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Very skinny dog, need to fatten him up

(20 Posts)
somebodythatiusedtoknow Tue 09-Dec-14 14:25:27

My dog is naturally slim but has slipped into underweight and bony territory recently.
The nurse at the vets agrees I need to fatten him up but in the past he has had a sensitive stomach if I overfeed.

I feel very guilty that he has ended up this way.

Any tips on fatty, proteiny extras I could give him on top of his normal food (good quality dry and still on puppy food as he is 10 months).

OP’s posts: |
CarbeDiem Tue 09-Dec-14 15:14:11

Cottage cheese - my rescue pup is still quite sickly and still mostly on a home made diet and she loves it, her weight is going up nicely.

Natural yogurt.

Try just a tablespoon at first to make sure there's no upset tummy as some dogs are lactose intolerant so stick to the natural unsweetened versions of both.

Scrambled or hard boiled eggs.

I also make her home made treats - her favourite.... I boil liver (She's not fussy it can be pigs or chicken) then I bake it until quite dry on the outside then thinly slice it. I bag portions and freeze it.
She goes crazy for it - it's like puppy crack smile

Banana - she enjoys it fresh and dried given mostly as treats.

LoathsomeDrab Tue 09-Dec-14 15:35:08

How many times a day are you feeding him? Splitting his food ration into more meals and slightly increasing the amount given in each meal might help negate the effects of overfeeding.

Maybe have a look at different foods as well, I know Millies Wolfheart do several mixes which are specifically designed for dogs that struggle to keep weight on.

There's also 'satin balls'. I've never tried them but a lot of doggy people absolutely swear by them for getting weight on skinny dogs. There are loads of recipes for them online.

My breeder friend absolutely swears by raw non-lean mince for getting weight on skinny pups.

somebodythatiusedtoknow Tue 09-Dec-14 16:20:51


I will look at these ideas.

Prefer pre-made food really as we don't have meat ourselves.
He is having two meals a day and we dropped lunch a few months ago but I have now added it back in with a mini meal then. I'll also up his main meal quantities. Once or twice we have accidentally given him a double dinner and his poop has been fine with that.

I was following the quantities on the dry food packets and our trainer's advice but maybe he has a fast metabolism. He also gets quite frantic on walks/ when he sees people and runs very fast so maybe he just burns it off faster than average.

OP’s posts: |
daisydotandgertie Tue 09-Dec-14 16:23:03

Most dogs are skinny at 10 months. I'd not worry too much about it.

What are you currently feeding? What breed is he?

CarbeDiem Tue 09-Dec-14 16:24:51

Prefer pre-made food really as we don't have meat ourselves

For the love of Christ please don't attempt the liver thing then, I'm a meat eater and the smell makes me want to barf smile

Chrismoosemama Tue 09-Dec-14 16:51:25

I'd agree with daisydot. 10 months is around the age that a lot of breeds get that gangly, scrawny teenage look, as they've grown in size, but not yet developed the adult muscle tone that will give them a more filled out look.

I have Lurchers, so they're naturally svelte anyway, but my younger lad tends towards bony, despite eating like a horse and my vet always says she'd rather a dog was slightly skinny than fat, especially when they're still juvenile and their bones and joints are developing.

You could add in some healthy fats. We're veggie too, but mine get a tin of sardines in tomato sauce regularly, they love it and it's full of healthy fats. Perhaps he could have sardines for his lunch?

Eggs are another good one. Given raw with the shell on (better done outside) or boiled/poached/scrambled.

I would usually advise lamb breast to put weight on a dog, but if you're not keen on feeding actual meat then that's out.

What brand of dried food is he on?

Chrismoosemama Tue 09-Dec-14 16:52:28

Oh - and I'd second not doing anything with liver if you're a sensitive vegetarian. I make liver-cake for mine, but not without a lot of retching along the way. blush

somebodythatiusedtoknow Tue 09-Dec-14 17:16:34

He has a mix of Barking Heads fish and Wellbeloved lamb/ rice.
I've just ordered some Millie's Wolfheart Endurance mix - just a small quantity to try and see if his stomach is ok with it.

In the meantime I'll do egg and can give him some cooked lamb etc.
I have got some duck strips too that he likes.

Happy to give him meat and I eat it when out but the rest of the family don't so I don't cook it and don't want raw meat knocking about the house.

The vet nurse did seem to think it wasn't just normal 10 month old skinniness but that might explain why he has gone from pretty thin to too skinny then.

OP’s posts: |
Chrismoosemama Tue 09-Dec-14 17:30:44

Barking Heads is good stuff. Not so keen on Wellbeloved's myself, but it's still streaks ahead of a lot of foods.

