Your dog will live a much happier and healthier life if it maintains its ideal weight. But sadly, I’ve noticed that many dogs need to drop excess pounds these days in order to achieve the best levels of health that they can. On the other hand, there are even dogs that need to gain weight in order to reach their maximum level of health. And that’s what we’ll focus on today.
Dogs have a tendency to be underweight for various reasons. One reason might be that the dog is sick or injured and it’s undergoing the recovery process. Another possibility is your dog is a very picky eater.
By providing your dog with the best nutrition and extra special care, he or she will gain back those much-needed pounds to achieve healthy weight levels. The best way to help your dog achieve its ideal weight is to provide it with high calorie dog food. I have some recommendations that I’d like to share with you today. Keep reading to discover the best high calorie dog food available right now.
Is Your Dog Actually Underweight?
Before digging into high calorie dog food, you should focus on determining whether or not your dog is already at a healthy weight. Most dogs aren’t built the same so they aren’t going to be the same weight. As an example, a mastiff could weigh around 175 pounds. On the other hand, a Chihuahua typically weighs around 4 pounds when it’s on the smaller side.
As you can see, every breed of dog is different and has a different skeletal size, coat density, and muscle mass. Each one of these factors will determine the typical weight for each dog breed. At the same time, there are ways for you to figure out if your dog is at a healthier weight or not on your own.
One thing to look at is your dog’s abdomen. Is it above the rib cage? When looking at your dog from the side profile, if you notice a steep incline toward your dog’s rear near its hind legs, your pooch is definitely underweight. On the other hand, if it’s a very shallow incline than it’s quite possible that your dog is overweight. While looking at the profile of your dog, you should lower your body and vision so that you can look straight at the dog and clearly see him or her from both sides.
Another option is to look closely at your dog’s ribs. Place each of your thumbs on your dog’s spine and then open your hands wide over the rib cage. Can you feel his ribs under the skin and coat? If not, then your dog is likely overweight. And if you can feel the ribs clearly without any fat or coat in the way, your dog is obviously underweight and malnourished.
Reasons Your Dog Is Potentially Losing Weight
Before diving deeply into this point, I’d like to clarify that there’s a difference between poor nutrition and undernourishment. If your dog suffers from poor nutrition, his coat will look lifeless and dull, he’ll have defecation issues, dental problems, and look too thin. On the other hand, undernourishment means your dog’s total body weight will drop by 10% or more.
A dog will suffer from poor nutrition because of overeating, not getting enough exercise, or eating poor quality dog food. In some cases, poor nutrition happens as a form of abuse, yet in other cases, the dog owner doesn’t possess the right knowledge to keep his dog healthy.
Does your dog experience excessive amounts of anxiety and stress? This might be one of the main culprits for your pup to begin losing weight quickly. Keep in mind that your dog must feel safe at all times. Otherwise he may avoid eating his food. If your pup seems restless because of new surroundings, a change in his environment, or new people entering into his life, he may feel unsafe and avoid eating.
According to the ASPCA, some of the major signs of dog anxiety and nervousness include:
- constant howling and barking
- destructive behaviors
If you notice your dog performing any of these behaviors out of character, it may be a sign of nervousness for your pooch.
Dogs have a tendency to lose weight if they have a parasite infestation. If your dog has intestinal parasites infesting its body, they will consume its food and cause unwanted weight loss.
If your dog is suffering from dental problems, he or she may end up losing weight because of it. A tooth abscess or other dental related problem could create excessive pain. This will make it too difficult for your dog chew or eat his or her food. And by cutting back on food intake because of the dental issue, your dog could rapidly begin to lose weight.
Points to Consider before Purchasing High Calorie Dog Food
Prior to buying high calorie dog food, you should keep a few different things in the back of your mind. When a dog adds even a couple of pounds of weight to their body, this is often a major change. You do not want to choose a high-calorie formula that creates harm instead of good by having your dog gain too much weight. So please consider the following information to help your dog gain weight as healthily as possible.
Choose Top-Quality Dog Food
Are you beginning to recognize that your dog is not at its normal weight? You may initially believe that you should give him or her extra food to add additional calories to their meals. This is certainly a smart way to help your dog gain weight, but you also run the risk of going overboard.
Try not to overload your dog with too much food because he or she may have a sensitive stomach. This will create bloating and stomach cramps and other issues that could cause your dog more harm than good.
Instead of blindly increasing the volume of food that your dog eats, you should gradually add a little more and watch your pup to see if he or she begins to gain weight. And always use high-quality dog food that is nutritionally dense, because you can add just a little bit more food without making drastic changes and your dog will gain mass.
Does your veterinarian recommend adding to your dog’s food serving size? Add half of the veterinarian’s recommendation to each serving to increase the daily intake. Or even better, start giving your dog smaller meals that he can feed on throughout the day instead of one or two bigger meals.
