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15 Ways to Help Your Puppy Gain Weight Safely and Fast!

Does your dog struggle to gain weight and is too thin?

Some home remedies for fattening dogs found on the Internet can cause more harm than benefit. There are many safe and effective ways to help your puppy gain weight.

We’ll tell you everything you need to help your dog reach its full potential, from adjusting their feeding schedule and diet to adding supplements.

How to get your puppy to eat better

When a puppy needs to gain weight, I offer the following tips to owners. Consult your veterinarian before making any major dietary changes. Make changes slowly over a 7-10 day period.

Diet Changes

Give your dog more food.

If your puppy is hungry, you may need to give them more food than the label suggests. If your dog is healthy but thin, you can increase its food by 10-25%.

Upgrade to better-quality foods.

Pet food that is too cheap can be hard to digest and contains a lot of fiber. Try switching to premium puppy foods gradually over 7-10 days. Your puppy will retain more calories because of the increased digestibility.

Change protein source

Some dogs do better on one type of protein than another. Try switching your dog’s chicken diet to beef, lamb, or fish.

Avoid consuming large quantities of plant-based ingredients.

Some dogs may have difficulty digesting grain-free dog food, usually a mixture of lentils or chickpeas. You can find puppy food with plant-based ingredients at the bottom of the ingredient list.

Human Food for Picky Puppies

As much as 10% of the meal can be made up of bland carbs like rice and cooked meats.

Do not listen to internet experts who suggest feeding sweet potatoes, peanut butter, coconut oil, or fatty meats. Rich, unbalanced foods can cause serious health issues!

Below is a table with a list of safer foods you can try.

QuantityFood
1-3 teaspoonsparmesan cheese
1-2 tablespoonscooked beef or chicken liver
1/4-1/2 cupchicken or beef broth
1/4-1/2 cuprotisserie chicken breast meat (no skin or bone)
1/4-1/2 cupcooked 90% lean ground beef

Food Variations

Try serving moist food.

Some dogs and puppies prefer wet food, and some may find it easier to digest. Add wet food to the kibble, or feed an only wet diet.

Eat smaller meals more frequently.

Feed 3-6 small meals during the day. This can help increase a dog’s intake and be kinder to its digestive system.

Serve food at different temperatures.

You can feed your dog at the cold, room temperature, and slightly warmer temperatures. Some dogs will eat more food if it is prepared to their liking.

Add liquid to food

Add different liquids such as beef broth, chicken broth or water to the dry or wet food.

Try out different textures of food.

Try different textures for your dog’s food. You can try different textures of food.

Feeding Environment

Stay calm at the dinner table.

Even a good amount of excitement can suppress appetite. Exercise and avoid excitement for one hour before and after meals.

Use different serving dishes.

Serve your food in a shallow dish or on a plate. Try ceramic, metal or plastic dishes. Try different sizes of dishes. Serve food on a raised platform or the floor.

Try different feeding areas.

Feed your dog in an area where he feels comfortable, and there are few distractions. Try feeding him in various rooms, in his kennel or outside.

Teach your dog to eat.

Social animals, dogs don’t often like to eat alone. Sit near him at mealtimes and praise him verbally when he takes food.

Spoon-feeding

Some dogs will eat more if their owner feeds them moist food with a spoon or dry food.

Use an interactive food toy.

Fill an interactive toy that dispenses food, such as the Orbee Tuff Snoop Ball, with puppy food. The challenge of getting food out is appealing to high-energy pups. They may even eat more.

Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Snoop Interactive Treat Dispensing Dog Toy, Large, Orange

How to tell if a puppy is overweight

Start by determining the breed or type of your puppy. It’s important to know what your puppy’s weight should be.

Italian Greyhounds, Whippets and other breeds have different shapes than Pugs. Some dog owners mistakenly believe their dog is too thin because of these differences.

