How to Fatten Up My Dog with a Human Food or Dog Food?

how to fatten up my dog

For many pet parents, the idea of fattening up their pup is appealing. However, it can be confusing to know what types of food are safe for dogs and how much they should eat in one sitting. Sometimes your dog will be on a strict diet determined by their veterinarian, but other times you may want to increase their caloric intake yourself.

The most common worry for most dog owners is obesity, yet there are times when a dog may need to gain weight. For example, many homeless canines in shelters need to gain weight. In other situations, your dog’s health or mood can cause him to lose weight.

Underweight dogs are more likely to suffer from various illnesses, so let’s get the answer to the questions:

  • how to fatten up my dog?
  • human foods to fatten up a dog?

Promoting weight gain for dogs can be easy if you do it the right way. You should not give your dog fatty foods because that will only lead to too much weight gain. The key is to find a healthy balance between muscle mass and fat.

Here are some tips for doing so safely! If you have any questions about whether or not something is appropriate for your furry friend, to stay on the safe side, always consult with a vet first before trying it out!

You might also like our recent review of the best training collar for stubborn dogs and the best dog food for older small dogs with few teeth which is available on a separate page.

But before moving forward, identify the problem.

Why Wouldn’t My Dog Gain Weight?

You may be trying to help your pup gain weight, but he just isn’t putting on any pounds. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should give up hope—some of the most common reasons a dog wouldn’t gain weight are:

1. Picky Eaters

It’s pretty common for dogs to have extremely picky appetites. If your pup refuses his food, you probably won’t see any weight gain until he starts eating normally. This may involve a dietary change or simply more time—a couple of weeks isn’t too long of a wait if it means healthier pups.

Picky eaters tend to be the worst around mealtimes and let’s face it: we usually feed them at set times each day. So lack of appetite could be a matter of your pup not feeling hungry at dinner time or wanting something more interesting.

Your dog may like treats more than his food, which is why it’s essential to try giving your pup their meals as treats. If your dog eats treats but not food, you might need to try mixing it up with some of the suggestions below.

2. Sick or in Pain

If your pup is sick or in pain, he probably isn’t going to be very interested in eating. If your dog’s lack of appetite is due to a health problem, their weight will start dropping quickly, putting them at risk for other medical issues. Therefore, you must take a trip to the vet if you suspect any health issues.

Your dog may not be interested in their food even if they seem healthy. When this happens, you must offer their favorite treats or meals as often as possible until they start eating normally again.

3. Inferior Food and Dietary Needs

Some dogs have medical conditions that require special diets to maintain their health and weight. If your dog’s diet is restricted in some way, their weight may start dropping. This could be because the food they eat is not packed with enough calories or energy to sustain them.

While dogs cannot usually tell us how they feel, you must consult with your vet before dietary changes. Your dog’s health and well-being will always be your number one priority.

Cheap food does not provide enough energy, so as a result, the required energy is consumed from muscle mass, so it’s also a bigger problem.

4. Stressed

Stress and nervousness can cause a dog to lose their appetite. If your dog is going through stressful situations—like traveling, moving, or adjusting to a new home—they may not want to eat. In times like these, you must provide your pup with as much comfort as possible.

This could involve staying with them during the transition, providing them with extra exercise, or giving them yummy treats as a distraction.

5. It Could Be Age-Related

Dogs are considered senior citizens by the time they are seven years old. As dogs approach their golden years, they may lose interest in food and pack on less weight than when they were younger.

This is a common problem among smaller breeds, and senior pups in particular need to make sure that they maintain a healthy diet to keep their energy up.

6. Behavioral Problems

Food aggression, anxiety, or any other behavior issues could cause your dog to lose weight. For example, if your pup is anxious about eating before you or getting enough food, they won’t want to gain weight.

You may also notice that your dog tries to hoard food and eat it later when no one is around. These behaviors can be tough to break, and your dog may lose weight until you can fix the problem.

