As we all know, our weight can fluctuate at different stages in our lives and it is important to manage our weight to stay happier and healthier. Just like us, our dog’s weight can change so it is vital to keep an eye on it to ensure your dog lives a healthy and wholesome life.
From working dogs to post-op care, there are a variety of ways adding a little extra TLC to your dog’s daily diet can support their weight management keeping their bodies working exactly as they should. Whether it is conversations with your vet or changing their feeding habits, our 7 daily differences can help your pup put on those pounds helping to keep them happy and wholesome all year around.
7 Ways to Help Your Dog Gain Weight
Just like weight loss, weight gain in our four-legged friends can be achieved easily and effectively with some simple changes. Dedicated to creating treats that are both tasty and nutritionally beneficial for our furry friends - we believe weight management is a fundamental process in keeping our dogs the happiest and healthiest they can be. So, if your pooch at home needs to add a little meat to their bones, follow our seven simple steps to help your dog gain weight.
It is vital before making any significant changes to your dog’s diet and routine to speak to your vet first. Discuss problems you might believe is the cause and your vet should be able to advise on what steps you can take to support your dog’s health and well-being.
Is your dog losing weight post-operation? Discuss worries like these with your vet who are most likely to take samples of your dog’s blood to check for fluctuations in hormone and thyroid levels. They may also recommend a GI-specific food that will minimise the likelihood of stomach upset - keeping those vital calories stored.
Keeping a health journal can assist in identifying changes in your dog’s food intake and even bowel movements throughout the day.
Is your dog pooping more than you think it should? Is this occurring straight after they consume their food or treats? Well, this could point to problems with the ingredients of your dog’s food and treats and changing up their food could help prevent troublesome tummies within a matter of weeks.
Weighing your dog on a weekly basis can help manage changes in your dog’s weight. Vets recommend if there have been issues with your dog’s weight to weigh weekly. This is also the same as your dog’s transitions from puppy to adulthood. During the first 6 months, weigh your monthly then this can be lowered as your dog’s become an adult to help manage fluctuations as your dog grows older.
Weighing your dog cannot be simpler. Just simply pop by your dog’s registered vet and ask them to weigh them and within a matter of minutes, their weight can be recorded completely free of charge. On your dog’s annual visit, your vet will weigh your dog and ask about any changes so this is a perfect time to discuss any worries you may have.
One of the main causes of changes to your dog’s weight is diet. Cheaper and nutritional low-dog food often contains bulking agents, additives and flavourings that can cause digestive upset for our dogs. Frequent diarrhoea due to poor food can lead to your pooch not absorbing the correct amount of carbohydrates, protein and vitamins to keep their bodies working as they should.
Opt for grain-free, rich in protein dog foods that offer natural digestive support. Grain-free foods won't cause your dog to lose further weight as rice and grains are substituted with rich root veggies like sweet potatoes, butternut squash and even pumpkin as natural bulking agents.
Another way of helping your dog gain weight is to feed it smaller meals on a regular basis. Rather than feeding one or two main meals at breakfast and dinner time, perhaps lower the amount of food you give per serving and increase the frequency per day. Opt for 5-6 smaller meals and then 2-3 larger meals so your dog is getting nutritional support throughout the day.
Just like us humans, exercise is fundamental in maintaining a happy and healthy body but it can also be one of the factors in your dog may be losing too much weight. For active dogs like spaniels, retrievers and collies, try reducing some of their daily activities like ball chasing and intense running to simple strolls down the road. Encourage interactive treat games inside the home where you are increasing your dog’s calorie intake whilst keeping them stimulated without the intensity.
Finally, another fantastic way of helping your dog gain weight is to invest in weight-gain snacks to add to their daily diet. Adding mashed sweet potato and pumpkin as a topper to your dog’s food can be a scrumptious snack for weight gain without any added protein or fat.
Peanut butter and coconut oil-based treats are also great for weight gain as they are both high in good fats but monitor as too much of something good can lead to digestive upset.
Top Tip! Try mixing peanut butter, pumpkin and coconut oil in a bowl and then transferring them into ice-cube trays. Freeze and then give to your dog as a tasty treat.
When it comes to our dogs, their weight is one of the most important factors we need to manage. Following our seven simple steps can help you understand how to effectively manage your dog’s weight throughout their life. When it comes to managing your dog’s health and well-being, keeping an eye out for changes in weight - whether it is weight gain or weight loss can help ensure your pooch is the happiest and healthiest they can be.
Offering advice on helping your dogs lose weight too, no matter what help you might need to support your dog’s health, Soopa are always here to help.