours before sleeping makes us gain weight as it stores those nutrients as fat during that sleeping period rather than burning them or using them as nutrients themselves. With this similar logic, you can help your dog gain weight by adjusting when they should eat and how much. Try feeding him less in the morning and compensate for that in the evening so that they’ll store them as fat.
Another method is to let them in small portions but more frequently. Splitting their feeding intervals help give them more nutrients throughout the day.
Do More Exercises
Adjusting their diet is not enough to fully achieve the goal you have for your dog. You would need them to get moving and burn calories in order to build muscle mass. Doing so would help increase their metabolism, which helps in weight management in general. Moreover, since the reason behind dog weight gain is to lead a healthier lifestyle, exercising your dog is a surefire way to achieve just that. This seemingly short-term journey actually has benefits that extend to the long term. As you practice this every day, remind yourself that this type of change takes time and the results are worth the exhaustion and effort!
Go to the vet to deworm your dog
As mentioned earlier, dog weight gain might be necessary because of medical reasons, and one of which is worms. There are different types of worms your dogs can contract. These parasites thrive in their digestive system which inevitably affects their appetite, metabolism, and other important functions for healthy weight management. If your dog continues to show the following symptoms, take them immediately to the veterinarian:
- Changes in feces
- Excessive vomiting
- Change in physical shape
- Change in gum color
- Poor coat appearance
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in stool
Add dog weight gain supplements
If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to help your dog gain weight, supplements are available for you to incorporate into their treats and food! These are packed with vitamins, minerals, and proteins that help support muscle gain and the recovery of their immune system. Through these, your dogs will be able to gain more pounds and treat stressors and illnesses that may be the causes of their low weight.
If your dog is underweight, don’t forget to try out these tips for a healthy and safe dog weight gain. Remember, a dog’s weight is extremely crucial to its general well-being so keep a close eye!
Is your dog on a dog weight gain journey? Share your experience with us in the comments below!