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Most dogs don’t have a problem wolfing down whatever food you put in front of them. In fact, for most pet parents, it’s a daily struggle to keep their dogs away from food and snacks. But what to do if your pooch doesn’t want to eat regularly and is underweight?
There can be numerous reasons why your dog could benefit from gaining weight. Older dogs may need to gain more muscle mass to stay active, while nursing dogs need more calories in order to produce milk and remain healthy. The only problem is, since there are more overweight than underweight canines, many dog food brands are focusing on dog weight loss formulations, making weight gainers for dogs hard to find. Luckily, you came to the right place. Here, we talk about the best dog weight gain supplements, the reasons why you may want to help your furry friend gain weight, and so much more.
Lexeliums’s weight gainer is packed with flavor to help you to encourage your pet to eat their food more easily. The powder form of this particular appetite stimulant is perfect for mixing with a bit of water to stir into your pet’s dry food. This can not only encourage them to eat their food with more enthusiasm but also provide your pooch with some extra hydration with their meal. Dogs that struggle with their appetite can often become dehydrated as a result. Appetite stimulants can help your pup to develop their usual appetite again, having a knock-on effect on their hydration levels as well.
Lexelium has only nine, very carefully thought out ingredients. Each ingredient has been selected to benefit not only your dog’s eating habits, but also boost its immune system and provide additional support for its overall health. Pooches that may be recovering from surgery or recent illness would be extremely well suited for this stimulant, as it can help them to regain their strength and body weight. And if you’re not happy with the results, they offer a 100% money-back guarantee within 30 days.
Transparent ingredient information available on their website.
All-natural ingredients to help increase appetite.
The powder form is easy to mix with water and dry food.
Ideal for pets recovering from surgery.
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed with a full refund within 30 days.
Boost your furry friend’s daily calorie intake easily and conveniently with this liquid nutritional supplement by PetAg. Dyne is a high-calorie supplement that can be fed orally with a dropper or added to your dog’s regular food or even water. Besides helping dogs gain weight, this supplement also helps increase stamina.
The Dyne supplement is high in fat to help canines pack on those pounds and recover from stress and illness. It’s particularly beneficial for nursing dogs, puppies and performance dogs, although it can definitely be used by any and all underweight canines. The supplement is highly palatable thanks to the vanilla flavor, so it will encourage even the finicky eaters to eat more. Importantly, it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, although there is quite a bit of sugar in there (great for gaining weight though!).
Liquid supplement, high in fat
Helps dogs gain weight and recover after stress/illness
Tasty, easy to use and effective, the MVP K9 dog weight gain supplement is a great way to help your underweight dog bulk up. Full of good fat and protein, this high-calorie supplement can help adult dogs, seniors and puppies to put on some weight and become stronger.
The gainer looks pretty much like a standard protein powder for humans and can be used in an easy and simple way – you just sprinkle some on your pup’s regular food and you’re done. The supplement contains 26% of protein and 56% of fat, so it can help your dog not only put on some weight but also improve the state and look of her skin and coat. The product is a fantastic choice for nursing mothers, underdeveloped litters as well as dogs that have recently had surgery.
Powder gainer, high in fat and protein
Promotes weight gain, improves skin and coat health, boosts immunity
Whether your furry companion has recently had surgery, been through a stressful event or is simply a super-picky eater, the Tomlyn dietary supplement can help him regain his strength. This high-calorie nutritional gel is a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals and is high in fat to help dogs gain weight quickly and easily.
Tomlyn gel is veterinarian formulated to help canines bulk up, become healthier and more energetic. It has a fantastic taste that even the most finicky eater wouldn’t be able to resist, plus it’s enriched with minerals and vitamins. It’s also easy to administer as it comes in an easy-to-use dispensing tube. This makes it perfect for underweight seniors, and adult dogs and sick stressed or working canines.
Pet Care Sciences is a carefully developed range of supplements made to provide your pup with the best possible outcome in the most natural way possible. This weight gain supplement contains only 10 ingredients, all of which have different ways of benefiting your dog. The balanced selection of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins helps to support and encourage the healthy development and maintenance of not only your dog’s weight but its skin, coat, muscles, and joints as well.
