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How to feed your dog to gain weight

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The four-legged friend’s appetite and taste preferences

A pet is a full-fledged member of the family, so you also need to take care of it, feed it and monitor its health. Nutrition is of great importance to a dog’s health. The article deals with the questions: how to feed a dog so that it gains weight, why it can refuse dry food, is cat food harmful for dogs?

Can you feed your dog cat food??

It happens that the dog prefers food that is given to cats, and the cat, in turn, may choose a dog bowl. This is most often due to the fact that the cat and the dog eat in the same place and at the same time.

And if the dog eats only cat food, then if you give it constantly, this will lead to disastrous consequences. Such consequences will be serious health problems, since dogs are contraindicated in foods that are intended for cats.

Let us explain why it is forbidden to give cat food to dogs. Although it may seem that a dog and a cat are very similar, and may even adopt each other’s habits, they are completely different animals. Their main difference is that they have different organisms, and in particular, their metabolism differs. The blood of dogs and cats has a different ratio of constituents, in particular glucose.

Feline bloodstream contains more glucose, so cats eat often, but little and get used to this diet. A dog, unlike a cat, can eat once a day.

Another difference is that the feline body requires a higher taurine content than dogs. Therefore, there is an additive in the form of taurine in cat food. This amino acid helps cats digest fatty foods and prevents heart disease. If the cat does not receive enough taurine in the feed, then he may develop a disease such as cardiomyopathy, which leads to death.

The canine organism, in contrast to the feline, is able to form taurine itself in sufficient quantities. It does this with the help of methionine and cysteine, which are made from animal protein. As a result, if the dog’s body receives taurine in the same amount as the cat, then this will negatively affect its health.

In food for cats, so that they receive taurine, manufacturers increase the percentage of protein in the feed. This helps the feline body increase the acidity of the stomach, which in turn is necessary for taurine production and digestion of food.

When dogs eat the same food, they have a surplus of protein. Ears may be the first to suffer from this, otitis media may begin to develop. It also has a bad effect on the skin and eyes, and may cause a rash. It is common that small breed dogs are allergic to protein, so cat food can have a negative effect on their physical condition, which can even lead to death.

it is worth saying: if you have both a dog and a cat in your house, then they should be fed separately. That is, feed the dog away from the cat’s bowl, or even put a bowl of cat food on the windowsill so that the cat can easily reach.

What to do if your dog refuses dry food?

Most often, since childhood, a pet eats natural products, but when it grows up, the owner tries to accustom him to dry food. This is usually due to the fact that the four-legged friend lacks substances that are not in her diet, so there is a need for additional food.

The sudden transition from natural food to dry food can cause food stress in the animal.

If the dog ate dry food, but then stopped, then there can be two reasons: either the food is stale (or does not like the taste), or the animal has problems with the digestive system or health in general. If you always buy the same food that your pet eats with pleasure, then in case of refusal to eat, it is better not to hesitate and immediately contact the veterinary clinic.

What should be done if the dog does not want to eat dry food??

  • A sharp transition to dry food from natural is unacceptable, as this will negatively affect the health of the animal.
  • If you want to accustom your four-legged friend to dry food, then you need to start gradually adding dry food to your usual food. This should be done throughout the week.
  • At the beginning, dry food should be no more than 1/7 of the main food, then 2/7, and so on until the complete replacement of natural food with dry food. Thus, you will help the pet’s digestive system to smoothly switch to a new type of food.

If you want to accustom your puppy to dry food, then it is unacceptable to use it in its pure form. The puppies’ teeth have not yet matured, so there is no need to put undue stress on them. Many people believe that in order for the puppy to eat dry food, it can be softened with something. If you soak dry food, which is not necessary, even for puppies, then either just water or kefir, but not yogurt.

Remember that dry food is much more satisfying than regular food. Therefore, you should not pour a full bowl of a four-legged friend, because it will be too much for her, and you will think that she has some kind of problem. It can also lead to weight gain. Since dry food is enriched with vitamins and various useful additives, it is necessary to prevent the dog from being oversaturated with them.

A pet can quickly gain excess weight if it constantly consumes granules of dry food along with porridge. Such obesity will be very difficult to cure.

If your pet is accustomed to dry food, then you should not give him small portions of meat or arrange a holiday in the form of natural food. This food intake can cause health problems for the animal.

Also, do not alternate food, as this can negatively affect the digestive system. You need to worry about maintaining the water balance in the dog. To do this, it is enough to give her the required amount of water throughout the day, since there is no liquid in the feed.
If your pet does not want to eat dry food, even your beloved one, then you do not need to give her something “tastier”, but it is better to contact a veterinary clinic.

A dog’s lack of appetite can be the first sign of an illness. When choosing dry food, you need to pay attention to its composition and the age of the pet, since at different periods of life the animal needs different vitamins.

How to feed your pet to gain weight?

It happens that pets are not gaining enough weight. It may be related to illness, but not necessarily. Some dogs simply lack a set of elements in the body, so you need to immediately find out the reason.

The main thing is to approach the process of feeding the dog carefully so as not to cause even more harm to the pet’s body. To find out the reasons for thinness, it is best to contact a veterinarian who, in a clinical setting, can conduct an examination and prescribe treatment.

However, there are times when it is impossible to visit a veterinary clinic or there is no money for a full examination.

To get an idea of ​​what is preventing a dog from gaining weight, consider several reasons:

  • If a bitch has newborn puppies, then she needs to be rehabilitated after giving birth. To do this, it will be enough to follow her and you can give more food so that she can replenish the missing substances in the body.
  • If the dog does not live alone in the house, but with other pets that eat next to him, then a conflict over food is possible. It can manifest itself in the fact that other pets may not give an emaciated dog to eat, which quite logically leads to depletion of the body. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to feed the exhausted animal separately from other animals and monitor its condition.
  • The dog can be sick, which manifests itself in diarrhea, vomiting, fever, this entails refusal to eat and water.
  • If the animal has dramatically lost weight, then the cause may be worms. In this case, you need to give a pill for worms. The presence of parasites in the body of an animal can lead to death.
  • Many service breed puppies do not gain weight as adult dogs, as they tend to have full body formation by 2-3 years. No need to try to fatten young dogs, as they are characterized by an active metabolism in the body.

Easy Weight Gain Dog Food

If you want to fatten your pet, then you need to find out exactly: is the lack of weight associated with malnutrition. To do this, you need to know the weight that is standard for the breed. This can be helped by the tables of dog handlers, in which you can find such indicators of at least and maximum weight of the dog. These rates vary by gender.

The daily allowances for 1 kg of body weight for dogs, depending on the size, are as follows:

  • for miniature ones. 110 kcal;
  • for small ones. 85 kcal;
  • for medium-sized breeds. 70 kcal;
  • for large. 60 kcal;
  • for very large. 65 kcal.

If you find that your four-legged friend does not have enough calories from his diet, then you can gradually start to increase the portions to fatten your pet. The increase in portions should occur gradually over the course of a week until the daily requirement is reached.

In order for your pet to gain weight quickly, you need to adhere to the following tips to help you understand why he refuses to eat:

    • A pet that eats regular food should be gradually switched to food intended for active and young dogs. These feeds are extremely energetic and high in calories. To achieve the desired effect, you need to adhere to the instructions on the feed and periodically weigh the pet.
    • Try feeding your dog special canned food instead of dry food. If, as a result, your pet will gain weight, then he is simply tired of dry food. In this case, you need to purchase more expensive food or give natural food.
    • The dog’s diet should be either only dry food or natural products, since mixing the food can negatively affect its health.
    • For a pet to gain weight quickly, it is necessary that its diet is dominated by foods with B vitamins, such as beef and liver.
    • In case of sudden weight loss, you can give additional baby formula several times a week. But measures should be taken so as not to harm health and not aggravate the situation.
    • With dysbiosis, animals do not digest food, therefore, the feces should be analyzed: are there any undigested parts of food. Since with this disease, the dog will not gain weight, no matter how much food you give it. For the treatment of dysbiosis, you need to carry out a course of probiotics.
    • If your pet eats natural foods, rather than food, then some vitamins should be added to the food. Complexes of vitamins can be selected independently, or by consulting a veterinarian.
    • An overactive animal will not be harmed by special additives that enrich its body with substances that improve metabolism.
    • Do not forget that there are little dogs, which are very problematic to feed. With such dogs, the principle of 10 minutes works. they put a bowl of food, offered, waited 10 minutes, if not, the bowl is removed until the next feeding. Usually such a hunger strike works, but here you need to be sure that the animal is healthy (video by GuberniaTV).
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Feeding rules for malnourished animals

The first thing to consider in case of exhaustion is that the digestive system is weakened, which means that you need to choose low-fat boiled food.

If the task is to fatten the dog straight, you will need a lot of boiled poultry or rabbit meat. The meat component should make up about 80% of each serving. The rest is replaced with cereals and vegetables, which are also served boiled. All food is crushed and served in the form of a stew. so it is better absorbed and does not harm the digestive tract of an emaciated dog.

Puppies and elderly individuals are fed with puréed food, the frequency of feeding can be increased up to 7-8 times a day.

Secrets of the right diet

It is logical that to increase the pet’s body weight, you will have to feed more than usual. Among the nuances is the quality of the diet. High-calorie and fatty foods will cope with the main task, but will lead to new problems with the gastrointestinal tract. If you want your dog to gain pounds from both fat and muscle tissue, follow these guidelines:

Keep track of your balance. The four-legged pet is a predator. At least 70% of his diet should consist of animal proteins. Serve boiled or frozen beef or chicken. Severely emaciated dogs with a weak stomach are best served with only boiled food. Raw foods are less digestible and can lead to vomiting or diarrhea. Offal is offered strictly boiled, since the high temperature kills all parasites. Tubular bones and river fish with small bones fall under the ban. Pre-cleaned sea fish is served boiled no more than 1 time per week. Fermented milk products will also help to get protein: kefir, yoghurts, cottage cheese.