When we talk about dogs, we cannot leave without talking about how they are as loyal as a friend could be. So, if any of these problems sound familiar, don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to help your pup gain weight, and there’s no reason that they can’t be your happy, healthy pup.

How to Fatten Up My Dog?

So, now that you know the problem let’s look at how to fatten up your dog.

1. Start Slow

To ensure that your dog healthily gains weight, start the process gradually. Providing your dog with too much food may lead to a slew of issues. One of the most frequent is a refeeding syndrome.

When you feed more food rapidly that malnourished dogs cannot digest, that can result in more significant problems.

2. Increase their Calories Gradually

To ensure that your dog is consuming more calories than they’re burning off, you need to increase the number of calories in each meal while cutting back a little on how often they eat. This will provide them with a surplus of calories and help their weight to go up. It’s only possible with the high-calorie dog food.

You can add up to 10% calories in the very first week and another 10% in the next week. Follow this routine until he comes on the ideal calories intake.

3. Dog Will Eat When He is Hungary

If your dog is hungry, he will eat, whether it’s the food you leave out for them or their favorite treats.

Before you offer food to your dog, make sure that they are hungry and give them the things they like most! If you notice that they won’t eat when it’s not a special treat time, you have to find out the cause of their lack of appetite.

4. Healthier Dogs Love to Eat

Dogs who are in good health eat happily. Make sure that the food is packed with enough calories and vitamins for your dog to stay healthy.

Packs of low-quality food contain nothing but fillers that have no nutritional value and because of this, they may not be providing your pup with enough energy. Changing their diet can help them gain weight if it’s a bigger issue.

5. Dogs Like Yummier Food

Dogs are naturally used to a meat-based diet, and the best thing for a dog is chicken! It has most of what a dog needs. But it’s boring! Most dogs will appreciate some extras added to their meals if they get fed the same thing every day. You can use human food to fatten up your dog, and it’s cheaper than buying dog food.

Protein is the most important thing for a carnivore like a dog, and you can add protein to your dog’s meals by adding: tuna, shrimp, sardines (with bones), catfish.

You can also add vegetables such as carrots, beans, or kidney beans to their meals. You can add oatmeal or cream of wheat to their food; it will beef up the meal.

It would help if you alternated between feeding your dog wet and dry food to avoid any problems related to alimentation.

6. Calorie-Dense Food

A food that has more filler than calories does not contribute towards gaining mass and getting good health. It only satisfies the hunger of dogs. Instead, use calories dense food which consists of more vitamins and protein.

A sizable portion of protein is necessary for your dog. So instead of a banana, try some Cheerios or other whole-grain cereal which has more protein. Not only that, but choose high-protein foods like beef, chicken, lamb, or fish. Real meat sources have greater amino acids than byproducts or meals.

Target a good which has 20% more calories as compared to your existing one.

Some dog foods can be calorie-dense, so don’t forget to check the label before you buy it!

7. Add Food Supplements in their Diet

Fish oil, flaxseed, or oatmeal can be added to your dog’s food for extra nutrients.

Some people use Vitamin B1 supplements as well as brewer’s Yeast to give their dogs a boost.

Various types of food supplements are available in the market, which can be used to fulfill the nutrients requirement. But keep in mind all of those are not made equally, you need to select carefully or take advice from your vet.

8. They Eat More When They Are Less Stressed

Dogs like their owners often will eat when they have stressed if the person in charge of them is not around.

You can help your dog gain some weight by making sure that you will always be there with him and eat his meal.

Alternatively: You may also add a little amount of actual food. For example, adding cooked beef or chicken to your dog’s diet is an excellent way to boost calories. In addition, vitamin B-rich foods are great—Vitamin B aids in the digestion of the meals that your dog consumes and converts them into energy.

9. They Need Your Help

Dogs like to stay lean, and if they are allowed to do, they will not eat enough to gain weight.

If you notice your dog is losing weight, you must take action as soon as possible and start feeding him high protein, high-calorie food that contains more calories than what he gets now. You can also add some cream or honey to his food to make it tastier.