The rich, delicious bacon flavor used for this supplement makes it much easier to feed to your pup, especially if they are a particularly fussy eater. Previous customers have left glowing reviews for this supplement, saying it has been the only way they could get their pooch to enjoy their meal properly. Especially with dogs recovering from injury, illness, or surgery. One customer even claimed that this supplement helped their recently diagnosed diabetic dog to regain weight and strength after a period of food difficulty.
Perfect for helping recovering dogs maintain their weight.
If your dog is a picky eater, chances are you’re not able to feed him the healthiest but tastiest of foods. Unfortunately, most highly appetizing dog foods are missing some key nutrients which can negatively affect the health of your dog long-term. Luckily, you can help your pet become healthier and more energetic by giving him supplements such as Muscle Bully vitamins.
These tablets are full of nutrients and vitamins. Each one contains 34 important supplements, including B-group vitamins, vitamins E, A, and D, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and many, many others. It’s a good product if you’re looking for a way to make your dog stronger, bigger and healthier as besides supporting muscle growth, it also helps improve overall health. This supplement is recommended for all ages but is especially beneficial for bully breeds.
Soft, tasty chews perfectly formulated for picky eaters. If you’ve got a pooch that dislikes its usual food and is particularly difficult with medication, you will likely find this to be your best bet. Muscle Bully has packed flavor into these meaty chews to encourage your dog to have some enthusiasm towards their food. There are over 21 key nutrients in the Muscle Bully Puppy Naturals, all of which help your dog to become stronger, as well as supporting their weight, strength, and immune system.
The Puppy Naturals formula was carefully thought of by veterinarians to get the maximum benefit from each chew. All dogs were considered in the development of this supplement including nursing mothers. The nutritional value your dog gets from the Muscle Bully supplements is ideal for all dog breeds. Though the high protein content is particularly helpful with muscular or especially active breeds that work through a lot of energy and need to be fueled properly. Additionally, as a little added extra, these supplements are proudly developed and produced in the USA.
Delicious soft chews for easy administering.
Contains 21 key nutrients to support healthy development.
Contains vitamins and minerals to strengthen immune systems.
Boost your pet’s health and daily calorie intake with Buddy and Lola supplement for dogs. Formulated with protein, fat and other essential nutrients, this weight gainer for dogs is a must-have for skinny dogs, picky eaters, nursing mothers, and puppies.
The supplement contains 29% of protein and 43% of fat, which helps dogs put on weight plus build muscle easily. This tasty maple-bacon flavor formula also contains lots of amino acids and some fiber for gentle digestion, so it’s a good product all-around. Since the gainer is in a powder form, all you need to do is sprinkle some to your pet’s everyday diet and voila.
Powder supplement, high in fat and protein
Contains amino acids
Promotes weight gain, muscle development, healthy skin and coat
Specifically designed to help underweight or underdeveloped dogs gain both muscle and weight. Many dogs are underweight as a result of a reduced appetite triggered by physical discomfort – be it recovering from an illness, experiencing constant pain or discomfort due to underlying problems, or healing from surgery. Muscle Bully’s Gains range has been designed to have the maximum impact on your dog’s weight gain with minimal interference. It’s well known that dogs typically prefer wet food to dry, and fortunately, this supplement comes in a powdered form which can be mixed with water and dry food to create a softer, more appealing meal.
The Gains supplement utilizes whey protein for the most effective result in both weight gain and muscle building and recovery. It is the perfect strengthening weight gainer to help a dog get back on its feet. Using a supplement that does require a prescription is far cheaper than relying on a vet-prescribed diet. Muscle Bully have created a three-ingredient formula, meaning you know exactly what your dog is ingesting, making it a great choice for pooches with sensitive stomachs.
Tasty, nutritious and high in calories, the Vetoquinol gel is ideal for aging pets (dogs and cats!), skinny puppies, working dogs, and finicky eaters. This supplement is high in fat and rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a good choice for all pets suffering from malnourishment.
With a mixture of fat, some protein, minerals, vitamins, and various organic acids, this nutritional supplement can easily help your pet gain weight and increase her energy levels. Because it’s in a gel form, the supplement is super-easy to serve – just squeeze the tube and let your pet lick it off, or mix it with her regular food.
