For every pet owner, ensuring their dog’s optimal health and well-being is a top priority. But when faced with a pup that may be underweight or lacking in energy, you may ask: “What’s the best way to help them gain weight healthily?”
The best ingredients in dog food for weight gain include high-quality proteins such as chicken, beef or fish, which provide the necessary amino acids for muscle development. Healthy fats, like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, support brain and skin health and offer a dense source of calories.
Complex carbohydrates from sources like sweet potatoes or brown rice provide sustained energy, while fiber-rich ingredients ensure a healthy gut for optimal nutrient absorption. Essential vitamins and minerals also affect your dog’s overall health and metabolism.
But, with so many dog food options on the market, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. By understanding different food types, their benefits and how they impact weight gain, you can make a decision tailored to your dog’s needs.
Dry Food: A Trusted Choice
Dry food for dogs has been a longstanding favorite among dog owners. Its high caloric density, convenient easy storage and long shelf life can make it a staple part of your dog’s diet.
When it comes to underweight dogs needing to pack on a few extra pounds, the quality and composition of the kibble is critical. Open Farm’s dry food is an excellent choice to support your pup’s health.
High protein content: One of the primary components required for healthy weight gain is protein. Open Farm’s dry food is formulated with high-quality, ethically sourced proteins like grass-fed beef, cage-free poultry and sustainably caught fish. This high protein content supports muscle growth and repair, essential for underweight dogs.
Caloric density: Open Farm’s recipes are designed to be energy-dense, ensuring every bite delivers the necessary calories an underweight dog needs to gain weight.
Beneficial fats: Fats are an excellent source of concentrated energy. Open Farm’s dry foods incorporate healthy fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which aid in weight gain and support a shiny coat, healthy skin and overall well-being.
Digestibility: It’s not just about what’s in the food; it’s also about how well it can be absorbed. Open Farm focuses on using ingredients that are easily digestible like millet, oats, and quinoa. This ensures that underweight dogs can extract and absorb maximum nutrients from their meals.
Whole food ingredients: The inclusion of whole vegetables, fruits, legumes, and ancient grains ensures a broad spectrum of nutrients. These ingredients contribute calories and provide essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support overall health and immune function.
Tailored formulas: Recognizing that every dog is unique, Open Farm offers different dry food formulas. Whether it’s puppies, senior dogs or small breeds, our range allows pet owners to find the perfect match to suit their underweight dog’s needs and taste.
Bone Broth: A Nutrient-Packed Supplement
Known for its health benefits, bone broth is a versatile and nutritious supplement that can support various facets of a dog’s health, from improving joint health to boosting immunity. Its combination of nutritional richness, appetizing aroma and easy digestibility makes it a favorite choice for many pet owners aiming to boost their dog’s health and weight.
Here are a few of the great benefits of bone broth for dogs that need a nutritional boost:
Rich in nutrients: Open Farm’s bone broth is slowly simmered to extract vital nutrients like amino acids, minerals and collagen. These nutrients support joint health and gut function and provide a nutritional boost to underweight dogs who may be missing out on essential elements in their diet.
Increased appetite: Bone broth’s delicious aroma and flavor can be a game-changer for dogs with reduced appetites. Pouring a little Open Farm bone broth over their regular meals can entice hesitant or picky eaters to consume more of their food.
Easy digestion: Open Farm bone broths are free from additives and fillers, making them easy for even sensitive tummies to digest. This is crucial for underweight dogs who might struggle with gastrointestinal issues.
Caloric boost: While bone broth isn’t as calorically dense as some other supplements, it can still provide an added caloric kick. When used as a topper for other nutritionally-rich foods like dry kibble or RawMix, it complements the meal and ensures a well-rounded nutrient intake.
Hydration: Adequate hydration plays a subtle yet crucial role in weight regulation. Bone broth is an excellent source of hydration. Ensuring an underweight dog is well-hydrated can improve its overall metabolism and nutrient absorption, supporting healthy weight gain.
RawMix: Re-Wild Your Pet’s Diet
The trend toward raw feeding stems from the desire to align our pets’ diets more closely with what their wild ancestors might have consumed. RawMix dog food, with its blend of natural ingredients, provides a biologically appropriate meal for your pup.
Here’s how it fuels weight gain in underweight dogs:
Nutrient density: Open Farm’s RawMix is packed with high-quality proteins, fats and other vital nutrients in their most natural form. This ensures that underweight dogs receive a concentrated source of nutrition in every bite, promoting weight gain.
Bioavailability: The ingredients in freeze dried raw diets are often more bioavailable than in some processed foods. This means that dogs can extract and use more nutrients, which is especially beneficial for underweight dogs who need to make the most of every meal.
Palatability: The rich flavors and kibble in Open Farm’s RawMix can appeal more to many dogs than traditional kibble. This heightened taste may stimulate appetite in pickier eaters or those dogs who might be hesitant to eat for health reasons.
Digestive health: Open Farm’s RawMix includes ingredients that support a healthy gut, such as organic vegetables. A healthy gut can improve nutrient absorption and overall digestion, which is essential for dogs needing weight gain.
Customizable portions: RawMix allows pet owners to adjust portion sizes more flexibly. This is crucial for underweight dogs as they might require more substantial portions or multiple small meals throughout the day to increase their caloric intake.
Freeze Dried Foods: The Best of Both Worlds
Freeze dried foods offer a fusion between the benefits of raw diets and the convenience of dry kibble. Combining the benefits of raw feeding with the convenience of preservation, freeze dried foods are nutritious and easy to store. However, many pet owners wonder, “Is freeze dried food good for dogs?”
Some benefits of freeze dried food for your underweight pup, include:
Optimal nutrition: Freeze drying preserves the nutritional integrity of the ingredients, ensuring dogs receive the vitamins, minerals and proteins in their most potent form. This is essential for underweight dogs that need nutrient-dense meals to facilitate healthy weight gain.
Hydration flexibility: Open Farm’s freeze dried foods are rehydrated using water or bone broth. This enhances palatability and ensures underweight dogs receive added hydration, which aids digestion and nutrient absorption.
Appetite appeal: The aroma and taste of freeze dried foods can be enticing for dogs that may be hesitant eaters. When rehydrated, these foods mimic the texture and flavor of fresh food, boosting picky eaters’ interest in their food.
Portion Sizes: Getting it Right
In addition to choosing the right type of food, you also need to serve the correct portions to help your dog gain weight. Many dog owners grapple with the question, “How much should I feed my dog?”
While base guidelines on dog food labels serve as a starting point, underweight dogs often need additional calories and nutrients to regain a healthy weight. Start by offering slightly more than the recommended portion size for their desired weight, then closely monitor their progress, adjusting the portions based on weight gain and overall health.
Regular consultations with a veterinarian can provide a more precise feeding regimen, ensuring your dog gains weight healthily and sustainably.
Charting a Nourished Path
When trying to help your dog gain weight, choose high-quality foods, incorporate nutritious supplements like bone broth and regularly monitor their progress. Always collaborate with a veterinarian to ensure you’re making the best choices for your furry companion. Explore Open Farm’s full range of dog food products to find a nutritious, sustainable option for your pup.
This article is meant only as an example meal with fully balanced nutrition, please reach out to our customer experience team if you have any questions about your pet's own unique circumstances! To ensure these products are a good fit for your pup, we also recommend consulting your pup's vet about any new supplement or diet changes, especially if there is a medical concern. They should be able to help as you and your vet know your pup's medical history best!”