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How to Put Weight on a Dog

You must consult your Veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet and exercise routine. Make sure you’re doing the best choices for your furry friend. Low protein dog food is the best choice to maintain your dog’s health. It contains a balanced diet with low protein quantity but rich in other essential ingredients, including enzymes, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fibers.

Proven Ways to Safely Help Your Dog Gain Weight: 

Maintain a Complete Record of Your Dog’s Weight

To check out how much food your canine companion needs to gain his weight, you must regularly keep track of your dog’s weight. Try to check the weight at least once a week.

That way, you’ll be able to look back over time and see which dietary changes have led to weight gain and which haven’t. And then, you can adjust the diet of your dog accordingly.

Visit a Vet Professional and Deworm Your Dog Regularly

Before doing anything drastic, be sure to consult a doctor and get their opinion. Remember that your dog’s low body weight is may be due to a medical cause, which means that it may be a major health problem before your dog, and you need to pay close attention to regaining his health and weight.

Some diseases that can cause weight loss include hepatitis, cancer, or diabetes. Intestinal parasites are another most common cause of low body weight, so be sure to ask your doctor for a fecal test, and if the dog shows signs of intestinal parasites, let him or her be dewormed.

Tip: If you are giving your dog low protein dog food, then the chances of intestinal parasites decrease. Because all the worms must need high protein dirt to flourish.

Once you’ve eliminated any health issues, you can move on to the next step.

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Do Not Forget Regular Exercise and Stay Active

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Whenever you increase your dog’s calorie intake, you’ll want to make sure he’s exercising too. Remember, you don’t want your dog to get too much unhealthy fat. Instead, it would help if you wanted your dog to maintain a healthy mix of fat and muscle, which means you’ll want to include a good workout routine. It can be done by giving your dog a low protein dog food, which can provide all the body needs but never let him getting obese.

Exercise can also help fight muscle wasting (which can be a side effect of malnutrition). It can also help increase your dog’s appetite when they need to gain weight. So must ensure that you do not give a high protein diet too much for them when they are hungry. Always go for a low protein dog food.

However, a word of caution: if your dog is underweight at the moment, you may not want to start a strict exercise plan right now. Start them easily, and gradually increase the intensity. And if your dog has any medical condition, then always ask your veterinarian how to incorporate an exercise routine without injury.

Prohibited Foods During Weight Gain

While it’s essential to feed your dog an increased calorie diet but that diest must be in low protein, some foods can cause serious side effects in dogs like abnormal heart rhythm, vomiting, seizures, and even sudden death.

So be cautious to avoid feeding these foods to your dog:

  • Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine
  • Avocado
  • Citrus
  • Alcohol
  • Coconut and coconut oil
  • Onions, chives, and garlic
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Milk and dairy
  • Nuts
  • Raw or undercooked meat, eggs, and bones
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Yeast dough
  • Salt and salty snack foods
  • Xylitol (a common sweetener)

Please stay away from these foods to ensure your dog stays fit and healthy as they gain weight.

Add Supplements to Your Dog Food

Give your dog a high-calorie supplement to get more healthy calories in your dog’s diet.

If you are using Low protein Dog Food, your dog’s additional supplement quantity becomes very low. It’s an incredible way to help put weight on your furry friend without bloating their diet with empty calories. So to save money and to keep your dog healthy, use commercial food that is low in protein.

Award Extra Treats to Your Dog

Snacks and treats are a great way to add extra calories to your dog’s diet. Giving your furry friend a few extra rewards throughout the day can help them gain some weight, but you shouldn’t use treats as the primary source of calories for your dog. Use low protein dog food as a primary meal. A good option is to give your canine companion all-natural peanut butter or a healthy treat like carrots.

So give these tips a try with your underweight dog, and watch as they progress slowly but surely reach a healthy, natural weight!

Medical Reasons & Health Conditions that Cause a Dog to Lose Weight:


All professional Veterinarian concludes that one of the major cause of weight loss is parasites. They flourish when you give a high protein diet. So, give your dogs low protein dog food as a precaution. Weight loss due to parasitism is not as common nowadays as it used to be in the past because many domestic or pet dogs receive monthly protection against intestinal parasites and heartworm.

 However, not all dewormers are equally effective against all kinds of worms. For example: “Whipworms, in particular, aren’t killed by a lot of commercial dewormers.” So, you must consult a veterinarian if your pets have a problem with parasites. Pets get these worms by ingesting the eggs directly from the environment or contaminated water or soil.

Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites in Dogs:

  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting (persistent or intermittent)
  • Increased gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Low appetite
  • Soft stool

Intestinal parasites are generally diagnosed through a fecal examination test to identify the eggs or other parasite stages (depending on the type of parasite present). Treatment of intestinal parasites involves using a broad-spectrum dewormer followed by a preventative medicine to prevent reinfection.

Weight Loss from Cancer

Different types of cancer can cause unexplained weight loss in dogs. Cancer is typically more common in older dogs, and the malignant form of cancer can be life-threatening. Weight loss is always associated with multiple malignant cancers in dogs, including lymphoma, osteosarcoma,  and hemangiosarcoma.

 With these lethal tumors, weight loss may occur in pets due to the tumor’s metabolic demands or pain and discomfort, causing a reduction in activity and appetite. Other dog cancers, such as oral melanoma, can make swallowing and eating more painful, causing your canine companion to avoid food, which leads to weight loss.