Is he a breed that typically has a lean body and/or very light coat? If he is, he could be burning off extra calories due to the drop in temperature. In which case you may just need to up his intake to get him back on track and perhaps get him a coat for the coldest months of the year.

When ,y younger boy started to look even leaner than usual I knew it was time to buy him a warm winter coat, as he'd outgrown the one he had last year. Sure enough, he's put the weight back on, without me adjusting his diet, so was obviously just working hard to stay warm.

somebodythatiusedtoknow Tue 09-Dec-14 17:42:24

Oh good point about the cold! He has a coat but I haven't used it much.

I'm definitely going to up the food though but hope that it doesn't come out as dodgy poo...

OP’s posts: |
Floralnomad Tue 09-Dec-14 18:29:52

Mine has Barking Heads lamb ( bad hair day) and lilys Kitchen wet ( tray) , I find if I feed him the recommended quantity of Barking Heads he puts weight on so perhaps switch from the fish to the lamb variety . Why do you feed a mix of 2 kibbles ?

SimoneAdriaan Tue 09-Dec-14 18:36:05

Tripe! its great for underweight dogs. I don't like meat and buy these from pets at home so I just defrost and give raw, no touching meat for me. I also second cottage cheese, and going for lamb kibbles rather than chicken/fish, and sticking to just one kibble.

Chrismoosemama Tue 09-Dec-14 22:23:28

My first thought before I opened the thread was tripe - but despite knowing how great it is for dogs, I just can't stomach it, so mine are sadly deprived. blush

Definitely one of the best options for adding a few pounds to an underweight dog though.

Debbie40dogs Sun 29-Apr-18 21:29:34

Hi, I need advice, I have taken on my neighbours dog approximately 7 weeks ago, we always noticed that he was skinny and were glad that we got to take him. It's only when we got him over to our yard that we realised his spine, hips and ribs are very prominent, we have been feeding him 10 slices of Wholemeal bread, raw burger meat/heart and a raw egg x twice a day for 7 weeks and he isn't gaining any weight at all, any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated

fivedogstofeed Sun 29-Apr-18 21:57:52

Tinned sardines in olive oil have always worked for my very skinny dog ( in addition to 2-3 meals a day).
Raw eggs as well, and a dash of salmon oil.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 29-Apr-18 22:55:50

Just wrote our a long message and lost it all <sigh>

@Debbie When did the dog last see the vet? The weight loss / lack of gain may be due to a heavy worm infestation, or something more serious.

I'd also cut out the wholemeal bread from the diet. There's a good reason why good quality dog foods tend to advertise themselves as being grain free, and when I switched my dog from the cheap and nasty dog food that contained a lot of grain/cereals to something better quality, he went from being on the edge of underweight to a good weight that the vet is happy with. Feeding raw is meant to be done as an all or nothing thing (ie all raw or all cooked) so you'll need to decide which one you want to do. is an excellent resource for identifying good quality and good value dog foods - often those that aren't heavily marketed, so you're not paying for the advertising.

On a related note, don't forget to update the microchip. It's a legal requirement nowadays, and when I got mine I discovered that he was registered to someone three owners ago (!!) despite me having been told otherwise by his most recent owner. If you don't have the number the vet can scan your dog and give it to you, and then you just need to contact the relevant chip company. Have you been given the vaccination records? If not, or if some jabs have been missed, that's another reason to go to the vets, as boosters will be needed. Both issues I had when I rehomed a dog from a friend!

Anyway, congratulations on your new addition! I'd prioritise a trip to the vet followed by switching diets. Let us know how you get on smile

TropicPlunder Tue 01-May-18 17:58:52

My skinny minnie has beef mince, eggs, sprats added to her food. Peanut butter kongs as extra. She was not a great eater so these super yummy things definitely helped with that. Now of course, she won't eat without these

Debbie40dogs Wed 02-May-18 14:08:03

Thank you all so much for your kind advice, we have given him a strong wormer (drontal) I think that you're right, we will have to take him to the vets, I pray that nothing is wrong as he is only 4 years old.
The previous owner said that they had been to the vets when he was approximately 2 years old and had a lot of different blood tests done due to bad skin however since we have started this diet his fur is starting to grow back in places confused, I will keep you all updated and thanks again smile

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 02-May-18 19:13:11

Thanks for the update smile Fur loss can be due to all sorts of things - I knew one that had lost it due to stress and when rehomed to a more suitable environment it all grew back - nothing to do with the diet in that case. Still can't say I'd suggest a diet with so much bread in it even if her fur is growing back!

Drontal good, and will treat most forms of worms, but do be aware that it doesn't offer protection against lungworm, which can be fatal. I only learned this one by chance from my vet, who recommended Advocate (or a generic alternative brand of the same wormer) instead.

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