If your dog can’t gain weight, it’s often due to the wrong amount of food, too much stress, an illness or psychological problems. It is best to get advice from your vet or try a different dog food.
If a dog is too thin, it can be just as harmful as being overweight. But for responsible owners there are various ways and means to feed the four-legged friend accordingly.
The reasons for a loss of weight are manifold – tact is required here!
There are these 6 reasons for a lack of weight gain in dogs
Possible reasons for a lack of weight gain may include the following:
- Needs of the dog
- Wrong amount of food
- psychological reasons
The dog food should be tailored exactly to the dog’s needs. Young or very active dogs need food that provides a lot of energy. Look carefully at how many calories your dog needs – depending on breed, activity and age – and feed the appropriate type.
Another reason is that you may be feeding the right type of food, but the wrong amount. Look carefully at the information on the packaging. Follow the recommendations exactly in grams and, if in doubt, weigh the food so that the dog gets a sufficient amount.
Maybe your dog is under stress – physically or mentally. Just like us humans, four-legged friends use up more energy when they rarely get a chance to rest. A move or something similar can also upset the animal’s stomach. In this case, try to give the dog a calmer daily routine.
Illnesses are also a possible cause. If your dog does not gain weight despite a change in food and lifestyle, take him to the vet. The vet will do specific tests to see if there are any physical causes that need to be treated.
Some dogs do not gain weight due to their breed. For example, if your dog is one of the greyhound breeds, you will be able to feed more and your dog will still not gain weight. If the breed is generally thin, this will have no effect on health. In that case, you should get used to the slim build.
Some dogs have parasites without the owner noticing. Make sure that the dog is wormed regularly. Otherwise, no matter what and how much you feed, the dog may not be able to meet its increased energy needs. It is best to worm regularly in the future.
The dog’s mental health – a possible reason for too little weight
When dogs are often under stress, they sometimes tend to be underweight. Make sure your four-legged friend gets some rest before, during and after eating.
Establish a regular daily routine with fixed times for feeding, playing and walking. The more security you give your four-legged friend in this way, the sooner he will gain weight again.
You can read about the times at which you should feed your dog here.
If a dog is distressed, it may eat less and not gain weight. Get to the root of the problem and spend time with your pet. If the dog is happy, it will be more likely to gain weight again.
How to give your dog healthy weight without sugar and fat
When feeding your dog, make sure that there is no sugar or fat in the food. Both substances make your dog gain weight, but they are also unhealthy.
If you want to give your dog healthy fats, use natural oils, which not only make him gain weight, but also give him a shiny coat and a better general condition.
Sugar has no place in food – not even in the form of cereals. Dogs can get diabetes from it!
In addition to feeding, energy consumption also plays a role. Make sure that your dog does not move too much during the weight gain phase. Of course, he should go outside regularly and be kept busy enough.
However, constant romping with an unfamiliar dog or very long walks cost your dog’s body energy that it now needs elsewhere.
These treats ensure that the dog gains weight
If you want to give your dog a boost, you can give him special food that provides a lot of energy. Alternatively, you can mix certain foods into the normal food that are both healthy and nutritious.
These include, for example, fatty fish and fresh meat with a high protein content. If you don’t want to add fresh food, then get nibbles made from dried meat. Almost every dog will accept these and they are high in protein and energy.
All foods that contain a lot of starch can also be added to the normal food. These include potatoes, which contain neither fat nor much sugar and are therefore gentle on your dog’s digestion. Be sure to boil them before you feed them!
If you want to offer a sweet but healthy treat, you can also use bananas or apples.
As an alternative to fresh food, you can add fish oil to dry food or mix special powders with canned wet food. These powders usually contain a high percentage of animal fats, so they are only given temporarily as a cure and not permanently.
Simple recipes to make yourself
So that you know straight away what will make your dog gain weight again, we have a recipe for you.
Beef or chicken with oatmeal provides a lot of energy without being heavy on the stomach or containing too much sugar. All you need:
- Fresh beef or chicken meat.
- Safflower oil, high quality
It is best to get the meat from the butcher and make sure that it does not contain too much fat. You will also need oatmeal from the supermarket and high-quality, cold-pressed safflower oil.
If you have a medium to large dog, you will need 250 grams of flakes and the same amount of meat. 30 millilitres of safflower oil is appropriate. Cook the meat briefly and then mix it with the oil and the cooked flakes.
Another recipe: Cook classic soup vegetables, noodles and a chicken for about 60 minutes. Let everything cool down and give it to the dog gradually in small portions in addition to its normal food. This home-cooked food is easy to freeze!
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Conclusion – dog does not gain weight
In order for your dog to gain weight again, it is important to find the possible sources of error. These can be the wrong amount of food, stress, illness or psychological reasons why your dog’s organism tends to lose weight rather than gain weight.
But in order for your dog to gain weight again, it is helpful to find the problem and eliminate the cause.
If all sources of error have been eliminated, it may be that your dog simply has a slender build and is not really lacking anything.
If you still want to have a somewhat normal-looking dog, you can feed him appropriate food.
It is better to leave out the sugar bombs and instead choose healthy alternatives that provide your dog with all the important nutrients.