Top 5 Dog Foods For Weight and Muscle Gain
While most dogs don’t have a problem scarfing down their food, there are definitely several dogs that are in serious need of some added weight and muscle. Luckily, there are quite a few different foods, methods, and techniques to help your dog put on those much needed extra pounds!
The first important thing to note is that not all calories are good calories. This is true for humans as well, imagine trying to gain muscle by eating cheap fast-food every day, it may seem to work at first, but it will also open the door to all sorts of health complications.
It’s important to check with your vet before starting any type of program or modification to your dogs diet. Some health conditions can affect your pups digestion, causing them pain and nausea upon eating. This in turn makes them very unlikely to eat even though they may be very hungry. This is because they can start to associate food with pain.
List of 5 Best Dog Foods For Weight Gain
The best dog foods contain a mixture of high quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Under the direction of your veterinarian it’s recommended to add one meal per day for a couple of weeks and see how your dog handles it.
1. Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food
Bully Max High Performance Dog Food is exactly what it sounds like, premium dog food that’s guaranteed to pack on the pounds. In addition to having an ideal protein to fat ratio, there are hundreds of reviews of people claiming how their dogs go nuts for the taste of this dog food. In addition to being healthy, it’s important to find dog food that your pup will enjoy and actually eat, that’s why Bully Max is our #1 choice.
Bully Max High Performance
- 535 Calories/Cup
- Ideal Protein-Fat Ratio
- Ideal Vitamin and Mineral Content
- Packed With Essential Omega-3 Oils and DHA
- Corn and Wheat Free
- Dogs Love The Taste
- Somewhat Pricey
Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, ground sorghum, pearled barley, brewers dried yeast, whole ground flaxseed, menhaden fish meal, egg product, menhaden fish oil, potassium chloride, salt, l-lysine, lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product dehydrated, propionic acid, vitamin e supplement, ascorbic acid, organic dried kelp, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin b12 supplement, vitamin a acetate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin d3 supplement, folic acid, iron sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, natural flavor
2. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food Original Turkey & Chicken
Wellness Core Grain Free is our second best dog foods for weight gain, and comes with an optimal balance of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. This product is grain free and comes packed with real chicken and turkey. There are no preservatives, cheap fillers, dyes, artificial flavors, or any other hard to digest ingredients.
Our favorite part about Wellness Core Dog Food is the inclusion of probiotics and digestive aids. If you want your dog to gain weight and muscle then you need them to digest their dog food properly! It comes in at a very high 36% protein and 18% fat, making it an optimal choice for anyone looking to add some muscle weight to their pup.
Wellness Core Natural Grain Free
- 481 Calories/Cup
- Excellent Protein-Fat Ratio
- Probiotics and Digestive Aids
- Ideal Vitamin and Mineral Content
- Packed with Anti-Oxidants
- Completely Grain Free
- Most Expensive On Our List
Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Chicken Liver, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Broccoli, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Parsley, Apples, Blueberries, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
3. Nature’s Logic Dry Dog Food (Chicken)
Nature’s Logic is an excellent choice for dogs with poor digestion. It has the most digestive enzymes out of any of the products on our list, contains probiotics, and is gluten free. This is one of the best dog foods for weight gain and is so clean that even dogs with very weak digestion should be able to handle it. There are also no preservatives, dyes, artificial flavors, or cheap fillers included in this premium dog food! Nature’s Logic also contains the most calories per cup out of any of the choices on our list.
Nature’s Logic Dry Dog Food (Chicken)
- 551 Calories/Cup
- Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
- Gluten Free
- No Synthetic Chemicals or Dyes
- Great for Poor Digestion
- Only One Type Of Meat
Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pumpkin Seed, Yeast Culture, Spray Dried Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Montmorillonite Clay, Dried Kelp, Spray Dried Porcine Plasma, Dried Tomato, Almonds, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Carrot, Dried Apple, Menhaden Fish Meal, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Apricot, Dried Blueberry, Dried Spinach, Dried Broccoli, Dried Cranberry, Parsley, Dried Artichoke, Rosemary, Dried Mushroom, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Bifidium Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Pineapple Extract, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract.
4. Purina Pro Plan Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
Purina Pro Plan is an excellent all around choice of dog food for weight gain. It comes packed with omega 3/6 fatty acids, calories, and high quality ingredients. There are no dyes, preservatives, or artificial flavors, and the food is grain free. This dog food can often be found in stores, which can make it more convenient than ordering on line if you’re in a pinch. It contains 456 calories per cup, making it high calorie dog food at a decent price.
Purina Pro Plan Natural Grain Free
- 456 Calories/Cup
- Omega 3/6 Acids
- No Bad Ingredients
- Easy To Digest
- Affordable Price
- Slightly Lower Calories
- Lower Protein
Ingredients: Turkey, chicken meal, lentil flour, canola meal, beef tallow naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, cassava root flour, dried egg product, dried yeast, pea protein, pea starch, chicken, dried beet pulp, pea fiber, natural liver flavor, glycerin, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, mono and dicalcium phosphate, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganese proteinate, zinc sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, chicory root inulin, Vitamin E, choline, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-3, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-5, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-6, folic acid, Vitamin D-3, Vitamin K, Vitamin B-7, and dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Lamb and Rice
Blue Buffalo Lamb and Rice is the last pick on our list, but still an excellent choice of dog food to gain weight and muscle. It comes packed with anti-oxidants, omega 3/6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Like the previous choices on our list, Blue Buffalo contains no wheat, corn, or soy. It also contains no artifical flavors, dyes, or preservatives, making it a great choice of dog food for your pup.
