We have seen a number of people asking questions on how they can get their dog to put on weight. We have decided to publish this article to cover why dogs may need to gain weight as well as the best way to do it. These tips and tricks can be implemented by anyone quickly to help their dog. So let’s take a look at how to make your dog eat more.
Even if your dog is a picky eater there is always something you can do. Be it increase their food intake, use a high-calorie dog food or add a high-calorie dog gel to their meal. Most dogs will begin to put weight on in as little as a week if you follow these tips.
How To Make Your Dog Eat More
If your dog is recovering from illness, has diabetes, thyroid issues or IBS then seek advice from your veterinarian. That said, the most common reason for a dog being underweight comes down to the owner. They are either underfeeding their dogs or feeding them the wrong types of food.
The most common problem we see is dog owners feeding their dogs a food designed for a smaller dog breed. Foods designed for smaller dog breeds often have a lower calorie count. Unfortunately, these foods usually only explain this in the small print on the back of the packaging. If this is the case then you can switch to a high-calorie dog food to quickly increase your dog’s calorie intake.
Food Transitioning Periods
A common problem dog owners face when trying to change dog foods is that their dogs refuse to eat. This protest is commonly due to the dog initially not liking the taste of the new food. If you think this could be the case for your dog then we recommend the below transitioning period.
- When deciding to transition to a new food start offering your dog a mix of the two foods. Initially 75% old food and 25% new food. Refrain from offering any alternative food sources for at least 24 hours.
- Once you are confident your dog is eating the new food ratio that includes the new dog food. Change it to 50% old food and 50% new food.
- Then move it to 25% old food and 75% new food.
- Finally, change it over to 100% new food.
The above transitioning period allows your dog to gradually get used to the new food type and reduces the chance of it rejecting it.
High-Calorie Gels And Sneaky Foods
If you have a die-hard dog that refuses to eat the new mi then there are still things you are able to take advantage of. For example, you can stick with the existing dogfood but add in a high-calorie food gel. These gels are designed to help dogs gain weight while having minimal effect on their eating habits.
A quick and easy way to have a similar effect to these gels is to add eggs to your dog’s meal. Quickly scramble some eggs and add them to your dog’s meal. They are an excellent source of protein and due to their high-fat content, they are calorie dense. Although most dogs will be fine with eggs in their diet, they can cause digestive upset in some dogs.
Lower Food Volume And Increase Meal Frequency
Another simple trick to get your dog to eat more is to lower food column and increase meal frequency. This can be very effective if you have a senior dog or a dog with medical issues. The majority of dogs will attempt to eat their meal all at once rather than spacing it our like a cat. When the dog’s stomach is full they will stop eating and go off to do other things.
The theory behind this method is to reduce the food you give you dog each meal but give them more meals each day. Over the course of the day your dog is still offered the same number of calories but usually eat more. Rather than your dog leaving some of the meal in its bowl due to their stomach being full, they eat all of the smaller meal. A few hours later when you offer them their next meal they can eat all of the food again rather than leaving any.
This can also be a good method to implement if you have multiple dogs. For example, one large breed and one small breed. The small breed may leave some of its food for later only for the larger breed dog to eat it.
Tasty Dog Snacks For Picky Eaters
If your dog is extremely picky and your goal is simply to get additional calories into your dog each day then you can use Jerky or Biltong. Although not as nutritionally dense as some dog treats, they can often be a quick way to get your dog to eat more.
The Broth Or Gravy Trick
A time and tested trick that was actually used as a way to get extra calories into humans back in the day is to use broth or gravy. Simply make some broth or gravy, let it cool and then add it to your dog’s meal. The additional calories and nutrients will help your dog gain weight quickly for cheap.
An added benefit is that your the gravy or broth will help soften the dog good it is applied to. This can make it easier for a senior dog or a dog with jaw problems to eat it. You can also keep a cup of cold gravy on your table and dip your dogs treats in it before feeding. This also helps to get additional calories into your dog with minimal effort on your part.