You can still see the outline on your Italian Greyhound’s pelvis as long as a thin layer of muscle and fat covers its bones. If you can see the individual ribs, your dog may be underweight.

Why is my dog so thin?

Before trying to fatten an underweight dog, it’s best to have them examined by a vet.

Take a new stool sample to test for parasites. Parasites can cause pups to lose weight. Based on the results of fecal tests, your vet may recommend deworming or prescribe other medications.

As discussed below, in some cases, additional testing may be required to assess underweight pups as they could have systemic disease.

Why is my dog eating but not gaining weight?

Parasites

Internal parasites are a common cause of slow weight gain in puppies. Various parasites, including whipworms and roundworms, can slow weight gain.

Parasites can cause long-lasting damage to a puppy. Veterinarians prescribe anti-parasitic medication with a high success rate with minimal side effects.

Post-Parvo

Underweight dogs may result from parvo. Consult your vet if your dog has survived parvo and is not gaining weight as expected. Many supplements and special diets can improve digestion so your friend can grow.

Liver Shunt

A liver shunt occurs when blood doesn’t flow normally through the liver. This condition is more common in small breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers and Toy Poodles. It can also affect the growth of these dogs.

Blood tests and diagnostic imaging are used to diagnose liver shunts. Talk to your veterinarian if you think your dog has a problem with the liver. Affected dogs can lead healthy lives with the right care.

Maldigestion & Malabsorption

When food is not digested enough, it cannot be absorbed. Maldigestion is often caused by exocrine pancreatic failure (EPI), which occurs in puppies without a fully-functioning pancreas.

Malabsorption is when the intestines cannot absorb nutrients, even though the food has been properly broken down. Malabsorption can be caused by SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth).

You can ask your vet to diagnose and treat the problem. Once you’ve received a diagnosis, try these tips and tricks for helping your puppy eat more.

When will my puppy gain weight?

After adoption, puppies from large litters may gain weight naturally as they compete less with littermates for food. Adoption may also improve the quality of their food.

Give your new puppy a few weeks to gain weight on their usual puppy diet.

How much food to give a skeletal dog

Do not feed high-calorie foods to a severely underweight puppy. Sudden changes in diet can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Start by feeding the amount recommended for a puppy of that age and weight. You can increase the food you feed by 10% to 25% each day.

Keep an eye out for signs of stomach upset. It may take a few months for them to gain weight.

Feeding large breed pups

It’s crucial to feed large-breed pups that are underweight. This will help to prevent rapid weight gain, which could lead to orthopedic issues later in life. Large-breed puppy diets can be used to help maintain a steady weight gain.

Ask your vet how much more to feed a large-breed underweight puppy. As a general rule, stay within 1.5 times what is recommended on the label. (1)

What is the best food to help your puppy gain weight?

Avoid internet recipes that suggest foods that are extremely high in fat. These can cause diarrhea or nutrient imbalances. Choose a balanced food for puppies from a reputable company specifically designed to promote steady weight gain without overnutrition. Food products labeled “growth” or “all life phases” will be appropriate.

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Feline

Brands like Royal Canin, Purina ONE, Science Diet and Eukanuba are known for rigorous testing and quality control. A veterinarian nutritionist may not supervise boutique brands.

Royal Canin Recovery, which is high-calorie and nutrient-dense, can help pups with a small appetite. You can ask your vet to prescribe a medication.

Healthy Puppy Lamb

Healthy Puppy Lamb

It’s easy to make homemade food for puppies, but it is easy to get it right. Unbalanced diets may cause serious health issues in puppies. Speak to your veterinarian for advice on finding a recipe that is suitable for growing dogs.

How long does it usually take for a puppy to gain weight?

When puppies are regularly fed a healthy diet, they will gain weight. It may take longer for puppies with a demanding diet.

If your puppy has underlying health issues, you must treat them before they gain weight. To avoid developmental issues, it is important to ensure that they gain weight steadily as quickly as possible.

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