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Dogs who are underweight or do not have the correct body weight usually cause their owners worries. Nonetheless, there are a few ways to actively assist your dog in gaining weight healthily.
There might be various reasons as to why your dog can’t gain weight, which are:
When dogs are anxious or stressed, they tend to lose weight. If this is the case, you'll need to figure out why your dog isn't gaining weight and how to assist them in managing their stress.
A schedule change, too much interaction, or the things they see or hear outdoors such as construction noise or an increase in the presence of other animals, can all cause your dog to get anxious or hyperactive.
If a dog's diet is insufficient to meet its nutritional requirements, such as a medium or big breed dog being fed a small breed dog portion of food, the bigger breed dog may become underweight.
Furthermore, if you provide your pet with the wrong diet, you may be omitting certain essential nutrients that your canine requires to grow in weight.
Some puppies are simply fussy eaters, which makes maintaining a healthy weight more challenging. If this is the case, you may add some more appetising wet food to the mix or use dog food toppers to tempt it to eat more than average.
Dogs may eat less due to illness, discomfort, or gastrointestinal difficulties. You do not need to be concerned if your dog misses a meal or two due to stomach issues. However, if your pup constantly throws up food, it's time to take it to the vet.
Photo by Dominik QN on Unsplash
Here are some methods you can try out to help your canine gain weight with raw foods:
The first step is to create a feeding schedule for your dog, including a list of nutritious foods to feed it. Raw eggs, turkey, chicken, hog liver, bones, vegetables and fruits, meat, and other raw foods are acceptable alternatives, besides the main protein from raw meat.
When you establish a food schedule, you can keep track of what your dog eats and the amount of food you’re feeding it. This will give you an upper hand to find out which part of its diet is causing its weight to be stagnant.
Also, knowing which raw meal menu to feed your canine and at what time of day makes it simpler to fatten up your pet on a raw diet.
When raw feeders strive to fatten up their dogs on a raw diet, fruits and vegetables are frequently left out of the meal plan. However, raw meat isn't the only form of fresh food that your dog will benefit from.
Fruit and vegetables are necessary for canines because of their nutritional value. For example, sweet potato and pumpkin are great for assisting your pup in healthily gaining weight.
Adding fat and fibre to your dog's food will aid digestion as well as weight gain.
If your dog, like most dogs, eats twice a day, consider feeding it a smaller bit of food in the morning and a larger one in the evening before bedtime.
Another way to help your dog acquire weight is to offer it modest meals regularly. Your dog will receive nutrients throughout the day and gain weight if its daily food dosages are spaced out across three or four meals.
Another way you can improve your dog’s weight is by increasing its food intake. Two main factors influence the growth in food portion size and calories; your dog’s breed and metabolism.
For example, because smaller dog breeds have smaller stomachs, there is a limit to how much food they can ingest. Larger species, on the other hand, may consume more food. Similarly, canines with a greater metabolic rate burn more calories.
Increasing your dog's calorie intake will help it bulk up, but that's only one side of the equation.
Filling your canine up with calories it doesn't need will increase body fat rather than muscle growth.
Instead, you'll need to strike the right mix of high-quality calories and activity to ensure that its body uses those calories to develop muscle and give energy.
While the aim is to get your dog to gain weight, you must also encourage it to move to burn fat and be healthy. Take your dog outside for walks and play catch with it. The goal is to make your dog lose its breath at least once a day for optimum cardiovascular benefits.
It's crucial to keep in mind that your dog shouldn't be very active soon after eating. So after a meal, try to wait at least half an hour before exercising your dog.
Dogs who are underweight are prone to dehydration. A dog's health might be jeopardised if it does not have enough water in its system. Dogs who need to gain weight should always have fresh water available, regardless of their eating schedule.
Fat and protein are essential for pups to grow and develop appropriately as they progress into maturity. For dogs that need to acquire weight, high protein and fat meals are ideal.
However, keep in mind that this increase should be done in small quantities as too much fat or protein can be detrimental to your canine’s health.
Eggs are high in healthy fats and proteins, which will aid in boosting your dog's weight. They also supply the amino acids that your dog needs but cannot make on its own. In addition, eggs include fatty acids that are good for your dog's skin and hair.
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash
If your dog appears to be eating correctly but is still underweight and not gaining weight, one of two things is likely to be the case.
The most likely issue is that you aren't feeding them enough. The second scenario is that there is an underlying issue that prevents them from gaining weight. You may try giving them extra at mealtimes, but if they don't appear to gain weight no matter what you do, you should take your dog to the veterinarian to ensure nothing else is causing their weight problems. Looking at your dog’s poop is important. If it is too soft, they may not be digesting their food properly.
Yes, some human foods can aid in increasing your dog’s weight. For instance, you can feed your dog full fat cottage cheese. This meal is an excellent method to boost your dog's calorie intake while providing probiotics and minerals. In addition, it has a fantastic flavour and is a great addition to any diet.
Additionally, you can also include quinoa into your canine’s raw diet. This grain offers usable energy and is one of the few carbohydrates that contain the whole range of necessary amino acids required for muscular growth.
Nevertheless, do note that not every human food is beneficial for dogs. So, make sure to consult your veterinarian before starting anything.
Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.
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