Sometimes, your dog just isn’t getting enough nutrition or is burning off all the calories they are eating. Sometimes, if you get a rescue dog, they can be severely underweight. Either way, it’s important that your dog is not overweight, and it’s important that your dog is not underweight. Your dog’s overall health is important and requires them to be at an optimal weight to function.
How to tell
There are many signs that can warn you or show you if your dog is underweight. The most common and prominent one is to see if you can see your dog’s bones through their fur. If you can see their ribs, spine, or pelvic bones, it is a bad sign.
If your dog has been lacking energy or their coat of fur isn’t as shiny as it used to be, that also could be a warning sign to being underweight. It’s a good idea to take your dog to the vet right away if you see these signs. There could be a medical problem causing your dog’s weight to stay too low.
How to gain weight
Once your vet has cleared your dog for all medical problems, it’s best to turn to nutrition as your guide to helping your dog. First, the best idea is going to be adding more calories to your dog’s diet. That could be through more food, more calorie dense food, or even a combination of wet and dry food.
You’ll want to look for foods that contain a lot of calories per serving as well as lots of protein. This will help your dog to bulk up and add on the weight that he or she needs.
Another way to help your dog to gain weight is to feed your dog more times throughout the day. If you realize that your dog has a hard time eating a lot in one sitting, it may be best to feed him or her a little bit of food but more often. You could also just leave the food they haven’t eaten so that your dog has the chance to go back and eat it when they feel hungry.
Dry food versus wet food
Dry food is typically easier to keep out all day long and gives your dog the opportunity to eat more of it throughout the day. Wet food can’t stay out all day because it will spoil (and stink up your house). Wet food can always be used as something to entice your dog to eat, to add more flavor to the dry food, or as a treat when your dog eats well.
Check with your vet
Like most health-related issues, checking in with your vet on a consistent basis is always important. The more contact you keep with your vet, the better of a chance your dog has to gain weight. Your vet will be able to give you all the needed information for your dog specifically to help them gain weight at the fastest rate.