While overweight and obese dogs are more common than underweight pets, there’s no denying there are many underweight dogs. From older canines who can no longer chew properly, to rescue dogs who are malnourished, too picky eaters with no appetite… Every dog is different and can be underweight for a variety of reasons. That’s why it’s important to take your furry friend to a vet and figure out the cause.
However, sometimes, even if you follow your vet’s advice to a T, it can be difficult to help a dog gain weight. That’s where mass gainers for dogs come in – these high-calorie supplements can easily bulk up your pet and help her regain her strength and energy. To help you find the right weight gain supplement for your dog, we’ve prepared this comprehensive buying guide. We talk about the ways you can help your pooch put on a few pounds, as well as how to tell if she is underweight in the first place. So read on, and also check out our FAQ to find the most relevant info on the health of underweight pets.
How to Tell If Your Dog Is Underweight
The best and easiest way to tell if your dog is underweight is to take him to the vet and use body conditioning scoring to objectively access his weight. If for some reason that’s not possible, the following body condition score can help you decide whether you need to boost your pooch’s daily calorie needs or not.
You can see and feel your dog’s ribs. You can also see tops of lumbar vertebrae and even pelvic bones. The waist is very obvious and there is no visible or palpable fat anywhere. Other signs include low energy, depression, thin coat, and red, sensitive gums.
You can feel your dog’s ribs but not see them. The waist is also visible when viewed from above. There is not extra abdominal fat, in fact, abdominal tuck is evident.
Ribs are not visible and are palpable with difficulty. There are noticeable fat deposits over the lumbar area and the waist is absent.
Touch your dog on his sides and try to feel his ribs, waist and other body areas. If he’s healthy but on the thin side, you’ll definitely be able to feel his ribs. Looking from above, you should be able to see an hourglass figure. On the other hand, if your dog is underweight, you’ll not only be able to feel his ribs, you’ll also see them with your naked eye. You’ll also notice a waist indentation when looking from above.
Now that you know whether or not your pet is underweight, it’s time we talk about the benefits of helping your dog gain a few pounds.
Reasons Your Dog May Need to Gain Weight
Just like overweight dogs, underweight pets have a higher risk of multiple diseases. For one, their immune system is weaker than in healthy dogs, which can result in various health issues as well as low energy. Two, without a layer of muscle and a thin layer of fat, your dog is more prone to breaking his bones, joint and tissue injuries and even developing serious bone diseases. In some cases, severely malnourished dogs will start losing their teeth.
Besides physical problems, an underweight pet may also suffer from mental issues, including stress and depression. When a dog feels sick and fatigued most of the time, his mood suffers – his stress levels (cortisol) increase while the level of the feel-good hormone (dopamine) decreases. As a result, depression sets in.
It’s especially important to keep nursing mothers, puppies and rescue dogs healthy and at a normal weight. These dogs are either under a lot of stress or are still developing (sometimes even both!) and need to consume more calories than your average dog – every single day.
How to Help Your Dog Gain Weight
Whether you have an older dog who no longer has a good appetite, a nursing mother who needs more calories in her diet, or a skinny rescue dog who needs to put on a few pounds quickly, a quality weight gain supplement can help. However, a nutritional supplement is just that – a supplement that is meant to be used in conjunction with a regular diet. So don’t rely on a gainer only! Instead, focus on:
Regular feeding schedule
Like humans, dogs are creatures of habit. If you’ve successfully taught your dog to eat two times a day, you can easily teach him to eat three, even four times with a little bit of practice. If you normally feed your pet two times a day (once in the morning and once before bed), add a third meal and a snack. If he doesn’t want to eat his lunch at first, add a little something on top of his regular food – a tasty topper, fish oil or whatever that seems to entice him. Speaking of dog food, make sure you select a product that is higher in calories than normal – foods that are high in both protein and fat are the best way to go.
If dealing with a particularly underweight pup who doesn’t have much appetite, frequently offer her snacks. Most dog treats are very tasty so they work great, but so do some human foods, including salty cooked eggs, cooked fish, peanut butter, etc. And of course, include weight gainers here as well. The best way to put weight on a dog is to give him tasty weight gain supplements with each meal or as a snack.
