If you want to fatten up a malnourished dog, feed it these 10 best foods for weight gain

Taking care of a malnourished dog requires more than just love – it involves conscious efforts to help the dog regain its lost weight and vitality.

I’ve been there, nursing my rescue dog back to health, and I understand the worry it brings when your furry friend refuses to eat or doesn’t seem to gain weight despite eating.

Luckily, I’ve discovered that there are 10 specific foods which are not just enticing for our canine friends, but are also fantastic for promoting weight gain.

Now, let me share with you these 10 best foods for weight gain in dogs, so you too can help your pooch bounce back to a healthier life.

1) Protein-packed foods

If you’ve been around dogs, you know they’re natural carnivores.

Their bodies thrive on high-quality proteins.

When trying to help a malnourished dog gain weight, it’s essential to boost their protein intake.

Proteins are the building blocks of body tissues and can immensely help in recovery and weight gain.

Now, we’re not just talking about any protein here.

We’re talking about high-quality animal-based proteins like chicken, turkey, beef or fish.

These are not just tasty for your dog but also provide the much-needed nutrients for weight gain.

2) Adding rice to their meals

I know from personal experience that adding some cooked rice to your dog’s meal can do wonders for weight gain.

I remember when my rescue dog, Jack, was struggling to put on weight.

Despite feeding him protein-rich foods, he wasn’t gaining as quickly as I’d hoped.

That’s when my vet suggested adding some cooked rice to his meals.

Rice is a good source of carbohydrates and easy on their stomach.

It provides the necessary energy and aids in healthy weight gain.

I started mixing a bit of cooked rice with Jack’s regular food and noticed a difference in just a few weeks.

But moderation is crucial here.

Too much rice can lead to other health issues like obesity and diabetes.

Always follow your vet’s advice on how much rice to add.

3) Incorporating eggs into their diet

Eggs are often referred to as “nature’s perfect protein” due to their high biological value.

This means that they contain all the essential amino acids our dogs need for their growth and development.

Not only are eggs a fantastic source of protein, but they’re also packed with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B12 and Selenium.

Boiled or scrambled, adding eggs to your malnourished dog’s diet can significantly boost their protein intake and help in weight gain.

Just ensure that the eggs are fully cooked as raw eggs can risk salmonella infection.

Also, too many eggs can contribute to biotin deficiency, so balance is important.

4) Feeding them puppy food

Did you know that puppy food isn’t just for puppies?

It’s designed to be nutrient-dense to support their rapid growth and development, making it an excellent choice for underweight or malnourished adult dogs as well.

Puppy food is typically high in protein and fat, both of which are crucial for weight gain.

What’s more, it’s usually quite palatable, so even the fussiest eaters may find it hard to resist.

Do remember, though, that not all puppy foods are created equal.

Look for one that lists a high-quality source of animal protein as the first ingredient.

5) Including sweet potatoes in their diet

Sweet potatoes are a hidden gem when it comes to canine nutrition.

Packed with dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, they’re an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates for your pup.

Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy, and sweet potatoes deliver this in a nutritious and easily digestible form.

This makes them a fantastic addition to the diet of a malnourished dog needing to gain weight.

You can easily bake or boil sweet potatoes and mash them into your dog’s regular food.

Many dogs love the sweet taste, which can be an added bonus for those finicky eaters.

As always, remember to introduce any new food into your dog’s diet gradually to avoid upsetting their stomach.

And always consult with your vet if you’re unsure about any dietary changes.

6) Regular, small meals throughout the day

Feeding a malnourished dog isn’t just about what you feed them, but also how and when.

It’s heartbreaking to see your furry friend struggling to gain weight, but remember, their stomach may not be ready to handle large quantities of food at once.

Instead of two big meals, consider feeding them smaller portions spread throughout the day.

This approach can often be easier on their digestive system and helps ensure a steady intake of calories, aiding in weight gain.

Seeing your dog gradually regain their strength and vitality can be one of the most rewarding experiences.

It’s a gentle reminder of the incredible bond between humans and dogs, and the lengths we go to ensure our companions are healthy and happy.

7) Fish oil supplements

When my dog, Lola, was recovering from a severe bout of illness, she lost a significant amount of weight.

It was a difficult time, seeing her so frail and weak.

It was then that our vet recommended adding fish oil supplements to her diet.

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their health benefits, including promoting healthy weight gain.

Not only did the supplement help Lola regain her lost weight, but it also gave her coat a new shine and improved her overall health.

Remember to consult your vet before starting any kind of supplement regimen.

They can guide you on the correct dosage suited to your dog’s needs.

Fish oil supplements might just be the added boost needed to help your malnourished dog start gaining weight.

8) Exercise

While it might seem odd to recommend exercise for a dog that needs to gain weight, hear me out.

Regular physical activity can actually stimulate your dog’s appetite and help them put on healthy weight.

Gentle exercises like short walks or light play can do wonders to perk up a malnourished dog’s spirit and get their metabolism going.

A more active dog is likely to have a better appetite, which in turn can contribute to weight gain.

However, remember that the key is moderation.

Overexertion can lead to more weight loss, which is the opposite of what we want.

Always monitor your dog during exercise and provide ample rest periods.

9) Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is another great food to help your malnourished dog gain weight.

It’s high in protein and calcium, and most dogs find it pretty tasty.

The soft texture of cottage cheese is also easier for dogs with dental issues or sensitive stomachs to eat.

It can be mixed into your dog’s regular food for a protein boost or used as a special treat.

However, it’s important to note that not all dogs can handle dairy.

While many dogs enjoy and benefit from cottage cheese, others may experience digestive troubles.

As with any new food, introduce it slowly and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions.

10) Consulting your vet

The single most important thing when trying to help your malnourished dog gain weight is to consult with a veterinarian.

While the foods and tips mentioned above can be beneficial, every dog is unique and what works for one might not work for another.

Your vet knows your dog’s health history and can provide personalized advice on dietary changes, portion sizes, feeding schedules, and potential health risks.

They can also monitor your dog’s progress and make necessary adjustments to their recovery plan.

It’s crucial to remember that weight gain should be gradual and healthy.

Rapid weight gain can lead to numerous other health problems.

Always prioritize your dog’s overall health and wellbeing over quick results.

It’s all about love and care

At the heart of trying to help a malnourished dog gain weight is the fundamental principle of love and care.

When we bring a dog into our lives, we commit to providing them with the best care possible.

This includes ensuring they have a healthy diet that meets their individual needs.

For a dog that’s underweight or malnourished, this can mean adjusting their diet and feeding them specific foods to help them gain weight.

But it’s more than just about the food.

It’s about noticing when something is off, taking action, seeking professional help, and making necessary changes.

It’s about patience as they slowly regain their strength, and it’s about the joy when you see them thriving again.

Behind every wagging tail, every enthusiastic bark, and every pair of loving eyes is a story of resilience.

A story where love, care, and the right diet play starring roles.

And each one of us has the power to be part of that story.

To make a difference in a dog’s life.

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Nomadrs to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

The latest articles and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

Scroll to Top