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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.
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I fatten up my skinny puppy?
There are lots of ways to fatten up a skinny puppy! First, get your vet's okay. You want to make sure that your dog is healthy and has the right amount of weight for its age. Then, consider adding some calories to their diet. You can do this by adding more fatty foods to their food or giving them treats. It's important to remember that not all dogs need extra fat in their diet, so talk to your vet about what's best for your dog specifically. Also, make sure they get enough exercise! Hiking, running around in the park, and playing fetch; these activities all help puppies build muscle and burn off energy, which makes them feel fuller for longer. You should also keep an eye on how much exercise your dog is getting each day. Dogs who are exercising more than usual may need more calories than normal too! Don't feed them too many treats! Treats are great for training sessions or special occasions but don't make them a regular part of your pup's diet. They'll just add extra calories without providing any other nutrients like real food does.
Why would a puppy be underweight?
There are a few reasons why a puppy might be underweight. The first is that the food you're feeding them isn't nutritionally balanced, which means it doesn't have all the nutrients they need to grow properly. Another reason could be that your puppy has been sick and unable to keep up with its normal eating habits due to an illness or injury. Malnutrition is often caused by an underlying medical condition that affects the dog's digestion. For example, if a puppy has a stomach infection or diarrhea, he may not be able to absorb nutrients from his food. Finally, it's possible that your puppy is just not getting enough calories from its food. If this is the case, switching to a higher-calorie brand may help them start gaining weight again quickly. All puppies should be fed three meals per day until they are six months old, at which point they should be transitioned over to twice-daily feedings until they're around one year old, though some puppies may need more calories than others.
Should I worry if my puppy is underweight?
Yes, an underweight puppy is definitely a reason to be concerned. If your puppy is underweight, it could mean that she's not getting enough calories or nutrients to grow properly. This can lead to issues like stunted growth, which can cause her to be smaller than other dogs her age. It also means that she may not be getting the right amount of nutrients to develop strong bones and muscles. This can lead to weakness later in life. If your dog is underweight, she might have an illness or disease that's preventing her from eating normally. This could be anything from a tooth problem that makes it painful for her to chew food to a gastrointestinal disorder like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If you're concerned about your dog's health, we recommend reaching out to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Will puppy food help my dog gain weight?
Puppy food can help your dog gain weight, but you'll want to make sure that it's the right kind of puppy food. Puppy food is usually higher in calories, protein, and fat than adult dog food. You should be able to find the calories listed on the packaging or in the ingredients list on the product's website. These are all nutrients that help dogs grow bigger, stronger bones and muscles. If your dog is already on puppy food, you may have noticed that he's grown significantly since starting it. But if he's still a little small for his age, or if he seems to be losing weight despite eating more, consider switching him over to another formula after consulting with a vet. If your dog needs more calories than what is provided in the food, you'll want to find a different brand or add some extra treats to their diet.