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As a pet owner, it is of the utmost importance to make sure your pet is loved, protected, and well-nourished. Much like humans, your dog's weight can fluctuate for a variety of reasons inside and outside your control: diet, medicines, medical problems, and underlying illnesses just to name a few. While most pets are more likely to become overweight than underweight, it's not unusual for pet owners to find that their animals aren't keeping on the pounds the way they should be. If you're struggling with keeping your dog at a healthy weight, you may be wondering what you can do, and what foods to supplement your dog's diet with to ensure they gain weight and stay healthy for many years to come.
Before adding additional food to your dogs diet, pet owners should rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing their dog to lose weight. If you notice a steady decrease in their appetite, a change in their behavior, or if your dog has been generally healthy in the past and begins rapidly losing weight, consult your veterinarian first to see what steps they recommend.
Dogs that maintain a healthy weight live a much better quality of life; properly fed dogs are happier and typically live longer than those who are underweight. Low body weight and lack of proper nutrition can lead to a host of problems for your pooch such as
There are many things that can play a role in a dog's inability to maintain a healthy weight.
Not feeding your dog often enough or feeding them the wrong food for their breed can play a major part in your dog being underweight. Ensure your dog enjoys his food and that is has all the necessary nutrients for his weight, activity level, and age. Feeding your dog at predictable times can also get him into a routine and force him to eat if he's not going to his bowl often enough himself.
If your dog is particularly active and forgets to eat, his caloric output will be higher than his intake, resulting in weight loss.
If your dog suffers from worms or has a parasite going untreated, that can block his body from absorbing the necessary nutrients he needs to stay healthy. Consult your veterinarian immediately if you suspect worms or parasites, and always make routine appointments a priority to keep your dog in tip-top shape.
Make sure your dog's food, wet or dry, is appropriate for his breed. Dogs are not strictly carnivorous, so finding a dog food that has a mixture of meat, grains, fruits, and veggies is a good place to start. Transition your pup slowly when deciding to try a new kind of food so the sudden change doesn't upset their digestive system. Additionally, when adding high calorie foods to your dog's diet, it's important to not overwhelm his diet with extra fat; slowly introducing foods and supplementing food in between meal times will help him gain weight appropriately and makes it more likely it will stay on.
While low weight in dog's isn't something to overlook, it's not uncommon, and many pet owners find themselves in the same predicament. With dietary changes and patience, your dog will be on the way to a healthy, happy life.