September 25, 2023
Are you worried about your underweight dog? Check out our comprehensive guide for the best foods, supplements, and tips to help your furry friend gain weight quickly and safely. Learn about canine nutrition, prescription diets, and the top 5 high-calorie foods to aid in weight gain.


As pet owners, we all want our furry friends to be happy and healthy. However, sometimes our dogs may struggle with maintaining a healthy weight. An underweight dog can experience health problems, such as malnutrition, a weakened immune system, and more. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to help your dog gain weight safely and effectively.

Understanding the Nutritional Needs of Dogs: A Guide to Healthy Weight Gain

Before we dive into the subject of what to feed an underweight dog, it is essential to understand the basics of canine nutrition. Dogs require a balanced diet that consists of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients play a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight, promoting growth, and keeping your pet healthy.

When it comes to weight gain, it is crucial to feed your dog a high-quality food that meets their individual needs. Additionally, you will need to provide your dog with the appropriate amount of food to achieve healthy weight gain. Consulting with your veterinarian is the best way to determine your dog’s ideal weight range and how much food they should consume.

Top 5 High-Calorie Foods to Help Your Underweight Dog Gain Weight

If your dog needs to gain weight, high-calorie and nutrient-dense foods can be an excellent addition to their diet. Here are the top 5 high-calorie foods that can help your underweight dog gain weight:

  • Cooked Chicken: A great source of protein, cooked chicken is an easy food to incorporate into your dog’s diet. Be sure to remove any bones and skin, as they can be harmful to dogs.
  • Peanut Butter: Many dogs love peanut butter, and it is an excellent source of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins. Be sure to avoid peanut butter with added salt, sugar, or artificial sweeteners.
  • Cheese: Cheeses like cheddar, mozzarella, and cottage cheese can be high in calories and protein. However, they should be given in moderation, as excessive amounts of cheese can cause digestive upset for some dogs.
  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin is a great source of fiber, which can help regulate your dog’s digestive system. Additionally, it is nutrient-dense and low in calories, making it an excellent food for weight gain.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats. Be sure to cook the eggs before feeding them to your dog to avoid the risk of salmonella.

When incorporating these high-calorie foods into your dog’s diet, be sure to use them in moderation. Make sure to include them as part of a balanced diet, so your pet’s nutritional needs are met.

The Importance of Exercise and Proper Feeding for Weight Gain in Dogs

Exercise is an essential part of achieving healthy weight gain in dogs. Physical activity can stimulate your dog’s appetite, boost their metabolism, and prevent them from losing lean muscle mass. Additionally, exercise can strengthen your dog’s heart, lungs, and muscles, helping them maintain good overall health.

When it comes to feeding your dog, you should structure their meals throughout the day to optimize weight gain. It is recommended to feed your dog small, frequent meals throughout the day instead of one large meal. This will help your dog’s digestive system more effectively absorb nutrients, leading to healthy weight gain.

Prescription Diets and Supplements for Weight Gain in Dogs: What to Consider

In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend a prescription diet or supplements to help your dog gain weight. Prescription diets are specially formulated to meet your pet’s individual nutritional needs, while supplements can provide an extra boost of nutrients for your pet.

When selecting a prescription diet or supplement, it is crucial to work with your veterinarian to determine what will work best for your pet’s unique needs. You should never give your dog any supplement or medication without first consulting with your veterinarian. Additionally, you should monitor your dog closely while they are on a prescription diet or supplement to ensure they are responding well.

Helping Your Underweight Dog Gain Weight: Tips and Tricks from Veterinarians and Experts

According to veterinarians and animal experts, here are some additional tips and tricks to help your underweight dog gain weight:

  • Feed your dog a high-quality puppy food instead of adult food.
  • Add low-sodium chicken or beef broth to your dog’s food for extra flavor and nutrients.
  • Try to avoid table scraps and human food, as they can upset your dog’s digestive system and lead to unhealthy weight gain.
  • Feed your dog with a puzzle feeder or food toy to make meals more enjoyable and stimulating.
  • Consider adding a nutritional supplement to your dog’s food such as probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, or digestive enzymes.


Ensuring your dog is at a healthy weight is essential for their overall well-being. By working with your veterinarian and taking the steps outlined in this guide, you can help your underweight dog safely and effectively gain weight. Remember to incorporate high-quality foods, exercise, and a structured feeding schedule to achieve the best results.

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