How to help your underweight puppy gain weight?

BY | October 25 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY

Image Credits: Pixabay

As new dog parents, one faces many issues while bringing up a puppy; not gaining weight is one of them. Everyone always associates puppies with being chubby and adorable balls of fur. But what should one do in case their puppy is not able to gain weight? It is not just a matter of being adorable, but also about the puppy’s health.

Your young puppy could be underweight because of several reasons. The puppy could be recently recovering from an illness. Many recently adopted former stray dogs are extremely hesitant to get used to their new surroundings. Your puppy might be falling ill, or your puppy could simply be a picky eater.

Let us look at ways to help your underweight puppy gain weight.

Visit your puppy's vet first and foremost.

Before putting your puppy on a new diet, visit the vet to make sure that the weight loss isn’t due to an underlying disease. Your puppy might need to be put on medication in case of a serious medical problem. After your vet has ruled out any such serious disease, you can have a chat with them and work on a new diet plan for your puppy. Make sure to ask your vet to check your puppy for parasites in the stomach.

Track your puppy’s weight

While at the vet, make it a point to weigh your puppy. After following a new diet plan for about a month, check your puppy’s weight again. Tracking their weight regularly will help you determine if there has been any significant improvement or not.

Add one extra meal to their diet plan

Feeding your puppy one high-calorie meal can be helpful. You can try pumpkin or sweet potato. Unsweetened peanut butter is a good option too. Many vets suggest feeding them commercial puppy food with 100% real meat as an extra meal since they have higher calories than regular homemade puppy food. Adding this extra meal can also be a hit with your picky eater dog. Make sure that your dog isn’t allergic to any of these food items. However, adding extra calories in their diet also means that they need to exercise a little harder than before. You can do this by extending their walks for another half an hour.

Give your puppy regular exercise

Staying inactive for a large part of the day can make your puppy lethargic, thus decreasing their appetite. Take your puppy out for a walk for an hour or two. Once your dog gets the hang of it, they might even start running around and playing. Regular daily exercise helps increase your puppy's appetite, thus allowing them to eat more nutritious food. However, do not overwork your puppy. There is only so much exercise your adorable pooch can do in a day. If none of the above tips work, you might need to visit the vet again. The vet can prescribe your puppy healthy weight gain supplements to help aid the process.

Is Your Puppy Unable To Gain Weight? Here’s How You Can Help

Owning a puppy can be challenging, and often quite worrying. The responsibility is immense. A drop in your puppy's weight, can cause your own heart to drop, leaving you anxious, worried wondering whether you are doing something wrong. Let's not jump to conclusion just yet, as there can be a number of reasons for your puppy's inability to gain weight.

Insufficient feeding

An extremely common mistake amongst first-time pup owners. New puppy parents should learn about and feed the adequate amount of food to their puppy, because prolonged underfeeding can cause malnourishment and pose serious health risks. The food served must always be proportionate to the weight of your pup. Keeping track of your puppy's weight is crucial in order to supply the right amount of food required for your pup's body.

Inadequate nutrition

The food you supply to your dog must always include all the right nutrients for healthy growth and development. If the daily nutrition value to be met has failed, this will naturally result in loss of weight, or inability to gain weight. Some necessary nutrients to feed your dog are:

  • Protein-protein helps build and maintain muscle, body tissue, and organs. A few good sources of protein are: beef, fish, soy, and eggs.
  • Fats – this is a significant source of energy for your puppy, it is required for healthy skin, eyes and tissue.
  • Carbohydrates – like fats, also provide the necessary energy required by your pup. Good sources for carbohydrates are: bread, potatoes, and rice.
  • Vitamins and minerals – an essential component as dogs cannot produce their own vitamins and minerals other than vitamin C. Their daily quota must be met to encourage healthy growth and weight gain.


External supplements

If efforts to feed your pup a larger quantity, with better nutrition have been proved futile, oral supplements could help your puppy pack-on a few pounds. Good quality supplements are available in most pet stores, all you are required to do is get your pup checked for any vitamin or mineral deficiencies and purchase supplements containing what your pup lacks.
A simple and common way of feeding a puppy supplements is by hiding them in their favored choice of food.

Diseases and disorders

Getting a full veterinary check-up is another great way you can help your puppy. Many a times certain diseases and disorder could cause a loss of appetite and a drastic reduction of weight. Some such diseases and disorders are: Diabetes, Addison's disease, Hyperthyroidism, Chronic protein-losing intestinal disorder, neurological disorders, and parasites that feed off their hosts' nutrition. Staying alert and aware towards early signs and symptoms of diseases and disorders could help save your pup from days, weeks, or months of discomfort.

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