Hello, I am a dog and I’m here to tell you that one of the main things we talk about is our weight!
That’s right, much like the humans down at the local gym or at the hairdressers, we’re always worried about losing or gaining excess pounds.
However, rather than just being for purely aesthetic reasons, there are some serious implications that can occur for us if we start to lose too much weight!
Often if a dog has been rescued then they are extremely underweight. One of the most important things will be padding out your dog to improve the condition of their coat, any skin damage they might have, also improving the quality of their organs, the smoothness of their digestion and their overall chances of survival.
However, it’s not just rescued dogs that run the risk of losing weight. Your groomed home pooch could also be losing weight, either due to a change in diet, recovering from an illness or just from the fact that they might not have a good appetite in general.
Sadly, not all dogs are as clever as me and can’t type or speak, so we might find it difficult to communicate what is wrong.
If your vet has ruled out a medical emergency, then it could be the case that your dog is just fussy. The only way that you can bulk up your pup is by increasing the calorie count that is in their dog food.
So what is the best dog food for weight gain? What are the ingredients that you’ll need to have to increase your dog’s calorie intake and see them looking much heavier and healthier? How much does a decent weight-gain dog food cost in terms of price?
Well, you need not worry, because being a dog, I’ve had a word with a few of my puppy pals and we’ve hashed out some of the best dog foods for weight gain currently on the market.
We’ve also got a buyer’s guide that will help you decide between the good dog food and the bad, along with some frequently asked questions from flustered owners.
Best Dog Food to Gain Weight
This first dog food is perfect if you want to fill out your underweight dog, with plenty of protein that will help rebuild damaged muscle and tissue.
This comes with real ingredients that will give you and your pooch the best chance of regaining their full health again – introducing the Crave Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
This diet mimics as closely as possible the diet I and my other doggy friends would have had hundreds of years ago.
If you are looking to build your dog back to being fighting fit again, then you’re going to watch to have a foodstuff that will enable the maximum level of nutrient absorption.
This food has around 34 percent protein with 17 percent fat, which will give your dog some of the basic building blocks for boosting their energy levels as well as their immune system. This is great dog food for all breeds of dog, no matter what size they are.
- This is brimming with plenty of chicken and pork meal protein, which is not only great for building body mass and muscle, but is also very, very tasty!
- This dog food gets most of its carbs from the lentils and chickpeas, rather than the usual unhealthy meal ingredients that you can often find in cheaper dog food.
- This is great for dogs that might have difficulty eating because of sensitive digestion, which could be one of the more common causes of them being underweight.
- This is great for all kinds of dog breeds, so whether you are a great dane or a cocker spaniel, you’ll get the most from this bulk-up dog food.
- Some users have complained that this dog food has made them sicker, which could be a result of their digestion. Make sure that you check with your veterinarian before switching dog foods.
- Contains one (1) 4 lb. bag of CRAVE High Protein Adult Grain Free With Protein from Chicken All Natural Dog Food Plus Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Nutrients
- Inspired by the diets of their wolf ancestors, CRAVE adult dog food is made with real ingredients including high-quality animal protein and the full meaty flavor dogs love
- Satisfies a dog's natural desire for animal protein with real chicken as the first ingredient
- Supports a strong, lean body with 34% high protein
- Dry grain free dog food recipe formulated with no corn, wheat, or soy and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and zero grain
I recognized this make of dog food as soon as I saw it, with Purina being one of the best brands, giving you a professional standard of ingredients.
This is ideal if you’re planning on feeding your dog a medically-engineered high-calorie formula – introducing the Purina Pro Plan Dog Food.
This dog recipe contains delicious chicken and corn produce, giving your dog both the protein and the fiber that it needs to build itself up.
When it comes to having the best calorie intake, natural ingredients are second-to-none. This will be a lot better for your animal than some of the cheaper corn and wheat filler that you can get in other dog foods.
Making your dog gain weight will be perfect for endurance, I know it was for me when I fell sick with stomach inflammation and lost a lot of weight.
When it comes to your diet, you’ll want something that will build you up not only quickly, but for the long haul.
- This has a high-calorie formula, so if you want your dog to pack on the pounds quickly, then I can’t recommend the Purina brand highly enough.
- This food not only contains calories, but plenty of nutrition and protein that is great for not only building muscle but keeping your energy levels up and the digestive system working smoothly.
- This contains plenty of healthy animal fat that will not get stored in your dog’s liver for too long.
- If your dog is underweight, then the chances are it will have a weak immune system – thankfully this dog food contains plenty of antioxidants that will help contribute to this system becoming stronger and stronger.
