How to Get a Dog to Gain Weight: Tips and Strategies


Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to a dog’s overall health and well-being. However, some dogs may struggle with weight gain due to various reasons. Whether it’s a health condition or a finicky appetite, there are ways to help your dog gain weight and reach their optimal weight. In this article, we’ll discuss tips and strategies to help your dog gain weight in a safe and healthy manner.

Increase the Dog’s Food Intake

One of the most straightforward ways to help your dog gain weight is by increasing their food intake. Here are some tips to follow:

Tips for Increasing Portion Size

Gradually increase your dog’s food portion by 10% to 20% over several days. This method ensures that your dog’s digestive system adjusts to the increased food intake.

Choose a high-quality, nutritious dog food that contains essential nutrients such as protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Check with your veterinarian for the right dog food for your dog’s specific needs.

Adding an Extra Feeding Time to Their Schedule

If your dog is underweight, consider adding an extra feeding time during the day. For instance, if you’re feeding your dog twice a day, split their daily food portion into three meals.

Importance of Monitoring Your Dog’s Response to the Increased Intake

Monitor your dog’s response to the increased food intake. Look out for signs of digestive issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating. If any of these symptoms occur, reduce their portion size or consult with your veterinarian.

Switch to a High-Calorie Diet

For some dogs, increasing portion size may not be sufficient for weight gain. Switching to a high-calorie diet is another option. Here’s what you need to know:

Understanding the Benefits of a High-Calorie Diet

A high-calorie diet contains more calories than regular dog food, which can help your dog gain weight faster. Ensure that your dog’s high-calorie diet includes the essential nutrients they need to avoid malnutrition.

Choosing the Right Type of Dog Food

Choose a high-calorie dog food brand that is formulated for weight gain. Look for dog food brands that contain high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. These are essential nutrients that help your dog build lean muscle mass and gain weight healthily.

Introducing New Dietary Changes Gradually

Introduce new dietary changes gradually to avoid digestive issues. Start by mixing your dog’s current food with the new high-calorie dog food brand. Increase the proportion of the new food slowly over several days until your dog is entirely on the new high-calorie diet.

Mix in Wet food or Toppers

Another way to help your dog gain weight is by adding wet food or toppers to their diet. Here’s how:

Benefits of Adding Wet Food or Toppers to Your Dog’s Diet

Wet food or toppers can help increase your dog’s appetite, add flavor and moisture to their diet, and increase their caloric intake. Be sure to choose wet food or toppers that are nutritious and high in calories.

Examples of Nutritious Toppers

Some nutritious toppers to consider include cooked eggs, chicken, salmon, or beef. Another option is to sprinkle a little bit of parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast on top of their food.

How to Incorporate Wet Food or Toppers Safely into Your Dog’s Diet

Introduce wet food or toppers gradually to avoid digestive issues. Start by adding a small amount to your dog’s food and gradually increase the proportion over several days. Avoid feeding your dog human food scraps, as many human foods can be harmful to dogs.

Supplement with Healthy Treats

Supplementing your dog’s diet with healthy treats is another way to help them gain weight. Here’s what you need to know:

Benefits of Using Healthy Treats for Supplementation

Healthy treats are an excellent way to provide additional calories and nutrients to your dog’s diet. Treats also provide positive reinforcement and can help with training.

Examples of High-Calorie, Nutritious Treats

Some high-calorie, nutritious treats to consider include boiled chicken, beef, or turkey, and cheese. Fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and apples, are also a healthy treat option.

Ensuring That Treats Do Not Contain Harmful Ingredients

Avoid using treats that contain harmful additives or ingredients. For instance, chocolate, onions, and garlic can be toxic to dogs. It’s essential to read the labels and consult with your veterinarian before introducing new treats to your dog’s diet.

Exercise Regularly to Maintain Muscle Mass

Regular exercise is crucial to your dog’s health and well-being, even when they’re trying to gain weight. Here are some tips to help your dog exercise safely:

Importance of Regular Exercise for Dogs

Regular exercise helps your dog maintain a healthy weight, build muscle mass, and improve their mental health. Exercise also improves circulation, which is vital for tissue repair and muscle building.

Choosing Low-Impact Exercises

Choose low-impact exercises that won’t cause injury or strain on your dog’s joints. Walking, swimming, and playing fetch are excellent low-impact exercises to consider. Avoid high-intensity exercises that may cause injury or burn too many calories.

Balancing Exercise and a High-Calorie Diet

Balance your dog’s exercise routine with their diet. If you notice that your dog is losing weight because of exercise, adjust their diet accordingly. Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice on your dog’s exercise and dietary needs.

Monitor Progress and Adjust Accordingly

It’s essential to monitor your dog’s progress when trying to help them gain weight. Here’s what you need to know:

Measuring Your Dog’s Progress

Weigh your dog regularly to track their progress. Keep a record of their weight in a journal or on your computer. Monitoring progress helps you understand what’s working and what’s not and helps you adjust your strategy accordingly.

Adjusting Food Intake and Exercise Routines Accordingly

If you notice that your dog is not gaining weight or is losing weight despite your efforts, adjust their food intake and exercise routines accordingly. If you’re struggling to help your dog gain weight, consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice.

Consulting with a Veterinarian If You Have Concerns

If you have concerns about your dog’s weight or health, consult with your veterinarian. They can evaluate your dog’s overall health and provide personalized advice on how to help your dog gain weight safely and healthily.

Consider Medical Issues

In some cases, medical issues may be contributing to your dog’s weight loss or inability to gain weight. Here’s what you need to know:

Understanding When to Consult with a Veterinarian

If you notice unusual weight changes in your dog, such as rapid weight loss, consult with a veterinarian. They can run tests and evaluate your dog’s overall health to determine if there are any underlying medical issues.

Common Medical Issues That Can Affect Weight Gain in Dogs

Medical issues that can affect weight gain in dogs include parasites, dental issues, thyroid problems, and cancer. These issues require medical attention, and your veterinarian can provide personalized advice on how to manage them.

Additional Advice on Weight Gain Strategies

Your veterinarian can provide additional advice on weight gain strategies, tailored to your dog’s specific needs.


Helping your dog gain weight requires patience, time, and effort. Follow the tips and strategies outlined in this article and don’t hesitate to consult with your veterinarian. With proper care and attention, you can help your dog reach their optimal weight and improve their overall health and well-being.

Webben Editor

Hello! I'm Webben, your guide to intriguing insights about our diverse world. I strive to share knowledge, ignite curiosity, and promote understanding across various fields. Join me on this enlightening journey as we explore and grow together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *