How to put weight on a dog?

I have a nervous labrador who can’t put on any weight due to running it all off with nervous energy. I don’t want people telling me that a fat dog is unhealthy, I just want a dog that is normal weight and does’nt look like it lives in an under-developed I can’t see her ribs. She is on 4 feeds a day plus porridge at breakfast. The vet has classed her as very healthy but thin. Has anyone else had this problem?

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16 Responses to How to put weight on a dog?

  1. Bug says:

    Some dogs like people are just thin. Be happy you lab is thing most are not. She will get wider as she gets older. If the vet says she is healthy tell the people to stuff it.

    or you could just give her lots of cookies.

  2. <(^.^)> Huggle says:

    Give her a few more extra cups of food. Or feeding her people food helps too.

  3. a gal and her dog says:

    Work on her anxiety problems. Exercise her, even when you feel she should be gaining weight. This should keep it a bit healthier. A dog that is healthy may still have some visible ribs, but I understand your concern. Did your vet give you any tips?

    You may want to call a dog trainer or take her to a socialization class, depending on her nervousness.

    Good luck!

  4. Josh H says:

    Maybe if you could find out why she is so nervous you try to calm her down or something.

  5. ♥Nobody♥ says:


  6. Cammie says:

    Be sure to have her checked for diabetes.

    To gain some weight, put her on puppy food.It has more calories than adult food.

    Good luck

  7. Kim J says:

    Are you sure she is too thin rather than just thin? Are you going by the breed standard? It could be that she’s ok the way she is and is just smaller than the standard.

    If you can’t see her ribs and her hipbones aren’t protruding like little bumps, she’s probably just naturally smaller.

    In order to add weight, you need to add calories or lower her expenditure of calories. Are you feeding her 5 times a day?

    That is probably helping her metabolism to stay high. Can you make it 2-3 times a day instead? Adding some butter or fresh cream to her porridge will add calories — I think fat gets maligned but we need fat in our diets (and fewer carbs). I would add more calorie-rich foods that are protein and fat like meat and cheese. I know that goes against the conventional wisdom but I think the cw is wrong much of the time.

    Your vet is probably surprised to see a healthy, lean dog! If she’s young, she will naturally slow down in a few years and you may end up with the opposite problem.

    I think it is a good idea to work on her nervousness. Larger breed, lean, deep chested dogs that are thin and nervous tend toward bloat as they get older.

  8. Chelsey says:

    if u want to put wait on ur dog then u have to feed it bout 4 times a day.

  9. Daniel M says:

    i bet your dogs food has corn and/or wheat in the first three ingredients, that would be why

  10. Kristin B says:

    A healthy dog should show about 3 ribs. So it’s normal to see her ribs, if you think she’s severely malnourished, try putting extra yummies on her food, like chicken brother, or cottage cheese or something she’ll enjoy so she eats more.
    Also, if your dog is super active, switch to a high protein diet that is specially formulated for active dogs.

  11. SuzieBox says:

    Try switching her food. I’m personally fond of the Flint River Ranch food… but I think it’s online only, kind of pricy but worth it. It’s good stuff & baked to order so it’s fresh for your girl. All human grade quality food. Oh, I think you can even order free samples on some sites. Just do a google search for it. If nothing else, you’ll get some freebie samples that your gal will love. 🙂

  12. FT. WORTH GROOMER says:

    I rescued a basset hound that looked real third world. It took about eight months to get him to look lean. My vet recommended BilJac puppy food – eventhough he was not a puppy. It’s been two years and he finally looks healthy. Good luck!

  13. Sandy O says:

    What kind of food are you giving her? Is it full of "fillers"instead of good nutrition? Most dog foods have "fillers" and to much protein . To much protein,I have found with my dog, is the cause of nervous energy. Switch to an organic food and see the difference. And then some dogs are just high strung and won;t gain weight.

  14. roman says:

    i hav e thae same problem with a great dane he is healthy as can be and we free feed (food down all the time we even added things to his food… but to no avail he is so thin i can see all his bones … give your dog some time labs are known to be fat when they get older in a little time she will fill in.

  15. madi512 says:

    first and foremost, make sure you are giving your dog a healthy food. Nutro and eukanuba both have formulas for high energy dogs. Some pet foods are mainly fillers that is why they are less expensive but if you are just concerned with the weight, you should try a food that is formulated for dogs with high energy. I have boston terriers, jack russell terriers, and a lab/doberman/border collie mix. These are all very high energy dogs. You can also try what is called free feeding which means that you allow her to eat when she feels she needs the energy. Also, I have been told that porridge is not exactly the best food to give a dog if you are looking to put on weight. It tends to bind the ingredients. I haven’t tried it personally so that is what I was told by a friend who was going to school for veterinary medicine.

  16. beleasha says:

    Feed her some dry food, also try adding an egg to her wet food & 2 tablespoons of milk powder

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