Being a responsible dog owner means paying attention to your dog’s health and well-being. This includes providing you dog with a healthy and nutritious diet and monitoring their weight. It’s true to say that a dog’s health is dependent on it being in the best shape possible. And sometimes a healthy weight for dogs isn’t always a matter of losing pounds, but rather of gaining them.
So, if you notice that your dog is losing weight, or not putting on weight as you’d expect, it’s important you take action to keep your dog healthy.
This article will outline how you can fatten up your dog and help them gain weight.
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Underweight?
If you’re asking yourself how you can fatten up your dog, then it’s very likely you’ve already identified that your dog is underweight. However, if you’re not entirely sure whether your dog is underweight there are some checks you can do to establish this.
Check The Sides And Ribs Of Your Dog
Run your hands over the sides of your dog along their rib area. You should be able to feel the ribs of your dog under a relatively thin layer of fat. If you don’t feel any fat, and simply feel the ribs directly under the skin, then that’s a sign your dog is underweight.
When doing this check do keep in mind the breed of your dog. Thinner and leaner dogs such as grey hounds and whippets don’t have as much fat as other dogs.
Check The Overall Shape Of Your Dog
Stand over your dog so that you’re looking down at them, and observe their outline. Dogs typically have a reasonably defined figure waistline. However, your dog’s form will seem more like an inflated hourglass if they are underweight.
Take Your Dog To See A Veterinarian
If you’re still not sure whether your dog is underweight then we’d recommend taking your dog to see the vet. Your vet will be able to tell you with certainty whether your dog is underweight.
Even if you have already established that your dog is underweight, you should take your dog to see your vet anyway. This is needed in order to find out if there are any potential medical conditions that are negatively impacting your dog’s ability to gain and maintain weight.
Why Your Dog Isn’t Gaining Weight
If you’re wondering to yourself why won’t my dog gain weight, there are a few different reasons why this may be the case. These range from your dog’s taste in food naturally changing to your dog possibly experiencing stress or anxiety. Let’s look at these more below.
Your Dog May Be A Fussy Eater
Just like humans can be fussy and picky with their food, so can dogs! This is especially true for puppies.
Puppies can be fussy with their food and eat very little of what you give them if it doesn’t suit their tastes. If your puppy isn’t eating much of what you feed them this could result in your puppy failing to gain weight.
But what if your dog is fully grown? In this case it’s important to ask yourself if you’ve recently changed your dog’s diet. Your dog may have been accustomed to a particular diet and particular types of food and is not happy about you switching them to a new diet.
Try to think about what changes you may have made and you may find the reason why your dog isn’t eating the food you feed them.
Your Dog May Be Stressed Or Anxious
If your dog is feeling stressed or anxious this can result in them losing weight. Think about your dog’s environment and what may have changed recently. Have you bought a new pet into the home? Maybe you’ve changed your dog’s bed or changed the room they sleep in.
When a dog’s environment is suddenly changed it can result in stress for your dog. And just like humans, it could man your dog starts to lose weight.
if your dog is stressed or anxious then it’s important to find the cause of the stress and resolve it.
Your Dog May Be Experiencing Pain Issues
It may be the case that your dog is struggling to eat due to pain issues. Your dog may have a chipped or broken tooth that make it painful or difficult to chew food. Your dog may have other oral or dental conditions making it hard for them to eat.
Perhaps you gave your dog some new food and an ingredient caused your dog to abdominal pain or cramps or gas. These types of pain or digestive issues would result in your dog failing to gain weight and end up with them losing weight.
If you notice your dog’s mood getting low at meal times, or you notice she’s eating really slowly, or regularly failing to eat her favourite foods, it could be a sign of pain issues. It’s important to take your dog to see a vet if you notice these signs.
How To Help Your Dog Gain Weight Safely
There are several different methods you can employ to help your dog gain weight safely and be restored back to optimal health condition. Below we’ve outlined some of the most safe and effective ways to do this.
Give Your Dog Food Higher In Fat Or Protein
This is probably the easiest and safest way to help your dog put on weight and fatten him up. There are dog foods designed with the purpose to help dogs gain weight. These types of foods include starch, oils and actual protein rather than their byproducts.
You can help your dog gain and maintain weight progressively by providing him with a diet that’s high in fat and protein. So, if you’re trying to figure out what to feed your dog to help them gain weight, consider switching to one of the numerous high-calorie dog food products available. This food switch might be the only adjustment required to help fatten up your dog.
Give Your Dog More Meals
If your dog is underweight, consider adding an additional meal each day to help them acquire weight. Consider adding a second meal to your dog’s daily routine if he only gets a single meal a day. Even if your dog is already fed in the morning and evening, it will facilitate weight gain to give him a third meal in the afternoon.
You can also give your dog with additional chances to eat during the day. If you give your dog more meals of a smaller size you’ll be helping them to increase how quickly they digest their food.
If your dog is able to digest their food more quickly this is will speed up their metabolism. This will result in your pooch having a bigger appetite and eating more.
Increase Your Dog’s Exercise Schedule
It’s true to say that exercise is typically used to facilitate weight loss. However, with regular exercise your dog will build muscle, and this will contribute to your dog maintaining a healthy weight.
You could increase your dogs’ exercise schedule in different ways. For example, if you normally exercise your dog for 30 minutes a day, extend it to 45 minutes. If you normally take your dog out twice a day, take her out three times a day. Or play with your dog at home for 15 – 20 minutes in addition to your normal exercise or dog walk routine.
Introduce Rotisserie Chicken To Your Dog’s Diet
It’s well known that dogs love chicken. And very few dogs can resist rotisserie chicken, the same goes for humans too!
Feeding dogs rotisserie chicken is a well known method to fatten up underweight dogs. The smell, the look, the taste and texture of rotisserie chicken is able to rouse the appetite of dogs with even the fussiest food demands. And if your dog is experiencing a poor appetite, one sniff of rotisserie chicken is likely to have him chomping at the bit to sink his teeth into some.
Give Your Dog More Treats
This is another method that your dog will surely love. You can increase the frequency that you give your dog treats and how much you give them.
Be sure to only give your dog treats as a reward for good behaviour. This is good way to both reinforce positive behaviour in your dog and to help your dog gain weight.
Just be careful not to use treats as the sole source of calories for your dog. It would be a good idea to swap out high calories treats with low calorie treats occasionally, and certainly do so once your dog has gained enough weight.
Final Thoughts On How To Fatten Up A Dog UK
It can be concerning if your beloved pooch is underweight or failing to gain weight. However, there are lots of things that you can do to remedy this problem and bring your pooch to a healthy weight.
The first thing to do is to see a vet to ensure there are no medical conditions to be concerned about. Thereafter it’s just a case of making some small changes to your dog’s diet and eating habits and you’ll be able to fatten up your dog safely.