Effective Ways On How to Put Weight on a Malnourished Dog | Guide 2023

Learn effective strategies and expert tips on how to put weight on a malnourished dog in our comprehensive blog post. Discover proper nutrition, dietary adjustments, and essential care techniques to help your beloved furry friend regain health and achieve a healthy weight.

Would you wish to place the weight in your own pet? Malnourishment may be a severe, and possibly life-threatening for a dog. So naturally, in case a dog is underweight, then it is essential to help your dog achieve a good weight! Though treating your pet is quite essential, you need to remember that weight gain is easy than bringing it all down. Thus, you have to be certain that you do it in the right way.

From time to time, those who suspect that their dog could be malnourished are hesitant to look for assistance, fearing they might discover themselves as guilty of negligence towards their dog. Even though this might not be true in any way, the stigma prevents them from choosing the right option.

There’s not any shame in seeking help to get a dog or puppy who’s experiencing nutritional deficiencies. In reality, it’s totally the other way round and is absolutely the correct thing to do. There are lots of components to think about. We’ll help you go through the very best strategies to supervise your dog’s weight and keep a persistent check on your dogs health.

Signs of a malnourished dog

Signs of a malnourished dog

A dog is a man’s best friend; we all know that taking care of your pet is very important. Signs described below will show you if your dog is malnourished or not,

  • Low Energy level and Fatigue
  • Digestive System Disorders
  • Change In Physical Appearance
  • Bad Breath Of The Dog
  • Difficulty In Recovering From Illness
  • Skin Disorders

1.Low energy and fatigue

 In general, Malnourished dogs have a shallow energy level, due to which they aren’t acting like normal dogs. They show no or less intrust towards playing or other physical activities due to lack of energy. Their performance decreases over time, and that the first and most common sign that your dog is not feeling well.

2.Digestive System Disorders 

Constipation or any unpredictable bowel motions are just another indications your pet’s body might not be getting the required nutrition, and they are also a sign of malnourishment in dogs. This disturbs the digestion system; thus, a lack of nutrients affects your dog’s normal body functions. Thus it’s necessary to regularly monitor your pet’s bowel habits to determine what’s ordinary and what isn’t as it shows signs of malnourishment.

3.Change In Physical Appearance

Physical appearance is what matters a lot. If your dog is losing weight rapidly and his bones and ribs become visible, then it is a strong indication of Malnourishment, which will need your attention and has to be taken care of.

4.Bad Breath

When there is a bad breath coming out of your dog’s mouth, its not good at all, it can occur due to various reasons, and one of them can be a nutritional deficiency in your dog. Mostly tooth decay of presence of bacteria inside his mouth is the main cause behind it. It causes un-comfortability in dogs’ eating process, due to which loss of appetite happens, which leads to malnourishment.

5.Difficulty In Recovering From Illness

If your dog is Malnourished, he will definitely have a prolonged healing interval in sickness, trauma, or if he has surgery. As already on low nutrient reserves, his system cannot fix and heal itself properly as the normal healthy dogs would do. Such pets have a challenging time fighting off illnesses and other disorders.

6.Skin Disorders

Itchy, scaly, or greasy skin is frequently an indicator of inadequate nutrient amounts. Red, irritated places are also generally seen with nutrient deficiencies. As is the case of individuals, a pet’s skin is your most significant organ of the human body and is frequently where indications of illness have been noticed.

You might observe a change in the overall look of a malnourished dog. His Fur, which was shiny, lush, thick, thick, and healthy-looking, might become thick, thin, and dull. Hair loss is also what you can see and observe in this condition.
The seasonal drop of hairs is totally another thing; in this particular case, your dog’s coat or upper Fur can take more than the usual time to fill out again, leaving your puppy look ragged. If any baldness has happened for some other reason, bald patches can linger for quite a while before filling.

Choosing the right food and how to put weight on a malnourished dog

Nutrient deficiency is a severe issue for a dog, and putting on weight onto a dog with a low appetite level can be challenging.
Exactly what and how much you will have to feed your dog highly depends on your dog’s breed, size, and age, their activity levels, lifestyle, hereditary predispositions, and the kind and quality of food they are used to have.

Having the right sort of food according to the pet’s life stage may make a massive impact. To help you with the topic, we develop some suggestions about the best way to put weight onto a malnourished dog to get more healthy and heartier. You don’t need to follow along in this exact order; they’re only separated by how you’re able to inquire into the weight reduction to the true feeding to help get the weight back.

1.Increase Meal Frequency

Deficiency or loss of appetite is just one of the major causes of Malnourishment, and it takes place when the puppy does not have any impulse to consume. Keeping his illness aside, of course. Some possible ways to produce tasty dog foods include heating it with warm water or mixing a few powerful scents.
The easiest and simple of all methods, in my view, is to increase your dog’s meal frequency give him an extra meal or two in the day apart from his regular time. Even though you might be tempted to feed dog large amounts of food to help him gain weight fast, this isn’t suggested. His delicate system will not have the ability to take care of this increased heavy food quantity and result in counterproductive nausea or diarrhea.

Massive amounts of food may also result in a condition called a refeeding syndrome. This occurs when a malnourished or hungry pet’s body develops intense fluid imbalances when abruptly given an excessive amount of food. Organ damage and even death might happen, so you should maintain the quantity of the food a little initially while your pet is still recovering.

