Is your dog at the right weight? Just because you can see those ribs, it does not mean that your dog is too skinny. At the same time, you better not listen to those old fashion ideas claiming that a fat dog is a healthy dog because they are far from reality.
Now, if your dog is underweight, you must know to put weight is much easier than losing it. With all these, it does not mean you can start feeding your dog six times a day. You still have to do it right. So, how to put weight on a dog safely?
Does Your Dog Need More Weight?
There are more overweight dogs than underweight dogs out there. You are probably used to see some chubby figures down the street. Just because someone keeps telling you that your dog is too skinny, it does not mean that it is. Friendly opinions from other people in the park or your friends are alright, but not always realistic.
There are more things to help you determine whether you need to overfeed your dog. First, you need to know the breed. If you have no idea, run a DNA test. Some dogs are meant to be stocky, while others can be at their healthiest with a tiny waist. In other words, your Australian Cattle mix could be part German Shepherd, meaning you need to cut on those carbs.
Young dogs can go through more stages over a short period, but they should not look chubby. As a general rule of thumb, a dog is too skinny if you can see more than the last three or four sets of ribs. To be 100% sure, ask the vet. Bring in a stool sample to look for issues as well, not to mention the thyroid levels. According to Wiki How, only then you can come up with a plan.
How To Put Weight On A Dog Safely
Here are six simple ways to help your furry friend healthily gain some weight.
- A new feeding schedule is often the first step. There are differences between people and dogs, but some things are similar. For example, eating before sleep will help you gain some weight – the same goes for dogs. If your dog eats twice a day, keep the first portion smaller and the one before sleep bigger. You may also bring in smaller meals throughout the day, as well as treats. Make sure you give your furry friend at least half an hour between a meal and a playing session.
- More protein and fats represent a good idea too. If you have ever had a puppy, you know that fats and protein stimulate growth. Such foods are more expensive than regular dog food, but they are worth the extra cost. It is a gradual process. It will not happen overnight, but you can check your dog’s weight every week or two weeks to notice a change. If you can find such food from the same company, your dog might be used to it already. Otherwise, mix it in – 10% today, 20% after a couple of days, and so on. It is the right way to prevent stomach upset.
- Sweet potato and pumpkin will never disappoint. These are some of the best options to help your dog gain weight without adding more protein to the diet. They are rich in nutrients (no stomach upset), but they also add fiber and fat. Dogs will love the sweet taste too.
- A few extra calories from treats can help too. They should be quite rich in fat, though – peanut butter is excellent then. According to Little Dog Tips, you should opt for 100% natural butter.
- Last, but not least, while it might sound unusual, more exercise is excellent when you learn how to put weight on a dog safely. Most people associate the extra activity with nothing but a skinny waist and fat burning. Not always! When you try to put on excess weight on your dog, lots of it should consist of muscle tissue. Exercising your pet regularly is excellent for maintaining weight. When mixed with some extra protein and fat, exercises will help it grow, but without getting fat.
Why Dogs Need To Gain Weight
Most dogs have to maintain their weight or perhaps lose some of it. There are, however, certain situations that involve the necessity of putting weight on. So, which dogs should gain some weight?
- Ultra active dogs that spend lots of time outdoors and burn plenty of calories will need more food than usual.
- Elderly dogs experience health-related problems, such as dental problems, dementia, or other issues that can lead to a quick decline.
- Picky dogs, yet this issue should be discussed with your vet, as most dogs will need pretty much all kinds of food.
- Small dogs tend to lose heat at a fast rate. They have a fast metabolism, so they require more food than usual.
- Dogs are recovering from injuries, diseases, or surgeries. If they lost weight while under treatment, they will have to get it back.
- Rescue dogs exposed to abuse and malnutrition. They will gradually need to gain their weight back, hence the necessity of more protein and fat.
As a short conclusion, you do not have to be a genius to figure out how to put weight on a dog safely. You do need to pay attention throughout the process and, more importantly, start it because you have to. Ignore friends or other people in the park telling you that your dog is skinny. Even when you take your buddy to a vet, not even an expert can tell right away by just looking at it.
It is one thing when the situation is evident after surgery, but generally, there are a few tests to be performed to make sure your dog needs extra weight.