Do not mix meat and offal with milk. This combination is poorly tolerated by the body. These products are recommended to be given in different meals. Remember, only puppies are allowed milk. Adult animals develop lactose intolerance. With growing up, only fermented milk products remain in the diet. It is also better to give them separately from meat.

Avoid wheat. Semolina and wheat porridge are contraindicated in dogs. These cereals often cause allergies and are poorly tolerated by the body. Gaining pounds by analogy with small children will not work. Use buckwheat or rice as a side dish.

Make sure you get enough vitamins. With natural feeding, it is difficult to achieve an ideal balance of all elements. Vitamins in tablets or injections will help fill the deficiency. Do not buy medicines and dietary supplements on the advice of friends or acquaintances. All drugs are selected individually in a veterinary clinic. The main focus is on B vitamins.

Increase your daily dry food portion during recovery. Also, the doctor can advise a high-protein line of feed for active working breeds. It is not recommended to buy such food without the instruction of a veterinarian. Excessive amounts of protein in animals with chronic kidney disease are more likely to relapse.

Increase the number of feedings to 3 or even 8. The exact number is negotiated by your veterinarian and depends on the individual. In severe cases, intravenous infusion of nutrient solutions is recommended.

Older dogs are better off switching to softer pellets or wet food. Lack of pressure on weak teeth will quickly restore the previous appetite and well-being.

Quality food does not have a pronounced taste and smell, so they can just get bored. If this is the case, check with your veterinarian for a safe transition to natural feeding. Remember that mixing the two types of food or switching to lower quality, but flavored food is not acceptable.

The increase in calories is done gradually. Too drastic changes are dangerous to health. They disrupt intestinal balance and lead to diarrhea. Increase servings by 10%. If you feel well, increase your daily caloric intake by another 10% for 2-3 days. Increase the amount of food to the desired level without deviating from the scheme.

Weigh your pet regularly to keep track of your weight. As soon as the mark reaches the norm, reduce the calorie content.

Symptoms and signs of underweight

Body weight is closely related to overall well-being. A dog of normal weight is active and playful. Her waist starts just behind the lower ribs and is clearly visible when viewed from above. Also, a healthy animal has a toned belly and imperceptible, but palpable ribs. They must be covered with a small layer of subcutaneous fat.

With exhaustion or obesity, metabolism is disturbed, and the likelihood of developing arthritis is high. If you notice behavioral changes, examine your pet carefully. Depending on the external symptoms, there are 4 deviations from the normal weight:

Obesity. The dog has massive deposits of fat on the chest, loin and at the base of the tail. Waist missing.

Homemade Dog Food for Weight Gain. Satin Balls Recipe (Cheap, Simple)

Overweight. The transition to the waist is practically lost. Fat deposits are visible on the loin and at the base of the tail. Ribs are difficult to feel, as they are covered with a thick layer of fat.

Underweight. The transition to the waist is pronounced. The pelvic bones and lumbar vertebrae are visible. When probing the ribs, subcutaneous fat is not felt.

Dystrophy. Loss of muscle mass and lack of body fat are evident. The protruding bones are clearly visible from the side.

In the first two cases, the dog is put on a diet and physical activity is increased. Despite popular belief, gaining pounds is much more difficult than losing it. To gain not only fat, but also muscle mass, you will have to work hard. both the owner and the dog itself.

Weight loss reasons

Most often, stray animals raised on the street and lost pets suffer from exhaustion. For the sake of survival, the former do not disdain even the waste found in the garbage, but the latter usually die due to weak hunting skills and a picky attitude to food.

In addition to problems with the quantity and quality of food, parasites are almost always found in dogs picked up on the street. Because of this, it is important to see your veterinarian before feeding and get tested for worms. Until the dog is dewormed, it will not gain weight.

Dysbiosis is also a frequently diagnosed pathological cause. Due to problems with the absorption of food, increasing the calorie content of the diet is pointless. The condition returns to normal only after taking probiotics.

If the animal is regularly treated for parasites and lives in good conditions, then the possible reasons for the loss of body weight include:

Recent surgery or illness. The body needs a lot of strength to recover. Weakened animals eat little. Due to lack of nutrients from outside, fat stores are used up.

Old age. With age, metabolism slows down, so an older dog needs much less food. Also, the animal may refuse the proposed food due to too weak teeth. Do not rush to adjust the diet before the doctor confirms the real problem.

Feeding a large litter by a female. Carrying and feeding 10 or more puppies consumes a huge amount of nutrients. If you do not increase the usual portions, then the pet will lose a lot of weight and weaken.

Competition for food. several animals at the same time is often accompanied by “bullying”. If a weaker dog is constantly driven away from the feeder, try separate feeding. Some enthusiasts design special sections similar to the stalls of racing horses.

