how to put weight on a malnourished dog

How To Put Weight On A Malnourished Dog?

Do you want to put weight on your underweight pet dog? Normally, the malnourished term is affiliated with stray dogs. But, sometimes well feed pet dogs can also be malnourished.

Malnourishment among dogs can be a serious health issue and should be taken care of. A dog can be underweight because of many reasons.

Your pet dog is very active; a dog has some kind of illness or recovering from an injury. In any case, described above, consultation from the vet is necessary. 

In this article, I will provide you with tips on how to put weight on a malnourished dog.

How To Put Weight On A Malnourished Dog

how to put weight on a malnourished dog

What are the signs of a malnourished pet?

A dog is considered to be a man’s best friend. There is a unique bond between the pet and the owner. You can easily judge whether your dog is malnourished or not if you see any of these signs.

  • Lack of energy and Fatigue
  • Skin or coat disorder
  • Change in feces
  • Filthy breath
  • Lack of energy and fatigue

Malnourished dogs are not at all playful and often appear weak and lethargic. Generally, malnourished pets suffer from a lack of interest in all types of activities because they can’t perform them. 

  • Skin or coat disorder 

Dog skin shows signs of illness very quickly. A wide variety of minerals and vitamins are required to keep the healthy fur of a dog. Itchy skin, hair loss, and dry scalp indicate a lack of nutrients in dogs.

Furthermore, if the fur of the dog is dull, dry, and thin in texture, it shows signs of malnourishment.

  • Change in feces

Feces are also an indicator of malnourishment in dogs. If your dog suffers from diarrhea, constipation, or inconsistent bowel movement, then these are signs of digestive issues that are caused by nutritional deficiency. 

  • Filthy breath

Filthy or bad breath can occur for many reasons, and one reason is nutritional deficiency. Generally, bad breath is an indication of tooth decay in the mouth that causes a dog to eat uncomfortably.

Furthermore, it leads to loss of appetite in pets. The main reason for the nutrient deficiency is the Loss of appetite in dogs.

How to put weight on the malnourished dog?

Nutrient deficiency is a serious and life-threatening problem for dogs. Putting on weight on a malnourished dog is not an easy task, especially when the dogs have a low appetite.

However, one thing should be kept in mind your main focus shouldn’t be gaining weight but to develop lean muscle that consists of all the nutrients. Here are some tips for putting on lean weight on your dog.

You can also Check Nutra Thrive for Dogs reviews

  • Record your dog weight

To track and record weight gain, it is very important to record your dog’s weight on regular basis. In this way, you will be able to see the impact of dietary changes on a dog’s body. However, if a dog doesn’t gain weight, you can adjust its diet accordingly.

  • Increase the number of meals

In my opinion, the simplest way to gain dogs’ weight is to increases the number of meals. You have to develop the eating habit of your dog. If you are giving him meals two times a day, adds an extra meal around lunchtime.

This is the most effective way to increase calorie intake in malnourished dogs. But, it should be kept in mind that the size of the meal should be the same, so the dog doesn’t get full.

  • Increase Calorie density

Another way to help your dog to gain weight is to make every meal more calorie-dense and nutritious. Now, the main problem with feeding your dog too much may lead to overeating and ultimately getting ill.

There is a supplement available in the market that is very easy to use and adds extra calories to your dog meal. Additionally, these supplements consist of fish oil, protein, vitamin, and minerals that are very healthy for the dog.

Another thing that makes these supplements more special is that they become liquid after mixing so your dog will barely feel any difference in taste and texture and finishes its meal.

  • Regular exercise

Generally, it is believed that malnourished dogs should avoid exercise; this assumption is not true. The appetite of the dog increases with regular walks and playtime. By regular exercise, you are increasing your dog’s hunger and keeping it healthy. 

If you force your malnourished pet to do extensive exercise, it’s difficult for him but, a regular walk can help them in staying healthy.

  • Keeping healthy treats with you

Dogs love chews; another way to increase calories is by giving healthy dog treats. In that way, you will have something in hand to feed the dog when it seems hungry.

There are different healthy chews and snacks available in the market. These snacks contain high calories and increase dog immunity. 

Reason for low weight among dogs

Sometimes low body weight can be a symptom of diseases. So, consult your vet first because there may be a problem like

  • Diabetes
  • Surgery
  • Thyroid problem
  • Liver diseases
  • Intestinal parasites

How long does it take for a malnourished dog to gain weight?

This question comes to every owner’s mind when he is trying to rescue his dog from malnourishment. Every dog’s weight gain journey is different from another. Different factors affect dog metabolisms like diet, genetics, hormones, and many more.

Generally, it takes a couple of months to gain fat and increase weight. Just like human dogs also require good bulk, rest, and time to develop muscles. Lean muscle development takes 6 months.

Best dog food to gain weight and muscle

The best solution for gaining weight is to add extra calories. The best dog food is available in the market consist of a high level of protein and calories. Here is the best dog food available in the market.

  • Bully Max high-performance dog food
  • Crave grain-free dog food

Bully Max high-performance dog food

It is a unique combination of corn and wheat, and additionally, it is a soy-free formula. It helps in gaining calories and fat in malnourished dogs.

Crave grain-free dog food

This formula is protein-enriched dog food. This dog food is grain-free. Furthermore, it is the best solution for a high-quality protein source.

What to feed a malnourished dog

Every malnourished dog has a different body requirement; it is necessary to consult a vet before starting any weight gain formula. The main objective of dog food is to provide high-quality, well-balanced food.

Also, dog food should contain a high level of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to meet its body needs.

Supplements are usually not recommended by the vet if the dog’s nutritional requirements are complete. Sometimes veterinarians provide with diet plan because too many supplements can be harmful to the malnourished dog.


If your dog is underweight, it will be suffering from problems like a dull coat, low energy, vomiting, and diarrhea. So, your question should be how to put weight on a malnourished dog. To gain your dog’s ideal weight, add extra calories and nutritious food to its diet.

Putting weight on a malnourished dog is not a one-day task, but it requires time and effort. Offering your small dog meals per day is considered to be the best practice.

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