Kidney Disease Can Lead to Weight Loss

Unlike some of the other diseases for which weight loss is a sure symptom, pets having kidney disease generally don’t drop pounds immediately. Rather, weight loss in canines is typically associated with chronic forms of kidney disease/disorder. 

Canine Metabolic Disorders and their Impact on Canine Weight Gain

Metabolic disorders, such as hypoadrenocorticism (also known as Addison’s disease) and diabetes mellitus, can change your pet’s body condition and lead to severe weight loss. The clinical signs linked with metabolic conditions are fairly complex, and advanced diagnostic testing may be required to identify these conditions.

A new study suggests that if you give a good, commercially prepared low-protein dog food to your dogs, you can avoid up to 80 percent of metabolic disorders.

Advanced Heart Disease

Advanced heart issue also leads to weight loss in dogs. But it occurs slowly and only in chronic conditions. Older age dogs are more susceptible to it. 

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastrointestinal problems can lead to weight loss over time. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea decrease the number of available nutrients for your pet. Both signs can result from various causes, so it’s best to talk to your veterinarian, to help determine the actual problem.

Maldigestion or malabsorption disorders may also impair the intestine’s ability to break down and absorb valuable nutrients from the routine diet. Dogs suffering from these conditions will generally be significantly underweight, no matter what type of diet is offered.

Canine Dental Diseases

Pain in the mouth due to dental issues or dental diseases may lead to weight loss in dogs and give the dog a hard time chewing hard kibble due to abscesses or other gum problems.

Also, dogs with chronic dental issues generally feel unwell and may lose body weight. As dental disease progresses, oral microbes can spread throughout the body, leading to generalized septicemia and painful infections in the liver, kidneys, and heart.


While not as common as other causes, anxiety and stress can considerably affect a dog’s appetite and should never be ignored.

Dogs are generally adjustable to our lifestyles, but they are also highly perceptive, and they notice even minor changes happening in their surroundings. Chronic stress can also decline the immune system and increase your dog’s risk of losing weight. 

Health Conditions that Require a Dog to Gain Weight

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Nearly 70% of pets in the United States are overweight or obese. Most of these pets, eating too much and exercising too little, are the culprits for weight gain. Excessive weight gain leads to obesity.

Here are major signs of obesity you may notice:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of an obvious waist
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Collar needs loosening
  • Slow movement
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Bad temper

Obesity can be easily controlled by giving low-protein dog food because it contains more fiber, giving your pet a gut fill effect and balanced nutrients. Due to the gut fill effect, your dog can eat less and maintain its body weight.

For overweight pets, however, the extra pounds are caused by an underlying medical condition.


Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid. The thyroid glands, which are located on the sides of your dog’s neck, produce and release thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism. If the thyroid glands shrink or become inflamed, they produce less thyroid hormone, leading to weight gain.

Hypothyroidism primarily affects middle-aged to older large breed dogs. Susceptible dog breeds include Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers,  and Irish Setters. Cats can also develop hypothyroidism, but not as commonly as dogs.

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease is characterized by overactive adrenal glands, which sit atop the kidneys. Like hypothyroidism, Cushing’s is more common in dogs than cats. It is most commonly caused by a pituitary gland tumor (“pituitary-dependent” Cushing’s) that causes the pituitary gland to overproduce a hormone called ACTH. This excess ACTH then signals the adrenal glands to release too much cortisol, commonly called the “stress hormone.”

Cushing’s disease can also be caused by an adrenal gland tumor (“adrenal-dependent” Cushing’s) or excessive steroid treatment. Regardless of the cause, overactive adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, leading to weight gain in pets.

Cushing’s disease typically affects middle-aged to older dogs. Several breeds, including BoxersBoston Terriers, and Dachshunds, are susceptible.

Pregnancy in Dogs

It’s no surprise that being pregnant causes female pets to gain weight. Weight gain is healthy and necessary during pregnancy. Still, it should be monitored by a veterinarian to ensure that the amount and rate of weight gain are appropriate for the pet, given her size and overall health.

A pregnant dog will need to eat a healthy diet throughout her pregnancy to ensure she receives enough nutrients and calories and an adequate nutrient balance to maintain her health and the health of her unborn pups or kittens. A low-protein dog food is relatively healthier in the early stages of pregnancy

If your pet is pregnant, schedule regular veterinary visits to monitor your pet’s weight gain.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites rob a pet’s body of nutrients, which can cause weight loss. However, a severe infestation of these parasites can distend a pet’s belly, making it look like a pet has gained weight. The distended belly is due to an excessive protein that accumulates under the skin due to parasites. This condition can be reduced by giving low-protein dog food to your pets.

Medications like dewormers are available that kill intestinal parasites. Puppies and kittens receive several deworming treatments in their first few weeks of life when they are most susceptible to parasites. Older dogs with intestinal parasites are also treated with dewormers.

Fluid Retention

Medical conditions like kidney disorders/issues, liver diseases, and heart diseases cause the body to retain fluid in the abdomen. This fluid retention can make a pet’s belly look huge and cause some weight gain. Management of these diseases, which often requires dietary changes and medications, will help prevent fluid retention.


Sometimes, medications themselves can cause weight gain. Tell your veterinarian if your pet is looking a little chubby after starting on a particular medication.

Weight gain is a common problem in our pets. If a medical condition is causing your pet to gain weight, work with your veterinarian to develop a very specific and precise treatment plan that will manage the condition, and help your dog lose those extra pounds.

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