Separately, it is worth highlighting the hunting, guard and riding breeds. If the dog performs its work functions, then it needs much more food than a decorative companion dog. The opposite situation is observed in sled dog puppies. Their body is characterized by a longer growth, therefore, the weight of a one-year-old dog of an ordinary breed with a similar standard is achieved only by 2-3 years. Because of this, it is important to know your pet’s height and weight norms by month. Comparison with representatives of other breeds is impractical.

Regardless of the reason, be sure to check with your veterinarian. He will develop the necessary treatment and explain how to feed the dog so that it gains weight.

Diagnostics and selection of food

A sharp loss of body weight is a symptom of many dangerous diseases, including oncology. By postponing your clinic visit, you reduce the amount of time you spend saving your animal in an emergency.

A full examination in a veterinary clinic is not complete without ultrasound, X-ray, blood, urine and feces. If helminthiasis or pathologies of internal organs are detected, drug therapy and a therapeutic diet are prescribed. In other situations, all treatment is reduced to adjusting the diet.

What not to do

It is definitely not worth overloading the liver and spleen of the animal by undertaking to feed it with fatty meats. Pork, lamb, fatty country chicken will create unnecessary digestive problems. Better to buy turkey, beef, veal or rabbit.

You cannot add barley (pearl barley, yachka) or wheat (semolina, millet) cereals to meat. They are difficult to digest, increase gas production and often cause allergies.

It is forbidden to feed the dog excessively. so that it barely walks after eating. For fattening, you need to increase the portion size, but within reasonable limits.

You should not replace meat with offal, as they are not so rich in protein. It is permissible to give the dog boiled beef liver pate with vegetables once or twice a week.

How and what to feed your dog to get better

Underweight is an unhealthy state of the body, accompanied by a drop in immunity and depletion of internal reserves. Low weight is often attributed to poor feeding or increased physical activity. Despite this, the presence of pathology cannot be ruled out. Before fattening your pet, be sure to understand the causes of exhaustion.

How to feed your dog to help it gain weight

It may seem like it is easy to help your dog gain weight simply by giving him more than his usual food. However, the digestive system of an animal may not be able to cope with such a load. over, in this case, the dog may not receive the necessary amounts of those nutrients that it needs during this period.

To gain weight, the dog’s diet must be high in calories. This means that you can feed her in small portions, thereby protecting her digestive system from unnecessary stress. In this case, the animal will still receive the necessary energy. Dogs recovering from surgery are often advised on a high-fat, high-calorie diet.

For dogs, protein is a valuable nutrient as well as an important source of energy. Your dog’s food should provide high quality, easily digestible proteins that are well absorbed in the intestines. In addition, the balance of different types of fiber is important, as it directly affects the health of the digestive system and the quality of the stool.

Dogs that have undergone surgery or illness tend to have decreased appetite, so food intended for early weight gain should make the dog want to eat it. For dogs, the smell and texture of the food is most important, so choose the food with the highest palatability, with pieces of the right size and shape, specially designed for the characteristics of the breed or size of your dog.

Maintaining your dog’s digestive system during a weight gain program

After an illness or at the end of the recovery period, the dog’s digestive system is particularly sensitive. It is important not to overload the animal’s digestive tract while returning to optimal weight, as this can lead to indigestion, vomiting or diarrhea.

One of the most important parts of a dog’s digestive system is the small intestine. It is in this department that nutrients are absorbed, which will then be used by the body. The small intestine contains microflora. “good” bacteria that help maintain gut health. Also, this section contains the largest number of immune cells in the dog’s body. Therefore, it is important that the weight gain diet maintains the health of this organ and the digestive tract as a whole, without putting undue stress on them.

How to help your dog gain weight

If your dog has recently had surgery or illness, it may have lost significant weight. Returning to normal weight is essential for the effective functioning of the dog’s vital organs. What is the best way to help her with this??

What is the optimal weight for your dog?

Each dog has an individual indicator of normal weight, which depends on its age, breed and sex. Your veterinarian will tell you what weight is considered ideal for your dog and tell you how much weight he needs to put on to achieve this. This information is important as it is easy for a dog to overfeed and can accidentally become overweight.

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The general recommendation is that in a dog of normal weight, you can feel the ribs, but they do not protrude too much and are not visible from afar. If ribs or other bones, such as the pelvic bones, are visible from a distance, the dog is underweight.

How to feed your dog to help it gain weight

Your dog may consume wet food (canned food or dry food soaked in water) more actively because it is easier to eat than croquettes. It is very important for the general health of the dog that he has access to sufficient fresh water.

By combining proper nutrition with an established feeding schedule, you can help your dog gain weight safely. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations.

Key recommendations: gain weight with natural food

Shiny coat, energy, activity are indicators of a dog’s health. To normalize the pet’s condition, think over the diet in such a way that natural food is included in the menu. Do not doubt that after a while you will already see the result.

