Just like people, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes they have weight problems. Dogs can be obese or undernourished. Sometimes it is a result of under feeding, and other times it could indicate a potential health problem. How to help your dog gain weight really depends on why he’s too thin. If you think your pup might be too skinny, you should consult a veterinarian to rule out illnesses before changing his feeding schedule.
Potential Health Problems
There are several diseases that could cause unexplained weight loss or the inability to gain weight. Pancreatic insufficiency prevents the digestion of food. Kidney diseases can cause much-needed glucose and protein to leak into your dog’s urine. Protein-losing enteropathy is a condition in which protein leaks through the intestines and into stool as opposed to absorbing it. Weight loss can also be an indicator of cancer and heart disease. Changing your dog’s diet can be detrimental if he is suffering from one of these conditions, so talk to your vet first.
Other Potential Reasons for Weigh Loss
In addition to physical ailments, mental or emotion disturbance can also cause weight loss or prevent your pet from gaining weight. If your dog is very active or is a working dog, the problem may simply be that she is not getting enough calories to maintain a healthy weight. If your pup has recently undergone a stressful experience, he may require additional food.
Healthy but Underweight Dogs
If your vet gives your pup a clean bill of health, ask the vet about changing your dog’s feeding portions and schedule. You will want to give him high-quality food, and your veterinarian may have suggestions. Consider feeding your dog an adult food designed for active pets, as these are generally higher in calories. Puppy food also has high-calorie content. If you are only feeding your dog once a day, try giving him a second meal. You may also find a free feeding schedule beneficial. Free feeding is when you leave food out at all times. Once your dog reaches a healthy weight, however, you’ll want to stop free feeding him, as it can lead to overeating.