We know, we know, why should your dog exercise if weight gain is the goal? It does seem counter-intuitive at first, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. If your pet leads a sedentary lifestyle, she may not feel the need to eat more than usual, which is clearly too little in the first place. But if you make sure she has regular physical activity, her appetite will grow and she will slowly but surely start eating more, and as a result, start gaining weight. This can be a bit tricky if your pet is sick or very old, but even a short daily walk is better than nothing.
Best Dog Weight Gain Supplements FAQ:
Q: What are dog weight gainers?
A: A dog weight gainer is a concentrated source of calories, minerals, vitamins and other important nutrients that can help an animal:
Put on a few pounds quickly,
Recover after an injury/illness faster,
Become healthier by boosting their immune system,
Feel more energized and playful.
They’re especially useful for canines who are underweight due to illness or stress as they’re packed with fat, protein and essential nutrients that can help restore health and energy quickly and easily. Puppy weight gain is also super-easy to achieve if you feed both the mother and the puppy with a proper gainer.
Q: How often should I give my dog weight gain supplements?
A: This depends on your dog’s weight and health issues. If she’s very thin, bordering on emaciated (common in rescue dogs), you’ll definitely want to talk to your vet first. They will be able to give you the best answer as extremely thin dogs are at risk of contracting various diseases and health problems and it’s important to act fast and carefully.
Generally speaking though, you can give your pet a weight gain supplement every day, even a few times a day depending on his weight and the supplement of course. Usually, weight gainers are highly palatable so even the pickiest eaters shouldn’t have a problem with consuming them frequently. Since these supplements come in different forms, it’s not hard to find something that works best for your pet. Some dogs really like pastes or gels, others want only their regular food (hint, mix it with a powder gainer!) and some don’t like to eat pretty much anything. For such dogs, tablets are ideal – you just pop one in their mouth and you’re both done. Another plus is that they don’t require chewing of any kind – ideal for older canines. For a wider selection of choices, check out our supplements for senior dogs guide.
Q: Can I give my dog whey protein?
A: If your dog could use more muscle on her body but is not getting enough protein through her food, supplementing her diet with whey protein may seem like a good idea. After all, whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids and is the most bioavailable protein there is – it must be good for dogs too, right? This is actually a tricky question. While there are definitely worse foods to give your dog, whey protein is not exactly the best choice either. According to most veterinarians, because whey protein is not found in nature but derived from coagulated milk in the production of cheese, it’s a not a suitable food for canines.
However, since many dog weight gainers already contain some whey protein, we believe that giving your pet just a little bit of this supplement is no big deal. Still, whey protein alone is far from being an ideal supplement for dogs, especially for underweight or sickly pooches who besides protein, also need lots of fat in their diet as well as various vitamins and minerals. That’s why weight gainers specifically formulated for canines are a much, much better choice than whey protein.
Q: Can exercise help my dog gain weight?
A: Regular exercise can not only help your pooch gain weight but is vital for her health. Being physically active increases your dog’s appetite, which is crucial if you want her to gain weight. However, if your pet leads mostly a sedentary lifestyle, don’t go running around the park all of a sudden – instead, gradually increase the intensity of controlled walks until your dog is used to the new exercise regime. Then, increase the load even more – besides regular walks on a leash, try some swimming too, light running, as well as various playtime activities. What’s important is that your dog has some type of physical activity every single day.
Our Top Pick
Finding and compiling the list of the best dog weight gain supplements wasn’t an easy task. As we mentioned, because there are much more overweight than underweight dogs, most brands nowadays focus on foods and supplements that promote weight loss, not weight gain. Still, there are quite a few products that if used regularly and properly can help your pooch pack on muscle and fat. The best of those are included in our Top 10 list, so whichever product you choose, we’re certain neither you or your dog will regret it. But if you’re looking for our recommendation, it is the Bully Max Muscle Builder Canine Supplement. This supplement is packed with protein and contains a seriously wide array of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients that can help skinny, sickly and stressed dogs become healthy and energized again. Since the supplement is in a tablet form, it’s super easy to administer, which is a huge plus for picky eaters and canines who don’t like to eat a lot. As a bonus, the supplement is inexpensive and approved for all breeds and ages, including puppies over 7 weeks.
Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.