The Best Diet for Underweight Dogs

Struggling to keep your underweight pup at a healthy weight? You’re not alone. Find out which diet is best for your pup with this helpful article. Discover the best nutrition for your furry friend, and keep your pup happy and healthy.

Quick facts: Best Diet For Underweight Dogs

  • ✅ Feeding a balanced diet of high-quality, nutrient-dense food can help achieve the right calorie balance for an underweight dog (PetMD).
  • ✅ Adding healthy fats such as animal-based fats (e.g. chicken fat or fish oil) or vegetable oil to your dog’s food can also help increase their caloric density (Veterinary Partner).
  • ✅ Homemade food can also be a great way to help an underweight dog gain weight, as long as it is nutritionally balanced (PetMD).
  • ✅ Divide your dog’s daily food intake into smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day (American Kennel Club).
  • ✅ Calorie dense treats such as cooked eggs, cheese, yogurt, and lean meats can help your dog gain weight (Veterinary Partner).


One of the most common problems with dogs today is being underweight. An underweight dog can lead to a variety of health issues. Poor nutrition and a lack of exercise can lead to your dog having a weakened immune system and becoming more prone to diseases like obesity, diabetes, and even cancer. Therefore, it’s imperative that you know the signs of an underweight pup and the proper diet for them in order to keep them in good health.

In this article, we will discuss the best diet for an underweight dog as well as provide tips on how you can make sure your pup maintains a healthy weight. By following these guidelines, you will be able to keep your pup happy, healthy and at an optimal weight level:

  • Provide your pup with a balanced diet that includes lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
  • Feed your pup multiple smaller meals throughout the day instead of one large meal.
  • Incorporate healthy snacks and treats into your pup’s diet.
  • Make sure your pup is getting enough exercise.
  • Monitor your pup’s weight and adjust their diet accordingly.

Nutritional Requirements

Proper nutrition is essential for all dogs, but especially for those that are underweight. It is important to understand the dietary needs of an underweight dog in order to provide them with the best possible diet that will help them achieve healthy weight and optimal health. Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional requirements for underweight dogs:


Protein is a crucial component of any diet, especially for underweight dogs. High-quality protein sources provide essential amino acids to help maintain strong muscles, healthy skin and coat, and strengthen the immune system. Look for foods that list a named meat source as the first ingredient on the label (e.g., chicken, lamb, beef).

Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for underweight dogs and can be found in high-quality fish sources such as salmon or sardines. Many canned pet food formulas contain both higher protein levels as well as added omega-3s to help support nutritional requirements of your dog.

Additionally, it is important to note that treats are not a replacement for a nutritionally balanced meal and should be limited when feeding an underweight dog.


Though many overlook the importance of fats in a dog’s diet, they are an essential component for providing energy and promoting a healthy coat and skin. Fats also aid in the absorption of some vitamins and minerals.

The best sources of fat for dogs are fish oils, olive oil, flax seed oil, coconut oil, and other animal fats such as chicken fat. Be sure to use high-quality animal fat sources as they can provide more nutrition than vegetable oils.

The best way to ensure that your dog is getting enough fat in their diet is to make sure they have fresh sources of meat or fish in their meals that already contain healthy fats. If needed, you can also add small amounts of healthy fats to your dog’s meals by:

  • Drizzling a small amount over their food
  • Adding it separately as an ingredient

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals, which are essential nutrients, are essential for all aspects of health in dogs. When it comes to an underweight dog, vitamins and minerals play a vital role in helping promote healthy weight gain.

Vitamins A and D, for instance, help regulate metabolism and create strong bones and teeth. B Vitamins aid in the metabolism of fats so they can be used as energy instead of stored as fat. Calcium is also important for growth and muscle development as well as overall bone health. Magnesium helps with muscle growth by aiding the absorption of other vitamins and minerals needed for muscle synthesis while zinc helps maintain proper immune system functions.

Ultimately, it’s important to make sure your underweight dog is getting all necessary vitamins and minerals through an appropriate diet to help encourage healthy weight gain.

Feeding Tips

Feeding your underweight dog the right food is essential for helping them reach and maintain a healthy weight. There are a variety of foods available, so it can be difficult to choose the right one for your pup. It’s important to understand the nutritional needs of an underweight dog, as well as the potential risks associated with a low-calorie diet.

In this article, we will discuss the best diet for an underweight dog and provide some helpful tips on how to feed them:

Increase Meal Frequency

If your dog is underweight, increasing his meal frequency may help him gain the weight that’s needed for a healthy life. Start by breaking up their meals into smaller, more frequent feedings throughout the day. Feeding in this manner helps to stimulate your pup’s appetite and provides them with a steady supply of nutrients throughout the day.

A good rule of thumb is to feed adult dogs twice a day and puppies three to four times per day if they are showing signs of being underweight. Additionally, ensure your pup has access to fresh water at all times as hydration is essential for health and overall well-being.

It’s also important to ensure any food you feed your pup meets their nutritional requirements and does not contain too many fillers like corn or wheat. High-quality, nutrient-dense foods can be beneficial in helping them reach their ideal weight range.

Offer High-Calorie Snacks

Offering high-calorie snacks to an underweight dog can be beneficial in helping them gain weight. Such snacks should contain quality ingredients and be calorie-dense. Some options include:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cheeses like cheddar or cottage cheese
  • Fatty fish like salmon or tuna
  • Natural peanut butter

When offering snacks to your pup, it’s best if you serve them in between meals. That way your dog can enjoy a snack and get those extra calories without overdoing it with the amount of food they eat during mealtime. Snacks should also be balanced with some type of vitamin and mineral supplement from the vet to help ensure that your pup is getting all the nutrients that they need for optimal health while gaining weight.

Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods

When a dog is underweight, it’s important to provide them with the most nutrients packed into their meals as possible. While a balanced diet is still important, underweight dogs should be fed a diet that includes more nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods are high in calories and vitamins and minerals. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include:

  • Lean proteins such as turkey, skinless chicken breast, salmon, white fish and eggs;
  • Carbohydrates such as sweet potato;
  • Healthy fats such as olive and canola oils; and
  • Fruits and vegetables like apples, spinach and carrots.

It’s also important to feed smaller-sized meals throughout the day rather than one large meal so that the dog receives all of the necessary nutrients without getting too full. This will also help prevent upset stomachs since it may be difficult for an underweight dog’s digestive system to handle larger portions at once. Supplements can also be added to your dog’s diet in order to help them gain back some of the weight they have lost due to lack of proper nutrition or illness.


A diet of highly nutritious meals can promote health and wellness in underweight dogs, but in some cases, supplements can help too. Supplements can provide additional nutrition and help to fill in any nutritional gaps, but it’s important to use them responsibly.

Let’s explore the benefits and drawbacks of incorporating supplements in your dog’s diet:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that play an important role in a dog’s health and well-being. They help with cell growth, brain development, and overall heart health. These fats are found in certain types of fish and seafood, as well as certain plant sources like flaxseeds and walnuts.

Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation caused by arthritis or other joint problems. For underweight dogs, omega-3s can also be beneficial because they help to maintain muscle mass. When combined with a diet plan for underweight dogs and regular exercise, omega-3 supplements can help your pup reach their optimal weight.


Probiotics are beneficial bacteria or microorganisms that help restore a healthy microbiome balance in the gut. They can help regulate digestion and immunity, as well as inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria and pathogens. Probiotics can also help underweight dogs get the nutrients they need.

Most commonly, probiotics are found in food form such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented foods, but supplements are available too. When giving probiotic supplements to your dog make sure to consult with your veterinarian before starting any new supplement program. Also note that if you do give probiotic supplements make sure they are formulated specifically for pets since human formulations may be too potent. Probiotic supplementation can help restore gut health which will lead to improved nutrient absorption and better overall health for your dog.

Digestive Enzymes

Digestive Enzymes are a type of supplement that can be beneficial for underweight dogs. They help the body break down food and absorb the nutrients that are necessary for your pup to gain weight. Digestive enzymes come in different forms, such as powder, tablets or capsules, and can be found in most pet stores. When giving this supplement to your pup, it is important to follow the dosing instructions on the label.

Digestive enzymes work by breaking down proteins, carbohydrates and fats into smaller molecules so they can more easily be absorbed by the body. They also help support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption which can lead to improved overall health and successfully gaining weight in underweight dogs. Additionally, digestive enzymes are beneficial for dogs who may have trouble digesting certain foods due to allergies or other sensitivities.


In conclusion, the best diet for underweight dogs is one that combines a balanced, nutrient-rich diet with adequate amounts of exercise. This diet should include high-quality protein sources to encourage muscle growth and repair, along with nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables for healthy digestion. Keeping your dog’s weight in check is key to a healthy lifestyle and overall well-being.

If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health, talk to your veterinarian. Together you can find the best nutrition plan for your pup!

FAQs about: Best Diet For Underweight Dogs

Q1: What is the best diet for underweight dogs?

A1: The best diet for an underweight dog is one that is high in calories and protein. A balanced diet should include lean meats such as chicken or fish, as well as carbohydrates and healthy sources of fat. Additionally, it is important to make sure your dog is getting enough vitamins and minerals, which can be supplemented with a multivitamin or mineral supplement.

Q2: How often should I feed my underweight dog?

A2: Generally, underweight dogs should be fed two to three meals per day, spaced out evenly throughout the day. It is important to never overfeed your dog, as this can cause health problems. Additionally, it is important to ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.

Q3: What is the best way to help my underweight dog gain weight?

A3: The best way to help your dog gain weight is to ensure they are eating a balanced, high-calorie diet. You may also want to consider adding a nutritional supplement to your dog’s diet to ensure they are getting all of the vitamins and minerals they need. Additionally, regular exercise can help underweight dogs gain weight in a healthy way.

Similar Posts