- The price – this is one of the more expensive dog foods on this list, although you can definitely be expected to have to pay for quality.
- One (1) 37.5 lb. Bag - Purina Pro Plan High Calorie, High Protein Dry Dog Food, SPORT 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula
- Features real chicken as the #1 ingredient
- Contains 30% protein and 20% fat to help fuel metabolic needs and maintain lean muscle
- Amino acids help nourish muscles, including during the crucial time immediately following exercise
- SPORT Performance 30/20 Formula has a new look and product name coming soon. May receive either bag during the transition
You’ve probably already figured out if you have a dog of your own that we simply love wet dog food – and this brand is no different!
With wet dog food, you get that richness and texture that you simply can’t find with dry kinds, this will certainly be appealing to any pooch that is struggling to find food they like – introducing the Ziwi Peak Canned Beef Recipe Dog Food.
This recipe is brimming with proteins from meat such as beef, giving your pooch everything that they need for building muscle mass and gaining weight. This recipe is also free of grains that can be very taxing on a dog’s delicate digestive tract.
This is also very reasonably priced, which is perfect for dog owners that are on a budget and might be having trouble getting bulk dog food that will help their animal recover perhaps from an illness or possible years of neglect.
I know my owner bought me some of this dog food and my waistline started expanding in no time at all!
- This dog food is filled with plenty of protein from animal sources such as beef, which closely mimics the diet that your dog would have in the wild.
- This is wet dog food which has a rich and evocative smell that will get our tails wagging quickly. If you have a dog with appetite problems, you should definitely try this food.
- This is amazon for dogs with digestion issues – not only will the soft food encourage them to chew but it will also not be as hard to digest as some of the dried dog food.
- This is probably my favorite dog food, not only is it tasty and healthy for me, but it will also be easier on my owner’s wallet.
- This food contains chickpeas, which some dog owners believe will lead to conditions such as dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.
- HIGH PROTEIN, NUTRIENT RICH: Authentic whole-prey ratios, featuring 92% free-range Beef, Organs, Bone, and New Zealand Green Mussels. A mouth-watering, chunky pâté that is highly palatable for the pickiest dogs.
- GRAIN-FREE, LOW CARB: Limited Ingredient (L.I.D) premium dog food without added carbohydrates, ideal for food sensitive dogs. NO cheap fillers such as grain, potato or peas, which are linked to obesity, food allergies, and other health concerns.
- 10% SUPERFOOD BOOST: Cold-washed Green Tripe, New Zealand Green Mussels, and Organic Kelp; holistic ingredients to support digestion, healthy skin and coat, joint health, reduce inflammation, and promote heart and brain health.
- TOPPER or COMPLETE MEAL for ALL LIFE STAGES: Perfect as a topper for a nutrition and flavor boost, and ideal as a complete meal for peak nutrition and health; optimized from puppy to senior dogs, including small and large dog breeds.
- ETHICAL and SUSTAINABLE: ZIWI sources only 100% free-range, grass-fed, grass-finished meats, and wild-caught seafoods, all from New Zealand farms and pristine oceans. Farmed without added hormones, antibiotics, or growth promotants.
This next dog food is another one that is packed with all the proteins that your dog will need to get back on its four paws after a lengthy illness that might have caused it to lose a lot of weight.
This is recommended by vets who are treating dogs with malnutrition – introducing the Merrick Backcountry Dry Dog Food.
This dog food has a balance of plenty of good fats and proteins, two of the main building blocks that you need to maintain a healthy dog’s weight.
Inside there’s not only raw beef but plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants that will boost your pet’s immune system.
This kibble is also wonderful for our sensitive doggy nostrils, the sumptuous beef flavor being irresistible even to the fussiest of dogs.
This food has been recommended by vets who are treating animals for malnutrition, packed with calories in order to get them back to a healthy weight within one week of feeding.
- The beef protein – this is incredibly important for bulking up your dog. This rich animal protein closely mimics our ancestral diet and will cause us to pack on the pounds quickly.
- This is great for rescue dogs that are dangerously underweight, allowing you to get this dog back to its healthy weight as quickly as possible.
- This contains salmon, which will give your dog all the essential fatty acids that it needs for increased brain growth and wellbeing of its joints.
- When it comes to having kibble that will appeal to a fussy dog, then you won’t go far wrong with this brand.
- The price – again this is one of the more expensive options on our list and should only be reserved for those poor dogs that really need to put on the weight after a prolonged period of neglect.
- PROTEIN-PACKED KIBBLE + FREEZE-DRIED RAW-COATED KIBBLE + REAL WHOLE PIECES OF FREEZE-DRIED RAW MEAT Freeze dried raw meat, safely processed for a convenient and nutritious option for those pet parents interested in a raw-style diet.
