The Ways to Help Dogs Gain Weight

Updated February 21, 2017

It can be distressing to realise that your dog isn't gaining weight, despite the amount of food you give him. Before pouring food in your dog's bowl, you should determine that the cause of his lack of weight is not due to a medical problem. If your dog doesn't have any major health issues, you can feed him more food so he can take in extra calories and gain weight in a healthy manner.

A Visit to the Veterinarian

Before you put your dog on a meal plan, take her to your local veterinarian. There might a medical reason as to why your dog isn't gaining weight. The veterinarian can determine if your dog has a medical condition that is preventing weight gain.

Prescription Dog Food

The veterinarian may prescribe a special formulated dog food that will help your dog gain weight. Prescription dog food contains more calories than the standard dog food -- it also has an increase in protein, which Vetinfo claims is known to help dogs gain weight. When the veterinarian gives you the prescription, they will also direct you to a pet shop that will have that particular brand. It is best to follow the feeding instructions given to you by the veterinarian.

Increasing Calories

If the veterinarian doesn't give you a prescription, you still have the option of increasing your dog's caloric intake. You will need to give your dog a larger serving of food. The more food the dog eats, the more calories the dog will consume. Dry food is best when trying to get your dog to gain weight. Vetinfo states that dry food contains carbohydrates, which promotes weight gain. You can rotate from dry food to wet food occasionally to prevent possible digestive problems.

Weight Gain Supplements for Dogs

Weight gain supplements for dogs can help your dog gain more pounds. Your veterinarian can recommend these to you or you can purchase these supplements over-the-counter without a recommendation. These supplements can increase your dog's appetite and, in turn, make your dog gain weight. You can purchase these supplements at a pet store. Follow the instructions when giving it to your dog.


Exercise is important when a dog is trying to gain weight. Without exercise, according to Vetinfo, the weight that the dog would gain will be distributed disproportionately on the body. Weight gain without exercise can also cause health problems. Exercise will give your dog the opportunity to use his muscles, which will allow the dog to gain muscle mass. Playing at least once a day will provide your dog with the necessary exercise.

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About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Ashley Leonard has been writing professionally since 2007. Her articles have appeared on and various other websites. Leonard holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marymount Manhattan College.