What to feed a dog to gain weight?


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As a vet, most of the time I usually get to see pets who are unfortunately overweight, which could potentially lead to serious consequences. But, on occasions, I do see dogs that look like they have never seen food in their life and their owners are very much concerned that something is wrong with their dog. 

Consult a veterinarian

Whenever you are not sure why your dog looks so thin, it is wise to go to a good doctor for some consultations. In some cases, your dog may be perfectly healthy, but it is just an active or young dog that is still developing. In that case, your dog may recommend you try a different brand of food and recheck in a month. 

If your vet on the other hand suspects that your dog looks quite thin, they may run a series of tests, starting from a simple CBC and biochemistry. Once those results are in, they may recommend further investigation such as ultrasound and x-ray. 

It is important for you to mention whether you have seen any recent changes in your dog’s eating routine if you have noticed whether your dog seems to like it is skipping meals, how they poop, and how they are acting in general. The reason for this is that any of those changes may point out that your dog may be ill and that is the reason why they are constantly losing weight even though they may be eating as always.

Adjust your dog’s diet

This is probably a question that could best be discussed with an expert and that is a veterinary nutritionist. If your dog has been given the okay and it does not have any disease, then talking to a nutritionist would benefit both you and your dog the best.

These people are trained professionals and they could help you in making adjustments in your dog’s diet that would suit them the best and cover their needs. Different ages, sexes, sizes, and activity levels are important factors whenever you are considering making changes in your dog’s diet. 

Think about portion size and feeding frequency 

Another thing you may try to do is increase your dog’s portion size to provide them with more calories. But, again this is something that needs to be consulted with your vet or veterinary nutritionists. Also, feeding your dog more frequently, with smaller meals may help them increase their weight. 

However, this does not mean that you should overfeed the dog, as this could lead to health issues. Obesity could cause problems with the joints and bones and in some cases could lead to diabetes. 

If you make meals for your dog then always try to use nutrient-rich ingredients that will contribute not only to your dog’s weight but to their health as well. Before you do, decide to plan your dog’s meals and take chances to talk to your veterinarian and ask for ideas on what you can cook and how to combine the ingredients so that your dog would benefit them the most.

Don’t forget to regularly exercise 

Dogs need to be on the move, and they need the activity. That is why having regular moderate walks or even play dates with their favorite dog friends in the park will certainly be beneficial. Activity increases muscle mass which in return will certainly increase your dog’s weight. Keep in mind that if you over-exercise, you will actually do the opposite and your dog may end up losing even more of its weight.


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