What is natural food

Natural nutrition is characterized by the absence of dry food. Natural food makes the feed more satisfying. You can be sure that your dog’s diet is free of harmful additives. Of course, this type of feeding involves a waste of time and effort: the owner needs to find a suitable recipe, think over all the ingredients, prepare a dish.

feed, gain, weight

Natural food contains the following components:

  • Meat. It is a protein source that is easily absorbed by the animal’s body.
  • Fish. Veterinarians recommend that you feed your dog with fish no more than twice a week and in no case mix this product with meat.
  • Dairy and fermented milk products. Give puppies whole milk, and adult dogs. fermented milk products (cottage cheese, yogurt, yogurt, etc.). Eating these foods provides the body with beneficial trace elements and enriches it with calcium.
  • Vegetables, fruits, cereal bran.

Always be guided by the needs of the animal and observe the measure. One of the main rules when feeding natural food is not to give your pet what you are preparing for yourself. After all, the organisms of a dog and a person are different, which means that they require a different approach to drawing up a diet. Responsibly treat the title of “owner” and strive to competently create a pet nutrition plan.


Running a bike or jogging allows you to train all muscle groups and activates the work of internal organs.

Experts consider swimming to be a versatile exercise that any dog ​​can do. The conquest of the water element by a pet ensures the development of back muscles. In addition, this activity will improve your mood.

The development of the muscles of the hind legs plays an important role in the life of the dog, as it improves the coordination of movements. Climbing stairs periodically can help strengthen the muscle corset.

Overcoming barriers, the pet uses muscles that are not involved in other exercises. Make sure that the obstacles are low and the dog does not injure the joints. Choose a non-slip surface.

Joint training with relatives allows you to combine business with pleasure. The pet becomes more active, it arouses interest in doing the exercises. Veterinarians say healthy competition makes animals 100% complete.

Danger: what foods need to be excluded

Do not feed your dog meat of unknown origin, as there is a possibility of infection with worms. Avoid lamb and pork, as, due to their high fat content, they create an additional burden on the digestive system. It is recommended to exclude from the menu river fish, which may contain parasites. Avoid feeding low-fat dairy products to your pet to avoid digestive upset. Also, remember that citruses and legumes cause allergic reactions in dogs and that sweets interfere with normal liver function.

Pay attention to the condition of the dog during the natural feeding period. If your pet’s health has worsened, think about the selected diet and try to change it. Your veterinarian will help you with this.

Vitamins for Dogs: Weight Gain as Muscle Mass

The animal’s body needs nutrients that are not always found in the feed. To do this, veterinarians advise breeders to add vitamins to the dog’s diet. If you want your pet to gain weight thanks to muscle mass, pay attention to such complexes as “Volmar” and “Protevit plus”.

Nutrient dry food reviews

When choosing dry food for your pet, consider a number of characteristics that affect your dog’s health. Manufacturers currently offer us many options.

Hill’s Science Plan

Dry food allows you to balance the nutrition of the dog, taking into account its characteristics. However, be careful: the food contains potential allergens.

  • Low cost.
  • Wide range of everyday foods.
  • There is a treatment line.
  • Contains vitamins and minerals.
  • The exact amount of meat is not specified.
  • Main ingredients are corn and wheat (allergens).

Recommendations: how to fatten a dog after exhaustion

Depletion of the dog’s body is accompanied by weakness and deterioration of health, can lead to irreversible consequences if you do not intervene in time. Follow a few guidelines to get your dog’s weight back to normal.

  • Make sure to correctly identify the cause of the problem, consult your veterinarian.
  • Make your dog’s diet more nutritious.
  • Add special dietary food to your diet. It is able to enrich the animal’s body with essential nutrients.
  • Use fractional meals by increasing the number of meals.
  • Always feed your pet, taking into account the peculiarities of its condition.
  • Be sure to feed your dog meat. It will enrich the body with amino acids and restore lost energy. If your dog has been starving for a long time, feed him cooked and lean meat. This will avoid digestive upset.

How to feed your pet to gain weight?

The problem of not getting the right mass is very often associated with health problems. If your dog was well-fed, but suddenly began to lose weight and stopped eating with appetite, this is a very alarming bell. Increasing the dose of feed for him is not a solution to the problem. In general, the selection of an individual diet is a complex and painstaking process. If you do this thoughtlessly, you can disrupt the animal’s metabolism and get problems for the rest of your life.

Therefore, before fattening your dog, examine it, the most common causes of sudden weight loss are:

  • Endoparasites. Very often banal worms lead to thinness in dogs. It is imperative to fight parasites. In addition to being thin, worms are dangerous by intoxication of the body and even death.
  • Diabetes, hepatitis, kidney failure, cancer are serious diseases that lead to weight loss. But, in addition to weight loss, these ailments have many more accompanying symptoms.

