For the lovers of dogs, the question on which is the best between a skinny and fat body has troubled many. Unfortunately, a fat dog is always linked with proper feeding while its counterpart is considered as starvation, even when it’s not the case. With the two, nevertheless, none of the animals is safe as each has high odds of contracting specific diseases. Read the complete guide to know how to put weight on a malnourished dog.
A fat dog, for example, has high chances of becoming obese, which can lead to health disorders like Arthritis, respiratory disease, and benign fatty tumors. On its end, a skinny dog is often associated with a variety of health issues, including diabetes, intestinal parasites, and malnutrition.
For today’s dog topic, we’re going to focus on malnutrition and how you can care for your affected pet. But before we discuss how to put weight on a malnourished dog, let’s briefly discuss the health condition on what and how it can occur.
What Is Malnutrition And How Can I Diagnose It In My Dog?
Malnutrition (also called malnourishment) is a health condition which affects dogs due to the lack of enough nutrients in the diet. The disorder usually occurs because of poor diet or when the canine’s body is not able to absorb nutrients from food. The former can occur out of negligence or when the dog’s owner has no knowledge of how much food she should give her pet.
In most instances, people often confuse malnourishment with poor nutrition. The two are totally different conditions since poor nutrition involves giving your pooch excess food which has inferior value. This cannot only lead to malnutrition but even obesity.
Getting back to malnourishment, you have to monitor the health of your dog closely to identify if the true cause is you or the canine.
Some of the common signs that tell if your dog is malnourished include:
- Decreased levels of energy
- Contracting infections easily since the body immunity is low
- Inconsistent bowel movements
- Inferior physical appearances, such as visible ribs and shoulder bones
Once you notice these symptoms from your dog, it’s important you consult your veterinary for the way forward. Your pet might be having life-threating infections, such as liver problems or cancer, without your knowledge. The vet will help you diagnose the real reason of malnourishment in your dog. Then she will advise on how you can add some weight to your pet and get him back to health.
Now you know what malnutrition is, let me share with you some tips on how to put weight on a malnourished dog effectively and healthily.
How to Put Weight on a Malnourished Dog
Although treating your malnourished dog is very crucial, you have to remember putting on weight is always easier than bring it down. So, make sure you do it right and in a healthy manner. Some of these ways you can do it include:
Increase Your Dog’s Appetite
Lack of eating is one of the major causes of malnutrition and it mostly occurs when the dog has no urge to eat. Apart from diseases, palatability of the food can also make your dog lack interest in the food. Some of the ways you can make the dog food tastier include warming with hot water or bone broth and adding some potent aromas.
Maintain a Food Journal
Just like you will make a timetable for your calories intake when gaining or losing some weight, the same applies to your dog. A good feeding journal will help you monitor the record of what your dog eats easily and efficiently. Write down the calories taken each day and come to the end of the week, analyze the results and find out what could be the problem.
To enhance your dog’s health you have to give him extra vitamins besides the wholesome food. The additional supplements will also help your pet regain strength faster but you have to make sure there are no other complications caused. The best way you can affirm this is by checking the poop of your dog to see if there’re any signs of digestive upset.
Change Your Dog’s Diet
Once you notice your dog is now eating “normally”, try changing his diet with more energy food. In case you find him uncomfortable with the new food, mix it with his favorite to make it tasty and enjoyable. If your dog is the kind who despises dry food, try making it soft for him or feed him with human food like chicken pieces.
Deworm Your Pet
While trying to fatten your malnourished dog, remember to deworm him as well. Even if the cause of his ill-health state was on the diet, chances are that he could have contracted an internal infection. Consult your veterinarian on the best medication to use and which won’t worsen the feeding of your pet in any way.
Bulking Through Exercise
Exercising your dog is another best way you can increase the appetite of your malnourished dog, whilst building muscle mass. Strenuous exercises like hiking, jogging, flyball, and swimming make your dog burn more energy and demand for more fuel.
Apart from building mass, exercises also help protect your dog from disorders such as diabetes, which tends to be stressful to manage to some.
Note: It’s very possible for stress to make your dog loss appetite, which in turn can cause weight loss and malnourishment. As such, you have to ensure your pet is relaxed and his environment is stress-free and filled with love. After all, even you won’t remain thick if you found your banker has run off with all your life savings.
Now Maintain Your Dog’s Weight
Once your dog is no longer malnourished but nourished to her ideal weight, the remaining job for you is to maintain his weight for good. If you have been giving him snacks and extra sweeties, you can now withdraw them gradually and with meticulousness. Don’t forget the dog is a being and he has his intelligence.
Also, ensure you keep track of your dog’s weight so that you can know when he’s adding or losing some pounds again.