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Helping a Dog Gain Weight

Dogs who have been ill or recently rescued sometimes will need to gain some weight. This is a guide about helping a dog gain weight.

A skinny dog eating.
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February 5, 2014 Flag
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I tried the giving food and taking away food and it didn't work. Bandit went over a week and got pissed at me so he refused to eat anything. One thing that helped me was taking him off all chicken by-products, not natural chicken, but the so called by products. I put him on Blue Buffalo a great food he loves, plus the puppy which is better tasting. He loves the lamb and rice. He also loves pumpkin so I make him pumpkin pies. He is just skinny I guess.

My question, is Bandit is picky enough if I give him satin balls will he stop his dry food again altogether or do I mix it? Plus I thought raw burger gives your dog worms, what happens if you cook it like a burger? Help.

By Debbie T.

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February 7, 20140 found this helpful
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I think if I were you I would keep feeding the Blue Buffalo and skip treats that may or may not be healthy. The satin balls dont sound like they really add anything good to his diet. I would quit while I was ahead. Try pieces of his dry food for a treat. He wont know the difference.

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February 8, 20140 found this helpful
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Have you had your dog de-wormed by a Veterinarian?

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Anonymous Flag
March 28, 20160 found this helpful

Boil the burger you can do chicken as well. I recently adopted a rescue pup who was extremely malnourished. My vet gave me a vitamin, probiotic, and recommended boiling chicken or burger and rice for a meal once a day (plus her normal feeding) for a week. Also suggested adding boiled eggs with the meat and rice. Also for treats mix together one cup of ground flaxseed, one cup of cooked oatmeal one cup of peanut butter form into balls and freeze. Thaw before giving as treats! Only give up to three a day as they're high in fat. And deff. Consult your vet before changing any part of his/her diet!!

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June 30, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about great dane needs to gain weight. Food choices, general health, and the breed of the dog can affect their weight management.

Sad looking Great Dane rests heads on paws with food dishes in the background


February 25, 2014 Flag
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I have an 8 year old Pit Bull. He was sick a couple weeks back and he didn't wanna eat so we had him on a special diet, but he was skinny although not too skinny. He is better now and I have been feeding him 2 times a day and giving him plenty of water, but he's not putting weight on. I don't know why and I think he might be sick still or might have heart worms because a friend had him and didn't take care of him right and he had to have a flea bath.

By Ana

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February 26, 20140 found this helpful
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You really need to see a Vet about the heartworms. Only a Vet can treat heartworms. The treatment is hard on the dog, so don't wait too long. It can be fatal if you do. Be wary of over the counter wormers Most of them dont work and can make your dog quite sick. There is nothing over the counter for heartworms. If you need financial help, check with your humane society. They often have low cost care. Good luck.

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January 9, 2015 Flag
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We got Harly a few months ago. His owner could not keep him because of a move. We have tried everything to put weight on him. He is papered. His hair seems to be very dry and he has dandruff. He is a house dog and we have 2 acres for him to run in. He chews everything. We need advice on what to feed him.

By Susanne K

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January 9, 20150 found this helpful

He has a food allergy. The dandruff and lack of weight gain are signs of this. You need to try different non-allergenic foods on him. Try each for at least two weeks. With some dogs it's wheat and with some it's soy. Some are allergic to chicken. I knew a dog that was allergic to beef, but that's rarer. Good luck.

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January 10, 20150 found this helpful

Suggest also taking your dog to your vet, to be sure there are not other problems that may need treatment.

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August 29, 20150 found this helpful

Puppy tin food and dry food, is good as its got everything your dog needs, and also supposed to alot of fat in it, also try sashes choice and put it in her food it's good for her skin and I feed it to my female dog who had a litter of pups 4 weeks ago, alot of people have be saying that she's in pretty good condition as the pups just drain her and take all the goodness out of her. Hope this helps your dog back to her healthy self...

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November 20, 2013 Flag
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I am looking after a Springer Spaniel at the moment. He has 3 meals a day, is always on the go, but can't put weight on. I need advice.

By Sally

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February 4, 20140 found this helpful

My dog is the same as yours I give him Blue bufallo adult and puppy food supposed to have more nutrients. He is not starved in any way, totally spoiled very active and his bones you can see them its very embarrassing I feel like a boad mom. Bandit is a border collie Lab something. I told you what I did but not doing much good. Please if you come up with a miracle share with me eithet here or debbie-t AT Thanks, Debbie

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August 29, 20150 found this helpful

Add sashes choice in her puppy tin and dry food, it good for their skin, fur and bones...

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August 29, 20150 found this helpful

I also give my dogs raw chicken frames, raw hearts and pet mince.. but I change from one to another every few days, make sure you worm your dog every 2-3 months as it can play a part in it, p.s make sure you get it from your local veterinary for her weight. ..

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July 26, 2010 Flag
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We have just adopted a Maltese terrier. She is approx. 8 years old. She seems to eat very little and needs to gain weight. I have tried dry food small bites, but this is not her favorite. Does anyone in the community have a Maltese that can share some expertise on this subject? Thank you in advance.

By Sheila from Ontario, Canada

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful


This is Sheila from Ont. again. Thank you so much for all the suggestions. My Maltese Maggie has been to a vet. We have found out recently that her teeth are inflamed and they need to be cleaned. She has started to eat dry food with a slight mix of canned food to add flavor. This is helping. Does anyone have an idea on good dental hygiene for dogs? This website is so great, with some very knowledgeable people.


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February 8, 20110 found this helpful

Hello Sheila,

We are Canadian/Americans who recently moved from Ontario to Traverse City MI. Our little rescued Shiz Tzu had a lot of tartar on his teeth and gum issues. He subsequently was malnourished. Our vet put him on a royale canine oral dry food. The chunks are large but they rid the teeth of tartar so well. We also mix in one tbsp of good wet food a day. He is in great shape now & his teeth are good as well We had to buy it from the vet, but the little guys only eat a cup a day. All the best, Trisha

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July 10, 20130 found this helpful

When my dog would not want to eat I would give her a cooked yam. The vet said it was fine. I also gave her blueberries. Look on the internet for foods that are good for your pet and or look at the expensive dog foods to see what is in it.

I always call a vet and ask first before I feed something different.

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June 20, 2013 Flag
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I need a recipe to put some weight on my German Shepherd. She is 5 yrs old, I adopted her 6 months ago. She hasn't ever eaten people food from me and she does not beg for food. I feed her part raw food and Blue Wilderness.

February 19, 2015 Flag
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I have a 3 year old red nose Pit Bull. She had puppies for the first time by our blue nose brindle, but now that the puppies are 8 weeks old she still can't seem to gain any weight. We feed her almost 5 times a day. I give her soft food, as well, mixed into her dry food.

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