10. Split Up Meals, So They Are Less Filling

Usually, dogs like to eat three meals a day. But by splitting it up into six smaller meals, their bodies will get used to the new routine, and they won’t feel hungry throughout the day. This also speeds up the metabolism, which helps them gain weight easier.

Make sure you stick to the same times every day when you divide up their meals. This will teach your dogs to follow your routine. Then, when mealtime approaches, they’ll begin to feel hungry, which will assist them in finishing everything.

11. Don’t Leave Food Out All The Time

Dogs will eat until they are full if their food is made available all the time. If you leave food out for your dogs throughout the day, there is a chance that your dog keeps eating it.

If you don’t feed your dog on a schedule, he may lose his appetite at mealtimes, worsening his weight loss problem even more.

12. Feeding Habits and Exercise Patterns

You should keep a check on how much your dog eats. If he doesn’t finish his meal, then take it out of his bowl after fifteen minutes.

Dogs are usually restless when they are hungry, so don’t expect them to lie still. Instead, you can put their food in an empty box or jar and watch them eat. If you notice that your dog is not finishing his meals, split them into smaller portions.

Give your dog some exercise during the day if possible. For example, take him for a walk or play fetch with him. You can even bring out their favorite toy to get them moving. This will ensure that they are burning off more energy which will result in faster weight gain.

13. Lastly, Provide a Homemade Meal

You can also cook your dogs a homemade meal. Of course, you will have to provide more calories than usual, but you have more control over the ingredients.

Boil some rice and add in chopped-up hot dogs or ham. Your dogs will love this tasty treat.

Make sure that every single ingredient has a significant amount of calories so he gains weight faster.

Meat with fat is a healthy choice for your dogs, not just humans. Cook fatty meat and remove the skin from chicken or turkey before you feed it to your pet.

Many commercial dog foods on the market have been specifically designed to give your dogs all of their nutritional requirements while causing them to gain weight rapidly.

14. Monitor Weight Gain Progress

It is important to create a chart for your dog’s weight gain progress. You can keep track of his gains with the help of this chart and try to make sure that he does not lose or gain too much weight in any one day.

Monitoring your dog’s growth will allow you to adjust their diet quickly, preventing drastic weight changes. It is a good practice to repeat the process every few weeks until your dog gains enough weight.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is a Healthy Weight or Not?

The best way to know if your dog is at a good weight or not is to look down on them from the top. They should have an abdominal tuck that isn’t too noticeable.

If you can see this tuck, it means they are underweight.

If there is no tuck and their belly hangs low, they are probably overweight. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to tell the difference between obese and just overweight dogs by looking at them from the front or sides, so you must check their underside to be sure.

Human Foods to Fatten up a Dog

You can certainly give your dog some of the same foods you eat as long as they are healthy, unseasoned, and not fried. However, for those dogs who need a little extra weight on them to get up and moving, here are some suggestions for fattening up your dog without packing on too many extra calories or increasing their already elevated risk for cancer.

We suggest only offering human food to your dog based on the following proteins; it will bring you quick results.

  • Beef
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Lamb/Mutton
  • Duck
  • Venison
  • Rabbit
  • Fish (Salmon, Whitefish, etc.)

Best Protein for Dogs with Allergies

  • Pork
  • Duck
  • Elk
  • Bison
  • Lamb

Most dogs are constantly hungry, and they often find themselves begging at the dinner table while their owners enjoy their meal. While this may seem cute at first, it can also cause problems in the long term significantly.

Do not offer all the foods; just cook food for them separately.

Frequnetly Asked Questions

Wrap Up

When you start bringing these tricks into reality, your dog will automatically gain weight without going through any hassle. There are also a few other things that you can do to make sure that your dog gains weight as fast as possible.

For example, if your dog is fussy about his food, try mixing it with soup or water. If the weather is not conducive, then try heating it in a microwave for 10 seconds. This way, your dog will gain weight fast.