Did you know that 56% of dogs in the US are thought to be overweight? They are obese due to either they are eating too much or they are suffering from certain health conditions.
But what about dogs that are underweight? Does that mean that their owners are not feeding them well? Maybe they came from a rescue and they are recovering from illnesses. Or perhaps the puppies have just put on growth spurts and need building up.
But how do you deal with a dog whose weight falls under the normal range?
Dog foods that are meant to fatten up skinny puppies are available in the stores. However, some people are hesitant to give those to their pets because they may contain harmful ingredients. To be on the safe side, they prefer homemade dog food for underweight dogs.
What Are the Advantages of Homemade Dog Food for Underweight Dogs?
The weight of your canine also has something to do with the food that you are serving to him. So if you want him to gain some pounds, you must carefully choose his meals. This is when you have to choose between homemade meals and commercial dog foods that were formulated to aid in weight gain.
Here are the advantages of homemade food for underweight dogs:
They Contain Healthy Ingredients
Unlike the commercial food for underweight canines, you can certainly choose the ingredients of your dog’s meals if you prepare them yourself. Take note that every puppy has unique needs, and this is something that you should also consider when feeding him.
Aside from the need to gain weight, maybe your pet also has a health condition that needs to be addressed. For this reason, it would be a good idea to check with a veterinarian.
If you combine all the requirements of your puppy, you might have a hard time looking for a commercial dog food that suits his needs. It will be a lot easier for you to increase the nutritional value of his meals if they are homemade.
Fattening your dog up to achieve a healthy weight is not as simple as giving him bigger servings. Instead, you have to ensure that his meals are meeting his nutritional needs. And since the main goal is to make him bulkier, opt for food items that are rich in protein as well as amino acids.
As a general rule, underweight pets should be supplied with 30% protein and 20% fat.
They Are Economical
Can you imagine how much money you would spend on commercial food for underweight dogs plus supplements just to meet your pet’s needs? It would be a lot!
Homemade meals are economical. They are way cheaper than those that area ready-made. So aside from choosing the ingredients, you are also saving money.
Satin Balls – A Great Homemade Treat for Underweight Dogs
When preparing food for your underweight dog, you can be creative as you can. There are various recipes that you can follow. The most important thing is that you need to use nutritious ingredients that will help him put some weight on.
One of the most popular recipes for dogs to gain weight is satin balls.
For this treat, you need ground beef, shredded wheat or cereal (make sure that there are no raisins), oatmeal, wheat germ, olive oil, unsulphured molasses, raw eggs, gelatin (unflavored), and a little bit of salt.
All you have to do is to mix the ingredients well and start rolling them into balls. It’s that easy! There is no need for you to fry them or anything. Just serve them raw.
When it comes to the amount of serving, consider your pet’s size. If he is just a puppy, then 3 to 5 1-inch balls would suffice. But if he is already an adult, then you can double the amount.
Once you see an improvement on your dog’s weight, you can start reducing the amount of satin balls that you are feeding him with.
How Can You Know If Your Dog Is Underweight?
Obesity in dogs can pose health risks, and it is the same way with being underweight. You then need to monitor your dog’s weight. But how can you tell if your puppy does not meet the average weight for its age and breed?
To evaluate whether or not your canine is too thin, first, look at him from different angles.
From the side, check if you can easily see his ribs. If so, then he is most likely underweight. Keep in mind, though, that in some breeds, the ribs can be easily spotted even if they meet the ideal weight.
And also, if your puppy is furry or has a heavy coat, it would be difficult for you to see his ribs even if he is skinny. With this, you can sit next to your dog and try to feel his rib cage. If it seems that the ribs are just covered with a little bit of skin, with no ‘padding’, then that is a sign that he is too thin.
Next, stand over your pooch in such a way that you can see him from above. Are his hip bones protruding? If, yes, then his weight is probably not normal.
After checking your pup, and you think that his weight is not right, then take him to a veterinarian so further evaluation can be done. The doctor should also be able to provide you with proper guidance as to how you can help your puppy put on some weight.
Why Are Some Dogs Underweight?
As a pet owner, you should identify the reason/s why your furry friend is skinny so you would know exactly how to address this problem. Otherwise, it will continue to affect his health as well as his overall quality of life.
There are various factors that could cause a dog’s weight to be abnormal, which include:
If a puppy has an illness, such as diabetes, cancer, and diseases of the major organs (kidneys, liver, and heart), he could easily lose weight. This is why it is crucial that you seek a veterinarian’s intervention if you notice that your dog is underweight and is not putting any weight on no matter what and how you feed him.
Just like human beings, canines lose their appetite too if they are stressed out or are suffering from depression and anxiety. These animals do not really know how to cope up with such mental problems, so you really have to observe their behaviors.
Some puppies are picky eaters as well. So if you are sure that yours does not have any underlying health condition, then it could be that he just does not want the food that you are serving.
Is he tired of the dog food that you have been getting from the stores? If so, then try out some homemade meals.
Also, you must be cautious when changing his diet. Make sure that you slowly make the transition. For the first few days, mix the old food with the new one, reducing the amount of his previous diet.
Another factor that could cause your canine to be underweight is the presence of parasites in his stomach. If this is the case, then you need to get rid of those worms. A vet can advise you as to which product is the best to use in eliminating those.
How Can You Help Your Dog to Gain Weight?
A dog’s health is quite important, and you need to take care of it as you would with your baby. If your puppy is too skinny, there are several things that you can do to help him put some weight on.
Feed Small Meals Frequently
If you have been feeding your puppy with a full dish twice a day, and yet he is still skinny, then try to change the routine. You can feed him with small meals, but do it more frequently. This will help ensure that he is getting the nutrients that he needs throughout the day.
Increase the Amount of Protein
A dog’s healthy diet requires 30% of protein. You can serve raw or cooked meat to your pooch. Increasing his protein intake will certainly assist in building his muscles.
Exercise Him Regularly
Not all pet owners are aware that exercise is also essential for dogs to achieve a healthy weight. They probably think that this will cause more weight loss. But the truth is, working out is actually needed in building muscles as well.
Your dog being underweight is something that you should take seriously. Find out what the main reason is, and take it from there. You can switch to homemade dog food as this will help ensure that his nutritional requirements are met. As long as you are keen in choosing healthy ingredients for the different recipes, your puppy should be able to achieve the normal weight for his age and breed soon.