How to fatten up a skinny puppy?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

You can easily help your dog gain weight by identifying her nutrient and calorie requirements and then adjusting what you feed her accordingly. A veterinarian can provide you with a professional opinion as to how many calories your pup needs. The sufficient amount of calories will depend on the breed age sex and lifestyle of your puppy. Knowing what your pup needs can help you adjust her diet accordingly.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “How to fatten up a skinny puppy?“.

You’re excited to have a new puppy and you give her all the food you think she needs. Ensure that your furry friend receives a nutritious and healthy diet by following the instructions on the food label. 

Her food is completely consumed as you watch her eat it. Her plate is thoroughly licked. However she is still not gaining enough weight. Thats why you’re getting worked up. Being worried about your pet is okay as a pet parent.  

The first thing you should know is that puppies grow at different rates. Their growth rate differs between breeds. When your puppys size is below the average for her breed however something may be wrong. 

Your puppy may not be getting enough calories from the food she eats or the diet lacks some important nutrients her body needs for proper development. A health issue may also be contributing to the lack of weight gain.

Here are some possible causes and ways to deal with a skinny puppy. If you are concerned that your puppy is too skinny keep reading.

1. Why is my dog not gaining weight?

Despite living in a healthy home and eating enough food a dog may still look too skinny. When you notice your dog is too skinny and your fervent attempts to fatten her up with food are not working. Make sure you carefully evaluate the situation and observe your pet to determine why she isnot gaining weight. Here are two factors that may contribute to your pet not gaining weight.

Your puppy may have an underlying illness

The most common reason why a well-fed dog does not gain weight is due to some underlying health issue and an obvious sign can be a loss of appetite. Your dog needs a thorough and urgent medical checkup if she is very skinny and does not seem to have any appetite. 

The earliest signs of cancer diabetes or other diseases affecting the liver kidney and digestive system are usually loss of appetite low energy and weight loss. The lack of weight gain may also be due to parasites and worm infestations even though your puppy has a healthy appetite. 

Get your puppy checked by a vet if you’re not understanding why she is overly skinny and would not gain any weight. Let the vet examine your puppy for any illness before making assumptions about its health. 

Your puppy isn’t getting enough nutrients and calories

You could be depriving your pup of the necessary amount of calories and nutrients she needs to grow properly. Theres no guarantee that the food you give her is the right one for her even if you’re giving her enough. 

Change her meal to a higher-calorie food with the right balance of carbohydrates proteins fats vitamins and minerals. For quality assurance buy your pet food from a reputable and established brand. 

2. How do I know if my puppy is too skinny?

When we see a bigger puppy of the same breed we may mistakenly assume a puppy is too skinny. The fact that your puppy is smaller than some other puppies of the same breed does not mean its too skinny or underweight. 

Possibly the other puppies are overweight while yours is the ideal or average size. Avoid unnecessary stress and worry by checking your dog to see if she is too skinny. It will only take a few minutes to do this simple exercise and your dog will love it.  

First check your puppy’s ribs

You can feel the side of your dog by holding it in a standing position and looking at it. Her ribs can literally be seen and counted with your fingers (that is they are painfully obvious) so she really needs to eat more. An overweight puppy is one with a layer of fat beneath her skin. 

Then check her spine

Using your hands gently run them over your dogs spine. If the spine bone is very obvious and there is hardly any fat between it and the skin the dog is underweight. When you can barely feel the spine bone due to too much fat then you have an overweight puppy. 

A dog that is a healthy weight does not have pronounced ribs or a spine buried beneath too much fat. 

3. Will worms make a dog skinny?

It is possible for a previously healthy dog to suddenly become too skinny for many reasons. Among the most common causes of rapid weight loss in dogs are parasites like worms. 

A dog with worms such as tapeworms roundworms hookworms lungworms or heartworms will lose weight rapidly even with a healthy diet. 

There are some puppies that are infected with worms and fleas from their environment but many others get it from their mothers milk. Worms in dogs are not dangerous. A visit to the vet can cure your dogs worms so do not panic if you find out hes got worms. 

