How to Fatten Up A Malnourished Dog – Safe, Effective, and Fast Methods

A dog who has lost more than 10-percent of body weight is a malnourished dog. You can see the ribs and the legs and hip joints are very prominent. Malnourished dogs also have thin skin which makes the dog look like a skeleton.

These are just symptoms of malnourishment that you can see. A malnourished dog can suffer from dehydration, organ dysfunction, and neurological ailments. At its core, a malnourished dog needs proper nutrition to recover. With time and proper care, the organs will start to function normally, metabolism will boost, and the skin and coat will look shiny and healthy.

So if you’re taking care of a malnourished dog, these are the things you can do to increase your dog’s body weight and prevent diseases.

Do A Few Tests Before

The first thing you do need to do as soon as you find a malnourished dog to feed is to take him or her to the vet. A few blood tests and a body health check-up will let you know exactly what’s wrong with your dog.

The vet will then prescribe a few medications as a part of the dog’s recovery diet.

Heart disease, respiratory failure, deficiencies, muscle loss, etc. The vet will check for all these health conditions to provide an adequate and accurate diagnosis.

Following that, you can add a variety of safe and healthy foods to fatten up a malnourished dog. Such as…

Nutrient Supplements

Your dog needs minerals and vitamins in every meal. There are many ways of obtaining that in natural and dog food. However, with a malnourished dog, you need to act fast and get better health results quickly.

That is why buying vitamin and mineral supplements is necessary.

You should also consider amino acid glutamine and omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplements. Omegas are essential nutrients for a malnourished dog. It boosts recovery and contributes to proper muscle growth and blood formation.

For healthy cells to multiply, amino acid glutamine is also very essential. Your dog will feel more active and less weak and fatigued day by day.

Feeding Digestible Food

Digestible foods for dogs help them eat chew and digest food easily – especially when they are not used to eating. Digestible foods also have many health benefits because they are directly absorbed into the body.

In each serving of normal dog food, a small percentage of it is converted to waste. While the majority of the food is absorbed by the body as nutrients, proteins, and carbs.

For a malnourished dog, you need fully digestible food to do its magic. This means your dog will recover faster and gain weight in a short span of time. You can buy digestible foods for puppy, growth, and recovery.

Once your dog looks and feels fit and active, you can switch to normal dog foods as their staple diet.


Probiotics improve a dog’s digestion and metabolic activity. There are several different types of probiotics. It depends on the number of bacteria added to each probiotic. They are also available in various forms such as powder, capsule, and chewable.

Behind each probiotic label, you will find the right dosage according to your dog’s weight. It includes information about how often to feed and how much.

Simply said, probiotics are not dangerous for dogs. If you want a natural probiotic, you can buy dog-friendly yogurt as live cultures live in them. Yogurt is beneficial for your dog because it has certain similar bacterial strains found in probiotic supplements.

1-3 teaspoons per day for a small to giant, large-breed dog. You can adjust the dosage according to your dog’s height, weight, and nutritional needs. Or consult with a vet to get the correct dosage and frequency.

High Protein Intake

Make sure you provide your dog with a high-protein meal once or twice each day. This means looking for natural protein sources such as chicken. If you want to skip feeding meat, you can also include eggs.

Foods that are not processed in preservatives, artificial fillers, etc. are good for your dog. It’s best to stick to natural, uncooked sources of proteins such as raw eggs.

The right time to increase your dog’s protein intake is during breakfast and lunch. You can mix boiled shredded chicken with rice or a raw egg mixed with rice during lunch. This should keep your dog’s stomach full and appetite satiated.

Proper Hydration

Dehydration in dogs can lead to malnourishment. And it also contributes to many other diseases concerning skin, metabolism, digestion, immune, and organ failure.

Water makes it possible for the body to absorb the nutrients that a dog consumes in food. If your dog is dehydrated, it might cause indigestion, vomiting, and nutrient deficiencies.

The minerals in water are responsible for facilitating proper muscle function, balancing the body’s pH, and lots more. And due to dehydration, it can cause a severe loss of appetite, lethargy, and constant panting.

Monitor your dog’s water intake accurately. If your dog refuses to drink water, add electrolytes to his diet.

You may also consider taking your dog to the vet for an IV drip. By administering IV fluids, the dog’s body is flushed with fluids that are healthy. And it also replaces fluid that is causing damage to the dog’s liver and immune system.

Final Thoughts

If your dog looks malnourished and is showing symptoms of it, it’s important to follow the tips in this article to get your dog to good health. Caring for a malnourished dog is not easy. To know how to fatten up a malnourished dog is a significant step in that process.

A healthy weight contributes to proper digestion, a strong immune system, and good skin and coat health. Determine how many calories your dog needs to maintain a proper weight and smooth digestive system.

It might a take while before your dog has completely recovered from his phase of starvation and dehydration.

Being malnourished means being deprived of the optimal nutrients the body needs. So making sure you provide your dog with the proper calories, proteins, vitamins, and minerals daily is important. And this article will show you how you can do that in different, healthy ways.

Lisa Thompson

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