- #1 INGREDIENT: DEBONED MEAT, FISH OR POULTRY High-protein raw in a pure state for easy digestion and delicious taste
- HEALTHY GRAIN DOG FOOD RECIPE THAT IS ALSO PEA FREE AND LENTIL FREE
- HIGH LEVELS OF OMEGA FATTY ACIDS FOR HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT
- HIGH LEVELS OF GLUCOSAMINE AND CHONDROTIN FOR HEALTHY HIPS AND JOINTS
This final dog food is one that is packed with chicken protein and more exotic ingredients such as pumpkin seed and yeast.
This recipe has been specially designed to increase your dog’s weight and give them everything that they need to regain full strength again – introducing Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Meal Feast.
This will be perfect for giving your pooch that massive dose of probiotics that they need to keep their digestion healthy, which is especially important if you have a rescue dog that might be malnourished and suffering from a compromised immune system. This kibble comes coated with digestive enzymes that will ease stomach inflammation.
The chicken meal in this food means there is plenty of protein that will contribute to the muscle growth of your dog, which is important for developing growth and strength.
Muscle wastage is common in rescue dogs, so having the right amount of animal protein to build up their strength will be very important.
- This dog food is free of gluten and other ingredients that can cause allergies. If your dog suffers from a compromised immune system, it will be crucial not to put its body through undue stress.
- This dog food is packed full of protein, this will lead to quick and noticeable muscle growth in your pooch.
- This food comes with lots of digestive enzymes, a lot of which are very important to kickstart the digestive process which might have become impeded through malnutrition.
- This is the most affordable dog food on this list, giving any pooch that healthy amount of carbs, fats and proteins that they’ll need to bulk up and return to a healthy weight. As an underweight dog myself, I can attest to this dog food being very healthy.
- Some dog owners have complained that their animal won’t touch this dog food, although that just might be down to personal preference.
- No Wheat, Corn, Rice, Soy, Potato, Peas Or Lentils
- Probiotics & Enzymes For Digestive Support
- No Ingredients From China
- Multiple Proteins For Easy Rotation
- 100% Natural - No Synthetic Vitamins Or Minerals Added
Best Dog Food to Gain Weight Buyer’s Guide
There are many different types of reasons that your dog might gain weight – from a rescue dog that is experiencing malnutrition to a dog that has simply lost a few pounds due to being a very fussy eater. Sadly, one of the reasons for this could be the former.
You’ll need plenty of fats and proteins for building up your dog’s smaller body. You’ll also need to think about the particular breed of the dog. For example, dogs like cocker spaniels put on a bit more weight, so you’ll need to make sure that you combine any increase in calories with regular exercise.
Make Sure They Get Animal Protein
Establishing a diet that is very close to their ancestors is probably the best way of getting their weight up to a healthy level.
If you have too many artificial preservatives, then you aren’t maximizing the amount of nutrient intake, which could result in the process of weight gain taking much longer.
I would recommend chicken, as not only is it super tasty, but it gives your dog the biggest boost of natural protein that will lead to quick and sustained muscle definition.
Is Your Dog A Fussy Eater?
You’ll need to try out a few different dog foods in order to establish what flavor and texture of the meal that your dog likes.
Remember that we dogs are just like you humans in that we have certain preferences – the only difference is that we cannot express our preference that well.
Some dogs might just prefer to have smaller portions of food throughout the day. Give your dog only two portions of food every day then try building it up as and when your dog prefers.
With less food comes less pressure on your dog’s delicate stomach.
Wet Or Dry Food?
Wet food is generally better for your dog putting on weight as it has a higher moisture content. However, dry dog food has more calories and is easier to digest in the stomach.
Wet dog food will also be more filling for you and your animal – for me, it also tastes a heck of a lot better! Woof woof!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is exercise Helpful For Your Dog Putting On Weight?
Yes, you’ll definitely want to combine the added calorie intake with an exercise program.
If you don’t do this, the likelihood is that the excess energy will be converted into fat, which could lead to further health problems in the same way as being underweight would.
You won’t just want to build the fat content of your dog, it will also be the muscle mass. This will require a lot more protein which can then be used to build muscle through exercise.
What Should You Do If Your Puppy Needs To Gain Weight?
If you have a puppy that needs fattening up, then I would suggest that you find a more calorie-rich food that can be fed in smaller portions.
Obviously, puppies have smaller mouths and are far more energetic than old dogs such as me!
We would recommend that you feed them smaller morsels of food at more frequent intervals. Start off by giving dogs a few morsels around five times a day then decreasing it to three times a day as they get older.