A malnourished dog loses weight, and his muscle growth is also affected during the process. Good and healthy dog foods available generally contain higher levels of readily digestible fat and protein, from which your dog will definitely get a benefit.

2.Keep a Track of your dogs Health and Weight Performance

If your dog is apparently malnourished you need to keep his weight record .it will help you keep a keen eye on his health. Perhaps it doesn’t look like it initially, but its fantastic step in figuring out how to place weight onto a malnourished dog would be keeping tabs on the weight at the first step when he starts losing it. So keep track of your pet’s weight with time. This way you’re able to find a baseline test of his wellness.

To boost your Dogs’ wellbeing, you also need to give him additional vitamins in addition to the healthy food. Supplements may also help your furry friend recover strength quicker, but you need to be certain that there are not any other complications related to it. If your pet’s weight increases over time, then that is an indication that things are functioning so keep this up and hopefully he will be at his best soon.

3.Use Of Supplements

To increase your dog’s health, supplementation is not a bad idea. You need to give him additional vitamins aside from healthy food. As the most common difficulty with feeding your pet too much is that it can cause overeating and finally get sick. The supplements available in the market are nutritional. They are user friendly and add more calories to your dog’s meal. These supplements may also help your furry friend recover strength quicker, as they include fish oil, vitamin, protein, and nutritional supplements, which are extremely beneficial for the dog, but you need to be certain that there aren’t any other complications.

Another thing that makes these supplements user-friendly as they are easily mixable in liquids, and the benefit is that the dog will hardly feel a difference in flavor and texture, so he will take his meal normally.

4.Exercise Frequently

Dog Exercise

Exercising your pet is just another ideal way you’ll be able to raise the desire of your pet’s appetite. This might seem counterproductive as it’s thought that malnourished dogs must prevent exercise, but that isn’t correct. By routine exercise, you’re boosting your pet’s appetite and maintaining it healthy. Your dogs’ weight will definitely have a connection with his overall health, just as we humans do. So regular exercise and playtime play a vital role in putting weight on your malnourished dog, but this works best when paired with the ideal type of diet plan.

But regular exercise is not just confined to malnourished dogs. If you take your dog out for a normal walk, it will help them remain healthier overall.To create muscle mass. Strenuous exercises such as hiking, running, etc., help a lot. Apart from weight gain, exercises also help protect your pet from ailments also.

5.Consult A Veterinarian

When you have tried everything mentioned above and still could not find out why your dog is losing weight, .you have tried adjusting his meal frequencies and the meal quantity and quality. However, your dog is still unable to put on weight, then now is the time to check with your Veterinarian. Also, don’t forget to deworm him well even if the ill-health condition’s origin was about the diet.

This is a significant step since there might be quite a few factors like Thyroid problems, Diabetes, Liver diseases etc that promote your pet becoming malnourished that a Veterinarian can test for. As it is quite possible, he might be fighting an illness like a parasite. If that is the situation, then your veterinarian can offer medication to start treating the disease. Ask your vet to treat him with the best medicine. When properly medicated, if this is the case, your veterinarian will help and guide you on how to put weight on your malnourished dog without harming him.

Best dog food For malnourished Dog to gain weight

The best method for gaining weight for your malnourished dog is to add up some more calories in addition to his normal diet plan. There are several good dog foods available in the market that contain a high level of proteins, which will add up some extra calories into his body and help him gain weight faster than normal. Below I have discussed some of the best dog foods available in the market.

  • Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Food
  • Purina Pro Plan Sport, Energy & Vitality Support, High Protein Dry Dog Food
  • Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food
  • Diamond Premium Puppy dog food
  • Buddy & Lola Weight Gainer for Dogs
  • Bully Max Muscle Building Tablets for Dogs
  • CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food

What Foods to give and what to avoid for your dogs?

Every dog is different, like us humans. So one rigid formula can not be applied in all cases. Every malnourished dog has a totally different body condition from the other. It has to be dealt with according to the situation. Various factors like (genetics, diet, hormones, etc.) influence how the puppy metabolizes food and how they put on fat. 

So it’s also important to speak with a vet before applying any weight gain or reduction formula. The most important aim of dogs food is to provide him with premium quality, balanced meals. They should also have a high degree of fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and minerals to satisfy their body requirements. Nutritional supplements are typically not suggested by the vet if requirements are met.

Now, as we have discussed, an increased calorie diet for your dog. Some foods should be totally avoided as they are proven to have serious side effects in dogs, like vomiting, seizures, and even death. they include

  • Chocolate, coffee, and caffeine
  • Milk and dairy
  • Nuts
  • Onions, garlic, and chives
  • Any Raw or undercooked thing
  • Alcohol
  • salty snacks
  • Yeast dough
  • Grapes and raisins


Putting weight on your malnourished dog is not an easy or a one-day task, but it requires time and effort. You have to be patient in this regard. Because malnourishment creates many problems in dogs like vomiting, lack of energy level, loss of appetite, a dull coat, etc.

Adding up more calories, proteins proper nutrition, along with increasing your dog’s meal intake, provides the best results. I have seen many starved, abused, and malnourished dogs. They are resilient, and it’s really amazing how they jump back into their normal health .when they get the chance and proper care, they recover fast and become healthy again.

Do let me know what you think about my article in the comment box.