This is a great choice for dogs trying to gain weight and muscle that are allergic or sensitive to poultry, as Blue Buffalo does not contain any at all.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Lamb and Rice
- 508 Calories/Cup
- Excellent Taste
- No Chicken(good if sensitive)
- No Bad Ingredients
- Lower Quality Forms of Vitamins
Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Tomato Pomace (source of Lycopene), Natural Flavor, Potatoes, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Calcium Carbonate, Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Potato Starch, Dried Chicory Root, Caramel, Mixed Tocopherols (a natural preservative), Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, L-Lysine, Garlic, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Oil of Rosemary, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Spinach, Pumpkin, Barley Grass, Kelp, Parsley, Turmeric, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Taurine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, L-Carnitine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Beta Carotene, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.
How Do I Know If My Dog Is Underweight?
Aside from looking at your dog, there are other simple methods to determining your dogs weight. If you can easily see or feel their skeleton, they are most likely underweight. This is especially true if they seem to feel uncomfortable from light to medium strength petting.
If they like being pet on their head, but don’t seem to like being pet near their spine, ribs, or hips, they are most likely experiencing some discomfort due to a lack of fat/muscle shielding their bones.
The best way to determine whether your dog is underweight is by taking their measurements and weighing them on a scale. This can often be difficult as most dogs don’t quite fit on your typical bathroom scale, and are prone to wonder off quickly.
If you can comfortably pick your dog up, you can weigh yourself, then pick your dog up and weigh your dog + yourself, and subtract the difference. This is an easy way to determine your dogs weight without frustration.
Another way to tell if your dog might need to gain some weight is by looking at their physical and mental behavior.
- Does your dog appear to be tired and low on energy?
- Is your dogs coat excessively matted and lackluster?
- Does your dog seem to be sad or depressed?
- Does your dog sleep more than is typical?
If you answered yes to any of these questions than your dog has a high possibility of being underweight, especially if they are already look skinny.
Maximizing Your Dogs Nutrition
Bulking up your dog isn’t as simple as giving them more meals or the best dog food for weight gain. The most important factors to keep in mind are the quality, ingredients, and vitamin content in the food you choose. Giving your dog food that has been enriched with vitamins multiple times a day can make them sick and unlikely to eat. The same is true if your dog is missing key vitamins and nutrients. This is why it’s important to choose balanced dog foods and meals for your dog.
Tips and Tricks If Your Dog Won’t Eat
You buy the perfect dog food for weight gain, read all the advice you can, and yet your dog still refuses to eat, what then?
This is a fairly common situation in underweight dogs, and it’s important to get to the bottom of it quickly. It’s important to get your dog checked out by a veterinarian to make sure there are no underlying health problems first. If the vet has given your pup a clean bill of health it’s time to use some tips and tricks to get rid of their picky eating habits.
1. Try Heating Up Your Dog Food
Many dogs prefer warm dog food, much like humans prefer eating many meals warm. In addition to raising the temperature of your pups meal, heating it will help to release the smell of the food in the room, helping to increase their appetite. This is generally best when done with wet dog food, as heating dry dog food doesn’t seem to be quite as effective (but is still worth a try).
2. Try Softer Dog Food
Some dogs have sensitive teeth, and a dogs teeth only get more sensitive as they age. Try feeding your dog softer food as hard food might be irritating their mouth. As mentioned above, soft dog food is often more fragrant and enticing, and often does the trick at getting your stubborn pup to eat.
3. Limit Their Treats
Oftentimes we don’t realize how many treats we are giving our dogs. If you feed your dog too many treats they may become accustomed to the taste of the treat and no longer have any desire for their regular food. A good rule of thumb is to never feed your dog more than 5% of its daily calories in treats. If your dog has become accustomed to frequent treats you may even have to stop giving treats altogether, this will force them to eat their meals and often fixes the problem.
4. Consider Using Toys
Try purchasing a meal dispenser toy that lets hard food fall out as your pup plays with it. This combines the fun of play with the task of eating, and oftentimes they will go straight for the food as it takes more work to get their meal. Another option is to try switching their bowl or feeding device.
5. Provide More Exercise
Sometimes your dog might not be hungry because they are too sedentary. This is especially true if they are not being given regular walks and adequate play time. Working breeds such as German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois need large amounts of exercise. Going for a couple of daily walks with these breeds will not suffice, they need to be given a task and worked fairly hard to generate a large appetite.
6. Stay Consistent
Don’t give in to your pups demands for treats. If they are refusing to eat, and have been checked by a veterinarian, they might just be stubborn. If you have tried all of the tips above, and tried switching to different brands of food, it’s time to be more strict with your dog. Reward them for eating with some extra playtime, but don’t give in to their demand for treats.
7. Try Home Cooked Meals
If all else fails, try home-cooked meals. Plain meats and oils make excellent and well rounded meals for dogs. Sometimes this is all they will eat, as it’s often easier to digest than pet food with additives. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian before feeding your dog any homemade meals. There are lots of foods that can be harmful to dogs, so be sure to do your research and adequately prepare before feeding your dog any human food.
8. Try Mixing Foods
If your dog loves wet food, but won’t touch dry food, try mixing wet food with a small portion of dry food. If your dog continues to eat the wet/dry mixture with no problems, you can slowly increase the amount of dry food until your pet is eating only dry food.
Overall, there are many different choices available that are the best dog food for weight gain. As mentioned above, it’s important to stick to high quality premium foods, as cheap foods have tons of unhealthy fillers that can cause your pet to develop bad health conditions. We hope you enjoyed the article, feel free to comment below with your favorite choices! Be sure to check out our article on how to make your dog more muscular here.