You should not ignore sudden or unexplained weight loss because besides parasites and worms other causes of sudden weight loss can be more serious such as cancer kidney disease liver problems diabetes and heart disease. 

4. How do I get my puppy to gain weight?

You can easily help your dog gain weight by identifying her nutrient and calorie requirements and then adjusting what you feed her accordingly. A veterinarian can provide you with a professional opinion as to how many calories your pup needs. The sufficient amount of calories will depend on the breed age sex and lifestyle of your puppy.

Knowing what your pup needs can help you adjust her diet accordingly. Try changing your dogs diet slowly if that means totally changing his food. Introduce the new diet and feeding schedule gradually so that your dog does not become overwhelmed. 

In addition if you give her too much food all at once you may not get the best results. She should eat smaller portions throughout the day instead of one or two heavy meals. By giving her a small meal every few hours your pup will finish every meal and you can accurately see how much shes eating. 

5. What should I feed my underweight puppy?

The following tips will help you feed your underweight puppy to gain healthy weight. 

High-calorie Diet

Make sure she gets the nutrition and calories she needs from a high-quality pet food formula. Usually high-quality pet food (preferably from a reputable brand) contains more calories and all the important nutrients your pup needs. Choose a calorie-rich formula that contains more protein at least 20% protein because this will help your dog gain muscle mass. Beef chicken and fish are other protein-rich options for your dog. Check the list of ingredients and calorie content of the pet food formula you select next time. 

Homemade Meals

Especially for dogs homemade meals are great since you can tailor them to meet their specific dietary needs. The satin ball recipe is a popular recipe used in shelters to help malnourished and underweight dogs regain healthy weight quickly. They contain the right amount of nutrients as well as calories. Your dog does not have to suffer from malnutrition to enjoy the nutritional benefits of this homemade dog food. 

Treats and Supplements

If you are interested in achieving a faster result for your dog you can add treats and supplements in addition to commercial pet food and homemade meals. Food supplements provide all the essential nutrients your pup might be lacking while dog treats are loaded with calories. Especially if shes a picky eater giving her treats and supplements will help tremendously.   

6. What human food can dogs eat?

In fact dogs have been eating human food since they were domesticated. Dogs are different from humans; they have a different digestive system so not everything we eat will be safe for them. In addition to providing dogs with essential nutrients some human foods can be harmful to them. For your dogs sake here are a few human foods that are safe.

White rice

Dogs can get enough carbohydrates from cooked rice. Diarrhea can be soothed with this product because it digests easily and makes stool firm. Rice should not be fed to dogs with diabetes however to avoid a spike in their blood sugar levels. 

Fruits and Vegetables 

Dogs benefit from fruits and vegetables because they contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A B C K calcium iron magnesium etc. which are necessary for proper growth. In addition to fiber antioxidants phytochemicals and proteins some fruits are full of fiber antioxidants phytochemicals and proteins. Some fruits however are not suitable for dogs. Fruits and vegetables that are safe for your dog include carrots green beans watermelon blueberries apples bananas and cucumbers.


Dogs love to fish and shrimp because they are rich in protein. A good way to introduce much-needed proteins to your dogs diet is to feed her fish (especially salmon and tuna). Fish is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that can strengthen your dogs immune system. Adding fish to your dogs diet should be done properly because raw fish may contain harmful microorganisms. 


The protein found in meat is also incredible for dogs. Pork chicken and turkey are all favorites. You should make sure they are well cooked before giving them to your dog especially pork as it may contain parasites. 

Wrapping Up

Dogs have personalities and if you know your dogs personality and understand her feeding preferences such as hunger signs favorite food and treats you’ll be able to feed her better. 

Furthermore you’ll be able to better relate to her and recognize when something isnot right. In addition if shes a new member of the family observe how shes adjusting. Territorially aggressive pets are a particular concern. 

If your dogs lack of weight gain has not been caused by illness you can focus on establishing a new feeding routine but do not just feed her build a relationship with her as well. In the end shes your best friend isnot she?

If you want to read more about puppies-related updates read here: Puppies.

How to fatten up a skinny puppy? (Watch Video)

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