It is easy to identify an underweight dog, and the most prominent sign is when its ribs and pelvic bones become visible. Other signs include your dog having low energy and his coat losing its shine. One of the leading causes of weight loss is due to parasite infections. Apart from illness, some dogs are more active than others making them burn a lot of calories that lead to weight loss.
Consult the Veterinarian
Your pet’s veterinarian should be your best partner while taking care of your dog’s health. Talk to him before you make any changes to your dog’s diet. Request for an intensive physical test on the dog since there are several diseases and health issues which may lead to your dog losing weight.
Your vet may recommend a special diet for your dog that contains a high amount of calories. The food may also supplement the quantity of protein intake which can assist your dog in regaining its weight.
Increase the Amount of Food
If the vet didn’t recommend any particular diet for the dog, you could consider increasing the quantity of food that you feed your pet every day. Like any other animal or still human beings, gaining weight requires a high intake of calories. It is advisable to increase the amount of daily calories intake but at a gradual rate.
Dry foods should also be included in the diet since they contain various fillers that are mostly carbohydrates which boost weight gain. To avoid digestion difficulties for your dog, you can alternate with wet food; also if your pet is not used to dry food.
Introduce a new feeding schedule
Although dogs process and metabolize food differently, there is quite some similarity. For instance, a person who eats and immediately retires to bed is more likely to gain weight since the body will store the nutrients as fat. And you can use this concept to help your dog gain an extra pound. In the case where you feed your dog thrice, you may start by feeding him smaller ratios in the morning and afternoon and larger portions before he sleeps. This will ensure that his body stores more fat which could have otherwise be burned to provide energy.
Increase the Protein and Fat Intake
Proteins and fats are especially essential in the growth and development of puppies. They can also be used to boost the weight of dogs. This method is effective if you are looking to help our pet add some pounds gradually, but you will start to see some improvements within a few weeks.
If the already available feed has the required protein percentage, you can start by adding the portion you feed him on a regular basis. However, if you need to shift to more nutrients, ensure you mix a small amount of the new feed with the diet that he is already used to, to avoid stomach upsets. You can start with 10% of the new feed and increase the ratio gradually to 100%.
Consider Adding Sweet Potato and Pumpkin in the Diet
Sweet potato and pumpkin have been proven to help in gaining weight. They are perfect since you don’t have to worry about adding proteins in his diet as they are rich in fat and fiber. They also have more nutrients, and you need not to worry about stomach upsets. Both canned and dehydrated pumpkin and sweet potato work the same it all depends on your preference.
For treats, consider using extra whole foods and peanut butter. High fat treats especially before he sleeps are an excellent choice that will boost your dog’s weight quickly. When feeding him peanut butter, make sure to include healthy vegetables such as carrots.
With all the above mentions strategies that will help your pet gain some weight, make sure that you also include some exercises. This is essential since most of your dog’s weight is on the muscles and regular exercises is another effective way to help him maintain his weight.