Some dog breeds always look thinner, in particular, hounds and cops. And also young animals, more intensive weight gain is carried out after 2-3 years of age. Therefore, unnecessary panic is not needed. But if you can examine the ribs of the dog with the naked eye, its spine and zygomatic bones protrude strongly, most likely its weight is insufficient.

The following products contribute to gaining the desired mass:

  • Specialized high-energy feed. Pay attention to the caloric content of the food your dog eats and choose the most nutritious options that are high in protein and protein.
  • If you feed with natural food, then give preference to cereals such as buckwheat, rice, oatmeal. The diet should contain complex carbohydrates, they take longer to break down and carry a greater energy charge. From meat, it is desirable to eat whole beef, chicken, rabbit meat. Quality meat contributes to the rapid growth of muscle mass. Do not feed too fatty foods, weight gain should be due to increased muscle mass, and not due to the accumulation of fat masses.
  • Stir in unrefined vegetable oil, about 1 tablespoon per serving. You can give chicken eggs and a few drops of fish oil 2-3 times a week.
  • Fish, liver, cottage cheese, 2-3 times a week will not hurt for variety and for proper weight gain.

Do not try to feed the animal feed and natural food at the same time. Such a scheme does not lead to weight gain, but threatens a metabolic disorder. Another tip for owners who want their pet to gain weight: Give food not two, but three times a day. In this case, the dose of feed can be the same or more insignificantly. In addition, when your pet is on an intense diet, remember to monitor its weight and calculate the nutritional value of meals.

Focus on the fact that pets of different breeds should receive a certain amount of calories per day:

  • dogs of miniature breeds need about 110 Kcal per 1 kg of weight;
  • small dogs have 85 Kcal per unit of weight;
  • medium-sized breeds need 70 Kcal for the same weight, and large ones. 65 Kcal;
  • very large or giant breeds, 1 kg of mass requires 65 Kcal.

What to do if your dog refuses dry food?

The now popular dry food is an ideal feeding option for both the dog and its owner. Feeding dog food takes a minimum of time. At the same time, the quality option is completely balanced and allows you to lose or gain weight as needed. Often dogs eat dry food with pleasure, but there are exceptions.

A dog may refuse dry food for the following reasons:

  • She is used to natural food and dry food is new to her. If you want to switch your animal to a dry diet, do it gradually. Start replacing a small portion of the diet with dry food, gradually increasing it until it reaches 100%. This will take at least 1-2 weeks, a faster transition is fraught with food stress.
  • The food is not suitable for the dog. There are a lot of dry food manufacturers and your pet may simply not be suitable for some option. Offer your dog several different foods and choose one that the animal will eat with great pleasure.
  • Individual non-perception of feed components. Such a situation is rather unlikely, basically the feed is universal and hypoallergenic. over, paradoxically, a dog can eat a cheap food with a greater appetite than a more expensive one. This is because economy-class pet food manufacturers use flavors to make their food more appealing. While holistic or super-premium feeds operate only with natural ingredients. And do not emphasize their taste with additional additives.

Dry food is often prescribed by veterinarians for medicinal purposes, and if your pet refuses to eat it, try this:

Soak dry food in water, low-fat kefir or yogurt. Perhaps this option will be more to your pet’s liking.

Sometimes pets refuse to feed due to health problems. Check with your veterinarian if your pet has dental or oral problems or an upset digestion. And to learn more about various feeds will help the video from the channel “Me and my tail”.

Is it ok to feed your dog cat food?

There is a reason why pet food manufacturers differentiate between canine and feline foods. These pets have different needs and all this is taken into account in the qualitative and quantitative composition of feed for them. Therefore, feeding a dog with cat food, as well as a cat with dog food, is wrong.

For example, cat food contains more protein. And a dog, if it regularly eats such food, has every chance to quickly get a metabolic disorder. And also serious problems with the digestive tract, kidney failure and a rash on the skin.

In addition, cats have a need for the amino acid taurine, which is reflected in the composition of the cat food. Dogs are able to generate this amino acid on their own and an additional dose of taurine from the outside is detrimental to dog health.

In general, dogs and cats need different ratios of proteins, fats and carbohydrates and different amounts of vitamins and amino acids. Therefore, systematic feeding of a dog with cat food is unacceptable.

It’s another matter if the dog ate cat food once. this is not a reason for panic. The difficulty can be observed if both a cat and a dog live in your house at the same time. For some reason, animals often think that it tastes better in a neighbor’s bowl. In addition, dogs can use their physical superiority and take food from cats. Way out. you can feed each pet individually so that no one is tempted to eat a neighbor’s food.

Nutrition for weight gain, rejection of dry food and love of cat food. solving dog problems

Not only people go on diets, sometimes dogs also need an individual diet. And this is not always due to being overweight, as it is commonly thought, the pet may not gain the necessary mass. Oddly enough, gaining weight is more difficult than losing it. Especially if your pet for some reason refuses to eat the dry food prescribed by the doctor, and instead has a strange passion for cat food. Therefore, the question of how to feed the dog so that it gains the necessary weight and why the pet stopped eating with appetite is relevant for many owners!

