If your dog is suffering from weight loss due to old age, or just needs to gain a few pounds, there are many health tips and tricks to help him gain weight. Your dog’s health is very important, you must maintain a balance of diet and exercise.
Let’s take a look at some healthy, all natural weight gaining tips for skinny dogs!
1. New Feeding Schedule
Dogs metabolize and process food in different ways than humans, but the concept can be quite similar. For example, people who eat less than a few hours before bed are more likely to gain weight. Our doctors encourage us to not eat before bed, as our body will store the nutrients as fat. Using this logic in reverse, you can actually help your dog gain some necessary pounds.
If your dog eats twice per day, as many do, consider giving him a smaller portion of food in the morning, and a larger portion at night. This will cause his body to store fat during sleep, instead of burning energy. This method also ensures that your dog doesn’t burn wanted calories off while exercising throughout the day.
Another weight gaining method is to feed small meals frequently. By splitting your dog’s daily does of food over three or four meals, you will be providing him with nutrients all throughout the day. This new schedule should help your dog gain weight.
Exercise caution when allowing your dog to be active after eating. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes after eating to exercise your dog, in order to avoid bloat.
2. Higher Protein or Fat Food
If you’ve ever welcomed a puppy into your home, you understand the importance of higher protein and fat foods. These nutrients aid in growth and development for young dogs, and are necessary for pups to advance into adulthood. These foods can be expensive, but are very worth it!
The same method can be used for dogs needing to gain weight. Using a higher protein and fat food will help your dog gain weight over a period of time. This method is used to aid your dog in weight gaining gradually. With higher protein and fat food, you will start to notice an increase in your dog’s weight within a few weeks.
If you are able to find a higher protein percentage food, in the same meat protein that you are already feeding, you can start adding it right away! If you are required to switch meat proteins for more nutrients, mix a small amount of the new food in with your dog’s old diet in order to prevent any stomach upset.
The formula is simple. Start with 10% new food and 90% old food, and increase the new food each day until you reach 100% new food. This may take 10-14 days, and your dog may still experience upset stomach for a few weeks after. This is normal, but you should consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.
UPDATE: We found our favorite Canadian made high protein snacks by Treats Happen. Angus tested and approved!
3. Pumpkin and Sweet Potato
Pumpkin and sweet potato are excellent weight gaining secrets! If you are looking to help your dog gain weight, but don’t want to add more meat protein to his diet, try adding pumpkin or sweet potato to his food. This boost in fat and fibre is sure to help him put on a few pounds, and the nutrients will prevent him from having an upset stomach. You can purchase canned pumpkin or sweet potato, as well as dehydrated from your local pet store or grocer. We prefer canned!
Be sure to read the instructions on the back of the packaging, and watch your dog carefully over the first little while to ensure his bowel movements are normal!
4. Honest Kitchen
Honest Kitchen is a household name to nutrition-conscious pet parents. Myself included!
Honest Kitchen is an all natural, dehydrated formula, that is not only healthy, but very tasty for pups. Their meat free vegetable base is a perfect alternative to “extra food” for parents who want to avoid feeding extra meat proteins, but also want to help their dog gain weight. These formulas are gluten, grain, and corn free, and 100% human grade.
Feel good about what you feed your dog.
5. Peanut Butter and Extra Whole Food Treats
Sometimes, extra calories from treats aren’t a bad thing! Another great way to help your dog gain weight quickly is to give him high fat treats throughout the day and before bed. Peanut butter is an excellent option!
All natural peanut butter is not only healthier than many dog treats, but will help your dog gain weight quickly! When giving your dog peanut butter, try to also give them a healthy treat, like a piece of vegetable with the peanut butter. Carrots are a low acidity, low sugar treat that will reduce the risk of stomach upset. Avoid feeding high acidity foods like fruit with peanut butter, as this can cause stomach issues.
Be sure to buy all natural peanut butter, free of added salts, sugars, or xylitol. Try these delicious Smart Sticks!
6. More Exercise
This one may be confusing for some pet parents, as they associate exercise with losing weight. However, a large portion of dog’s weight should be muscle! Exercising your dog regularly and often is the best way to maintain his weight. Pair this with a high protein and fat diet, and he should fill out in no time!
If you are experiencing difficulties keeping weight on your dog, please seek professional help from your veterinarian or canine nutritionalist.