Protein Is Critical to Weight Gain
If your dog has lost a massive amount of weight, it’s highly likely that he or she isn’t eating the proper amounts of protein. Dogs need lots of protein to develop muscle mass and maintain it. To achieve the best possible outcome, you should serve your dog food that contains 30% protein at a minimum. But remember that not every source of protein is suitable for dogs. The best protein choices come from animal products like meat. You should stay away from unhealthier protein sources that supply insufficient amounts of amino acids.
High calorie dog foods are an excellent choice because they have ample amounts of omega fats, regular fats, and protein, along with other nutrients that are important to excellent dog health. When buying foods of this quality, make sure to read through the ingredients list. Take a close look at the protein source to make sure it’s a high-quality choice.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Dog owners make a big mistake by changing their diet suddenly and quickly. Remember, your dog didn’t immediately lose weight in a single night. So, you should lower your expectations and not overfeed your dog expecting it to regain its weight in one night.
If you choose to substitute your dog’s regular food with high calorie dog food, you should make this change in phases. Add a small amount of the new food to his regular dog food. See if your dog responds well to the change or not. If you see a positive response, continue adding bigger portions while swapping out the dog food until it’s completely replaced. This will let your dog avoid stomach problems and other issues.
Steer Clear of Junk Food
Junk food is as bad for dogs just like it’s bad for humans. You want your dog eating high quality high calorie food to build muscle mass instead of gaining fat. So, if you purchase treats for your dog, make sure they have low carbs and lots of protein. Remember to keep treats to a minimum and only give them in moderation.
High Calorie Dog Food Reviews
Bully Max High-Performance Dog Food
Reading the ingredients label closely shows us that this dog food is an excellent choice for dogs that are looking to become athletic, lean, and more energetic. You can feed this brand to many different dog breeds. It’s also good for puppies that are five weeks old or older.
Give this to your dog as a supplement or as their main meal. No matter which way you choose, it’s going to give your pup lots of great healthy nutrition. Its chicken meal derived protein is 30% of the meal, and it also has 20% healthy chicken fat. Every cup is 535 calories of pure healthy protein goodness for your pooch.
Purina Pro Plan Sport Performance Dry Dog Food
Does your dog look like it’s starving? He or she will benefit from Purina Pro Plan because this formula will make your dog look and feel healthy and strong. It contains 20% fat, 30% protein, and it’s an awesome choice to feed your dog’s metabolic needs while helping it maintain healthy muscle mass.
The protein is derived from real chicken and gives your dog the proper amount of amino acids for muscle nourishment. Athletic canines will benefit from this formula immensely as well as dogs that are suffering from being underweight. Since the nutrition is concentrated, it helps increase endurance through oxygen metabolism optimization and it’s nourishing your dog’s system to fight back against unwanted free radicals.
Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Dry dog food from Merrick is available in a 25-pound bag and it’s an excellent grain free option to help your dog gain weight. It’s an excellent choice for dogs who suffer from grain allergies and other sensitivities because the ingredients do not create unwanted side effects.
Merrick realizes the value of proper dog nutrition by creating a healthy food that delivers high quality healthy fat and protein. They also created a formula that is sourced from local farmers and contains real whole food. This grain free dog food is perfect for every dog breed at every stage of life. After eating this food on a regular basis, your dog will have no trouble maintaining a healthy weight while developing a healthy and shiny coat.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
Dog owners love this food because it has high calories, it’s high quality, yet it’s very affordable. You can buy four different sized bags of dog food which makes it perfect for all budgets. The 30-pound bag is the most budget friendly option.
This food is also available in multiple flavors. There is fish, lamb, and chicken recipes with lots of calories and protein, which is perfect for dogs that need to gain weight. It also avoids adding soy, wheat, corn, and chicken byproducts along with other harmful preservatives.
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High-Protein Dog Food
Taste of the Wild is a highly trusted brand of pet food. Each cup of their grain free food contains 370 calories and it mimics the food that dogs would eat while living in the wild. In lieu of artificial substances, Taste of the Wild chose to add high quality nutrients to their food instead. It’s a great source of calories, has lots of antioxidants through healthy fruits and vegetables, and even contains peas, sweet potatoes, and other great veggies that provide energy. And the meat that they use is usually a venison and bison formula. Another option is the wildfowl, venison, and boar combination.
Determining if your dog is too thin is the first step toward helping achieve a healthy weight. If your dog is underweight because of a health problem, bring it to a veterinarian to give it medical attention. If its diet needs to change, start feeding high quality high calorie foods like the recommendations shared with you today. They provide excellent nutritional value, lots of protein and healthy fats, and will help your dog build much needed muscle mass while gaining weight.