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Understanding what you need to feed your dog so that it gains weight quickly

Excessive thinness of the dog may indicate a number of diseases, but this is not always the case. Pets taken from shelters or from the street can become underweight due to lack of protein, vitamins or minerals. Weight gain, as well as weight loss, must always be approached carefully, the main goal is not to harm, “disrupting” the animal’s metabolism. Consider what to feed the dog so that it gains weight and what activities need to be done.

The reason is malnutrition?

Before increasing your daily food intake, find out if you are malnourished:

  • Find out the statistical weight of the dog. canine tables will help, where the minimum and maximum weight is indicated depending on the sex and breed of the dog.
  • Regardless of the type of feeding, calculate if your pet is getting enough calories. The daily norms for 1 kg of dog weight are as follows:
  • Miniature dogs. 110 kcal.
  • Small. 85 kcal.
  • Medium. 70 kcal.
  • Large. 60 kcal.
  • Very large. 65 kcal.

If the calculations show that the dog is not getting enough calories, increase the serving size by 5-10% over the course of the week, to the desired daily value. For severely emaciated dogs, it is recommended to divide the feeding into 3-4 meals, a starving dog cannot eat a lot of food, even if he wants.

Establishing the causes of thinness

Naturally, the best option is to show the dog to the doctor and undergo a full examination. Firstly, a visit to the clinic is not always possible, and secondly, a comprehensive examination is a significant financial cost. To begin with, let’s exclude possible options “on the surface” that are logical:

  • The dog nursed the offspring. recovery, observation and enhanced diet are required.
  • Several dogs live on the same square, competing for food. protect the lost pet from “relatives”, feed as usual and observe.
  • Eliminate the presence of “painful” symptoms. vomiting, diarrhea, fever, refusal to eat or drink, unhealthy coat, hot nose.
  • Give the animal a “worm”. overpopulation with parasites leads not only to thinness, worms can kill a dog.
  • Your pet is too young. many service breeds gain full weight by 2–3 years of age. It is not necessary to feed the dog in excess of the recommended daily amount, hyperactive metabolism is the norm for young animals.

Important! Diarrhea and vomiting lead to rapid dehydration. If you are confident that you are in control of the situation and are not going to go to the vet, add rehydron to your dog’s drink to avoid rapid muscle loss.

How to “feed” a dog

  • A pet that eats ready-made food should be gradually switched to a special high-energy product, for example, for young and active dogs. Strictly follow the instructions for the food, make sure that the dog has access to water and do control weighings.
  • Replace industrial dry food for canned food and follow the trends, if the dog has gained weight, then she is “fed up” with a monotonous diet. Consider options for changing the feed to a better one or transferring the pet to natural feeding.
  • Do not combine dry food and natural food. over time, this leads to metabolic disorders.
  • For the dog to gain weight quickly, introduce foods rich in B vitamins (B 12 is especially important) into the diet. liver, eggs, lean beef.
  • If the weight loss is catastrophic, 2-4 times a week, as a “snack”, you need to feed the dog with a dry infant formula without sugar, but be careful! Infant formula contains a lot of vitamins, it is important not to overdo it!
  • No matter what you feed your pet, the food will not be fully assimilated with dysbiosis. Examine the dog’s bowel movements for undigested residues, take a course of probiotics. you can’t do it worse.
  • Be sure to give your dog vitamins if they are eating natural foods. You can choose the complex yourself or consult a veterinarian by phone.
  • Active dogs will not be harmed by energy supplements. a “shock” complex of substances that stimulates metabolic processes.

If within 7-14 days you do not observe positive trends in weight gain, contact your veterinarian.

Offer them human food

Many human foods are dangerous for dogs, so don’t feed your dog human food unless you’re sure if it will be good for them at all. However, if you are confident that feeding your dog extra human food treats, such as when you are having lunch yourself, will create an additional opportunity for your dog to add a few calories to his day and help him gain weight.

Give them new food every day

Sometimes the answer is as simple as offering them more food. If the food is already balanced, with more protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, then more will help your dog gain weight. easy! So, if your dog is already eating breakfast and dinner, start adding lunch at noon.

However, it’s important to consider that if you use this method, your dog will also need more toilet breaks. So, if you want to avoid an unpleasant surprise, be sure to add another outdoor hike to your routine.

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Adding calories

Providing a balanced diet for your dog is always beneficial. This will help the undernourished dog eat better and will help the dog recovering from an illness or ailment. However, if your dog is already on a balanced diet and just needs to gain weight, the answer is simple. it needs more calories.

If you are wondering “what can I feed my dog ​​to gain weight”, there are two main options, and it is quite easy to do it, depending on the nature of your dog.

Making food more appetizing

Another reason human food can help dogs gain weight is because it can encourage a picky or anxious dog to eat more often. For many dogs, stress or anxiety is the cause of weight loss, and the problem may be that they are simply not eating enough, no matter how much you offer them. For these dogs, you need to work on making the food appear more appetizing while addressing the underlying causes of stress.

