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July 28, 2020

How to Put Weight on a Dog with Sensitive Stomach

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A fur baby with a sensitive stomach can be stressful, and adding weight-loss to that makes it even more so. I know because I went through this with my own canine bestie. After a lot of research, and making some simple changes to his diet, we managed to get that weight back on in no time.

Is a prescription diet the only way to put weight on my dog with a sensitive stomach? Absolutely not!

There are many easy changes you can make to Fido’s diet that doesn’t involve a costly prescription.

Here’s an in-depth guide on how to put weight on a dog with sensitive stomach.

Treating Your Pup’s Sensitive Stomach

If you already have his sensitive stomach under control, then that’s great! If not, Fido’s problem could very easily be his solution. When pets aren’t feeling well, it tends to affect their eating habits. Make sure to check in with your vet if you notice any troubling symptoms, as they could be a sign of a bigger problem.

There are many reasons why your dog might have a sensitive stomach:

  • Food allergies/intolerance
  • Stress
  • Overeating/eating too quickly
  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Chronic disease
  • Parasites

Suppose your pup isn’t interested in his food because he’s stressed about a new house visitor, or because his belly is rumbling from those sticks he ate earlier. In that case, it’s best to conquer that obstacle first. 

Dog paws near a bowl of dog food

Switching to a High-Quality Dog Food

High-quality dog food is a must-have for getting your furry friend to gain some weight. All dog food is not created equal. Many types of dog food are packed full of fillers.

These ingredients can irritate your furry friend’s tummy, and keep them from getting the quality nutrients they need to maintain a healthy weight.

When searching for commercial high-quality pet food for your animals, it can be beneficial to look for one made specifically for dogs with sensitive stomachs. These types of dog food tend to use ingredients that are easier to digest.

It’s important to mention that the best way to switch dog food is a slow process. Mix a small amount of new pet food into a portion of the old food. Slowly increase the amount over the course of about seven days. Be careful and watch for any sign of stomach upset after each feeding. Rushing the process can be very messy for you and very uncomfortable for your pet. Take it from a gal that learned the hard way. 

Finding the Right Formula

It can be challenging to find a suitable diet for a dog with a sensitive stomach. The great news is many brands make formulas specifically for a dog with stomach sensitivities.

Senior dog in front of dog bowl

Senior dog food recipes will be formulated to ease the typical problems of old age. Usually, it will be high in fiber to support gut health and be low calorie to avoid obesity. This formula would not be suitable for a puppy or sporting dog that requires a high-calorie diet.

If you have a puppy, then you should look for the best dog food for a puppy’s sensitive stomach. It will have more of the stuff he needs, and less of the stuff he doesn’t. The same can be said about a senior dog or a sporting dog.

To give your pet the best chance at weight gain, make sure the food he’s ingesting is suitable for his age and lifestyle. 

Offering More Food

There is a recommended serving on the back of every dog food. Adding an extra serving, or even a half-serving should help your pup’s numbers climb. 

You can add this extra helping to your dog’s current feeding schedule, just be careful as some dogs can’t handle being too full and can throw up. That isn’t very helpful to the goal we want to achieve and let’s be honest, that’s never a thing a pet parent wants to have to deal with.

Another option is to add an extra scoop to their bowl a couple of hours before or after their breakfast or dinner scoop. Spacing out the time between feedings will give your pup the chance to digest breakfast before scarfing down their extra helping. 

Boost Your Kibble

Did you know that not all human treats are off-limits to your dogs? Mixing in a scoop of pet-safe peanut butter or a boiled egg (or two) to Fido’s food bowl is a great way to help him put on some much-needed weight. As an added bonus, boiled eggs are also known to help calm a dog’s sensitive stomach.

This is an especially great trick to use on picky pups and geriatric dogs. Since senior dog food tends to be low calorie, adding extras to his bowl will heighten his overall calorie consumption. 

Boosting your kibble may be the best way to ensure your dog cleans his plate. 

Colorful dog treats

Amp Up the Treats

Treats are a great way to show your pup you love him, but they can also be helpful for weight gain. Chances are you’re already giving your dog some tasty treats, why not also make those treats work to your advantage?

Giving your pup a few extra treats won’t hurt him, and can actually help him put on a few extra pounds.

I recommend using treats that are made for sensitive tummies to avoid stomach upset. 

More Exercise

I know what you’re thinking. Exercise? Isn’t that for losing weight? Not necessarily. Dogs tend to be leaner animals. A Lot of their weight comes from muscle, not fat.

Geriatric dogs can especially benefit from extra exercise as they tend to lose muscle mass at a higher rate.

Dog not feeling well

A little more exercise can be a great tool to use to get your pet’s weight up. Exercise also aids in digestion. So ya know… two birds one stone. Just make sure you aren’t overdoing it and causing a calorie deficit.

More exercise paired with a high-quality dog food will not only have Fido feeling better but looking better as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my dog to eat with a sensitive stomach?

Make sure that the food isn’t the cause of their stomach sensitivity. If the food makes him feel ill, then he may show little to no interest in eating it. If your dog is just picky, then mixing in a tasty treat with his kibble may be a good way to get him more interested in dinner.

How do you know if your dog has a sensitive stomach?

The typical symptoms for a dog with a sensitive stomach are excessive gas, nausea, or diarrhea. However, The only way to know for sure is to have your pet seen by a licensed veterinarian. 

What can I feed my dog to fatten him up?

Boiled sweet potatoes, boiled or scrambled eggs, cooked white rice, and dog-safe peanut butter are all good treats you can give your pup to gain weight.

Aiden Taylor

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