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Dogs may be skinny due to a number of factors. Your dog might be eating a lot but doesn’t seem to gain weight or your dog is refusing to eat. Reasons for being a dog skinny are obvious which include loss of appetite, lack of healthy diet, some medical problem, being thin from shelter, or your dog burns more calories than he intakes. Luckily, you can do so much to help your puppy gain weight.
Different breeds of puppies have varying growth and metabolism rate, so a general weight gain program may not work for all puppies. However, you can try the following to make your puppy gain weight:
Make a visit to vet: This is the very first step you have to take to kick off the weight gain program for your underweight puppy. You have to make sure that your puppy is not suffering from any serious medical condition which is responsible for being the puppy underweight. Also, get a fecal test for intestinal parasites. Parasites may be the reason your puppy is not gaining weight as they eat away the nutrition from the diet you are feeding to your puppy before the dog processes it.
Record puppy’s weight: After the body examination of your puppy, talk to your vet about the ideal weight of puppy. Body conditioning scoring (BCS) can be used to assess how much underweight your pet is. Based on this analysis, you can start an appropriate weight gain program for your puppy. BCS not only tells you the about the weight of your dog but also puts the body frame of your dog in the picture.
Make your dog exercise: A fair amount of exercise adds to the overall health of the puppy. Exercise increases appetite, and you can add an extra meal to his diet easily. But make sure that your puppy isn’t overheating while exercising. You should be well aware of limits of your puppy.
Add an extra meal: If your dog is generally fed twice a day, make it thrice. It is not mandatory to change the diet which you are already feeding, just add an extra meal. Remember that when you are adding an extra meal, you also have to add some more walks to his routine so that he can burn the extra calories you are feeding him. However, you have to do this if you come to know that your dog is thin due to underfeeding.
Also, feed him commercial puppy food. Puppy food has higher calories than the food which is formulated for adult ones. Even if puppies are eating less of this puppy food, they are getting enough calories. Try to make the food delicious by adding topping that will tempt your puppy to eat.
Examine the quality of your puppy food: The quality of food has a great impact on the overall health and weight of the puppy. High quality dog foods have good quality ingredients which offer your puppy proper nutrition required for the growth. Low quality foods contain fillers which are not good for your puppy. Dry puppy food is recommended over wet food as it contains more carbs.
Also, check for protein and fat content on the ingredients label.
Supplement the regular diet: You can also feed some additional food supplements which are safe to be consumed by puppies. Supplementation will provide few extra calories to the dog which will help puppy in gaining weight.
One thing which you must consider during the weight gain program of your puppy is to ensure that your puppy is getting some exercise. If puppy is having a sedentary lifestyle, he may gain weight disproportionately. Walking or exercising with a good diet will help him in gaining muscle mass and toned body.