The cause of stress can be environmental, psychological or medical, so if you need to know how to put on weight in a dog with a sensitive stomach or anxiety disorder, here are some tips for making food more appetizing. However, be sure to also visit your veterinarian to help diagnose the cause of the stress so you can work on it at the same time.

  • Try a new food brand. Dogs do have preferences and tastes, so it’s worth taking the time to try a few different foods to see which one resonates best with your dog. You need to make sure that all the brands you try are high quality and balanced, and you need to be careful to provide your dog with the same amount of calories as foods can vary in calories per gram.
  • Reheat food. Dogs respond better to warm food as it mimics what their ancestors ate better and smells more appetizing. You need to make sure it is warm and not hot food. Remember that you are essentially trying to mimic the body temperature of a wolf victim, not cooking scalding food. Serving hot food to your dog can hurt your dog’s mouth. To avoid boiling or heating nutrients in the microwave, the best way to reheat your dog’s food is to place it in a safe to heat container and add that container to the boiling water.
  • An exercise. Exercise is also an important factor to consider when adding weight to your dog. Reducing the amount of exercise is a bad idea, as exercise keeps your dog in good shape in other ways as well. It’s also possible that your dog’s weight loss is related to muscle wasting, possibly due to conditions such as arthritis or metabolic disorders. This will be diagnosed by a veterinarian who will advise you on how best to treat the problem.

Balanced diet

The best way to add weight to your dog is to start by assessing what you are feeding him, especially if he has no other symptoms of the disease. Is it a balanced diet that offers them all the nutrients they need? You may think you know what a balanced dog diet looks like, but you should carefully check the ingredients and instructions for dog food.

It is not uncommon for pet parents to make mistakes when calculating calories or changing brands of food. Remember that 1/2 cup of one dog food does not necessarily have the same calories as 1/2 cup of another. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to read some basic guidelines for formulating a balanced diet for your dog.

  • Dogs need water and should always have access to fresh water.
  • Protein is the most important nutrient they need. The protein found in vegetables and grains is not enough. They need animal protein and should be one of the first ingredients listed in any food you give your dog.
  • Fat can be great in moderation, especially to help your dog gain weight, but remember that 30 grams of fat has nearly double the calories of 30 grams of protein. Dogs will get sick if they are fed too much fat.
  • Carbohydrates are essential because they provide fiber. It is present in most dog foods in the form of corn, rice and wheat. They can gain weight, so some underweight dogs may benefit from additional carbohydrates in their diet.
  • Vitamins and minerals. If you are worried about giving your dog enough nutrients, you can give your dog a vitamin and mineral supplement. However, you should check with your veterinarian to make sure you are not breaking their diet.

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain in Your Dog

You probably didn’t think you would ever need to learn how to put on weight for your dog. After all, obesity in pets is a serious and all too common problem. However, dogs can also be underweight for a variety of reasons, and when this happens, you will be surprised how difficult it is to get them to eat more in order to become healthy. Some dogs are fussy, some dogs have a naturally poor appetite, and some dogs have health or biological problems that make it difficult for them to gain weight, even if they seem to eat a lot.

Underweight dogs

If you want to know how to safely put on weight for your dog, you must first make sure you understand why it is underweight. The cause of weight loss will determine the best way to treat it, and there are quite a few potential causes. You will need to see your veterinarian to fully understand why your dog is underweight. They can rule out medical reasons and give you the best and most appropriate advice for your situation. Common causes of weight loss in dogs include:

  • parasites;
  • cancer;
  • kidney disease;
  • heart disease;
  • dental diseases;
  • recent dietary changes or unsuitable poor quality dog ​​food;
  • stress or anxiety.

Depending on the medical condition, you may find that your dog will naturally gain weight when he is healthy again. However, you also need to make sure they follow a suitable, healthy and balanced diet throughout their treatment. Likewise, a dog currently being offered an inadequate diet will need to carefully reassess its needs and create a new feeding schedule.

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On the other hand, an underweight dog due to stress or anxiety will require changes in the environment rather than in food. There is always the possibility that your underweight dog will benefit from environmental and dietary changes, so it is best to listen to your veterinarian.

Helping a starving rescue dog

Perhaps you are interested in losing weight on your dog because you are faced with a severely emaciated dog that requires urgent care and attention. Obviously, such a dog needs to be taken to the vet. However, it is also important that you know how to put on weight in a malnourished dog as it differs from other underweight dogs.

The most important thing is that you do not offer your dog a lot of food. If you give them too much food too quickly, they can die from “refeeding syndrome”, where the body is suddenly shocked by too much phosphorus and potassium, causing cardiac and respiratory arrest. Your veterinarian can advise you, but he will most likely advise you to feed your dog very small meals several times a day, rather than offering him 2 or 3 large meals as you would for most other dogs.

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