In this article, we will be taking a look at how to put weight on a malnourished dog as safely as possible. With more and more people adopting stray dogs off the street we have seen a steadily increasing number of people wondering how best to get a malnourished dog to gain weight.
Thankfully, the process is not difficult and provided the dog has a healthy jaw with plenty of teeth to eat regular food, there is no need to buy expensive dog foods as a regular high-quality dog food will work perfectly. If the dog is in poor health with lots of teeth missing or has a weak jaw, you may be tempted to purchase expensive liquid foods. In some cases, this is the only way to go but most of the time, your dog will be able to eat a high-quality lickable dog food without issue.
How To Put Weight On A Malnourished Dog
Although getting a malnourished dog to gain weight is a relatively easy process, there are some steps that we recommend that you always take no matter what when working through this process.
Record Everything – Meals and weight measurements
First up is to record absolutely everything you can, this includes the calorie count, or as close to possible that your dog eats each day, your dog’s weight, and your dog’s various measurements via a tape measure around its chest, hind and thighs. Now you should be logging what your dog has managed to eat every day but you can take your dogs weight and sizes measurements once per week.
Taking the time to do this will allow you to track your dog’s progression on its journey to gaining weight. We have lost count of the number of times we have seen people trying to get their dog to gain weight but have failed to track its progress. It is surprising how quickly the human brain can forget or misremember a number that can potentially affect how you feed your dog.
Always Have Water Available
Water is an essential element for your dog to live, it also helps with digestion of food and can help your dog on its way to recovery from being malnourished.
If you can keep the water moving and fresh then its even better. You can use a high-quality doggy water fountain to help keep the water fresh for your dog to drink whenever it likes. Some doggy water fountains will also have the ability to keep the water cool when powered. This can help encourage your dog to drink water regularly.
Feeding The Dog
Always use a high-quality dog food that is ideally free from all grains, wheat, soy, and dairy fillers. This will help reduce the chance of your dog having any digestive upset or reactions to its food during the process.
Its all well and good trying to get a malnourished dog to gain weight but if it results in digestive upset and your dog not wanting to eat the food its offered then it’s pointless. We always recommend that dog owners use a taste of the wild dog food for this.
The weight to calorie requirement breakdown below can be used to work out how much food you should be feeding your malnourished dog.
|The Weight Of Your Dog In Pounds||Total Calories Per Day|
When planning your dog’s meals, always try to estimate the weight of the dog when it is a healthy weight. This can be difficult for some dog breeds so another common method is to take the recommended total calories for the dog’s current weight and then add twenty percent to each day’s meal.
High-quality dog food brands like a taste of the wild will also include a feeding guide specific to their product on the side of the packaging like the one in the image below.
Again, try to always go by your dogs expected weight when healthy, or take their current body weight and add on an additional twenty percent to help increase their weight quickly.
Using A Weight Gainer
Doggy weight gainer gels are also a popular product to help get a malnourished dog to gain weight quickly. Depending on the product you choose, they can also help reduce the costs on food but should never be used as a substitute for dog food entirely.
As explained above, rather than trying to get your dog to eat an additional twenty percent of its advised calories from dog food that has a large volume and will take up space in its shrank stomach. A doggy weight gainer gel can make up those calories easily while taking up a fraction of the space.
This will help a malnourished dog get its required calories while also saving space in its stomach. In turn, this can help encourage your dog to eat more while speeding the overall process up and making it easier for your dog to adjust.
How Long Does It Take For A Malnourished Dog To Gain Weight
This will totally depend on the dog’s unique circumstances as some dogs will take to their food quickly while others will take their time. Additionally, some dogs may have other issues such as allergies that can slow the process down. If you have adopted a stray dog off the streets then it may also have worms. Here are some of our articles on treating worms and parasites in your dog that may help you:-
- How To Get Rid Of Tapeworms In Dogs!
- How To Treat Hookworms In Dogs!
- How To Tell If Your Dog Has Worms, Quick And Easy!
- How Do Dogs Get Mango Worms And How Can You Treat Them?
If your dog has not made any progress after its first week when you come to weight it and take its measurement then it may be an idea to take it for a check-up at your local veterinarian’s office. A check-up won’t take much of your time but your veterinarian will be able to tell you exactly whats happening with your dog and offer the best possible advice to move forward.