I adopted a dog from a shelter. She is very thin and although she is eating she is not gaining weight hardly at all. The vet said she is healthy. What can I feed her to fatten her up safely?
By Beth from Orange County, CA
When I brought my very skinny dog to the Vet because I was concerned because she was so thin, she was eating constantly and the vet told me that wasn't good. She was eating just enough to stay alive, he told me to feed her 3 times a day. I should put down the food for 15 minutes and after 15 minutes pick it up. This way she wasn't able to nibble all day long, after a couple weeks she got the idea that when the food was down she was to clean her plate. If she did not eat everything in her dish she was not going to get any more. Then she started putting on weight and her sister was a little chubby thing. (06/05/2009)
For a while you could feed a puppy food. This is high calorie and shouldn't be the regular food for an adult dog, but as a short term thing it can help with a weight problem. It does need to be a good quality. (06/05/2009)
Not all dog foods are created equal. I don't know what type of food you are using, but read the ingredients. If it has fillers such as grains listed first, perhaps she is not getting enough actual nutrition. Meat (not by-products should be the first ingredient). If you can shop at Costco their store brand is a reasonable price and has meat as the first ingredient.
If not, you could try cooking up some fresh chicken or anything you can get at a good price and supplement the food. There is a lot of info on this topic online. Depending on the breed she may just look thin. I have a lab and a boxer both at a healthy weight, but the lab looks more filled out than the boxer. You can see the boxer's ribs, but not his hip bones like when we first got him. Best of luck. (06/06/2009)
Feed your dog high quality dog food (a side benefit are smaller poops because more of it is digested). My vet recommends Hill's Science Diet. We buy it at Petco. Sign up at Petco and they'll send you newsletters with discounts and occasional coupons. Ditto for the Hill's Science Diet company.
Our one year old dog was rescued at a starving to death weight of 19 lbs. A year later he weighed a muscular 60 lbs. and had grown to his full adult pit bull mixed terrier size. Plus snacks, and whenever we eat, he gets a small portion if it's OK. (06/06/2009)
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