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2022 Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup

Best Dog Food For Weight Gain

We all want our furry friends to be in great shape – not overweight or skinny. Normally, a dog’s body weight is a good indicator of the dog’s health, particularly in underweight dogs.

Surely, a dog’s diet has a lot to do with achieving a healthy weight. Many skinny dogs don’t get enough protein and nutrition from their diet, which is why they have low body weight. However, if a dog is swiftly losing weight, a serious health condition could be the cause.    

In this article, we'll talk about skinny dogs and how we can help a malnourished dog safely gain weight. We will also discuss a dog’s food role in bulking up an underweight dog as well as the best dog food for weight gain.

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OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR BEST DOG FOOD FOR WEIGHT GAIN

[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 2
  • Composed of 88% meat protein
  • Sourced and Made in the USA
  • Nutrient-dense recipe for all life stages
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 4
  • Made in the USA
  • Nutrient-rich kibble
  • Contains real chicken
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 2
  • Complete and balanced recipe
  • Made of the finest ingredients
  • Slow cooked in the USA in small batches
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →

What To Look For In The Best Dog Food For Weight Gain

The best dog foods can certainly help your underweight dog in gaining weight. High-fat, high-calorie dog food should do the trick.

But there are some qualities that cannot be ignored. Don’t be surprised if some vets recommend puppy food for your underweight adult dog. Puppy food is normally high in protein and healthy fats that can help your pup gain weight. 

They may also prescribe high-performance dog food, which is usually formulated for working dogs. This type of dog food is also typically high in protein, fat, and caloric contents. To help you in buying dog food for weight gain, we listed the main qualities to look for in weight gain dog food.

High in Protein

Whether or not your dog needs to gain weight, she needs protein to be strong, active, and healthy. But a high-protein diet is especially critical for underweight dogs. Protein is vital for a healthy muscle mass in dogs among other health benefits.

As the protein load works on a lean muscle mass, the dog also starts to gain weight. As a rule of thumb, the ideal protein load in dry dog food must be at least 30% and at least 10% for wet dog food.

High in Fat

Normally, we wouldn’t recommend high-fat levels in dog food. Healthy fats in a dog’s diet are helpful for a dog’s health. But for a healthy dog, just the right amount of fats is needed.

For skinny dogs, however, the extra fat load can help largely in bulking them up. For dry food, we recommend a fat content of about 18% to 25%. For wet dog food, a minimum fat content of 6% is sufficient.

It is also important to choose foods with high-quality fat sources such as chicken fat, fish oil, coconut oil, and others instead of unnamed sources such as animal fat preserved or poultry fat.

High in Calories

Dog foods with a high caloric content can certainly help in canine weight gain. High-calorie dog food is recommended by vets to induce a healthy weight gain in dogs that need to add a few pounds. The ideal caloric content for dry food is at least 3800 kcal per kilogram. And for wet dog food, the minimum is somewhere around 900 kcal per kilogram.

Highly Palatable

Your pooch may be a picky eater. This is why palatability is so important in a dog’s diet. Even the best dog foods won’t matter if the dogs don’t eat them. Find out your pup’s preferences by buying dog food in small packages of two to three choices. 

Complete and Balanced Nutrition

Apart from the protein, fat, and caloric contents, dogs also need essential nutrients to be healthy. Dog foods with essential vitamins and minerals are necessary to prevent health issues.

Choose dog foods that comply with AAFCO nutrition standards. Moreover, if gastrointestinal issues are causing weight loss, probiotics in dog food can help support healthy digestion.

All-Natural Ingredients

Nothing beats dog food with all-natural components. The best dog foods for weight gain only use natural ingredients from the high-quality animal and plant-based sources. Avoid diets with artificial ingredients, typically found in cheap commercial pet foods.

Fresh Food Options

Aside from the best dog foods for weight gain presented in this article, you may also opt to try some of the homemade-fresh recipes available online that offer all-natural and freshly-made food.

One great option is Ollie Foods, which offers human-grade and minimally-processed recipes that your skinny pups can benefit from. 

Ollie has four recipes to choose from, three of which have a sufficient 7% crude fat load – Beef with sweet potato and peas, Turkey with carrots and blueberries, and Lamb with butternut squash and kale.

Best Dog Food For Weight Gain – Top 12 Brands

IMAGE PRODUCT  
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 7
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Formula
  • Made in the USA
  • Nutrient-rich kibble
  • Contains real chicken
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 8
Inukshuk Professional 30/25
  • Offers a balanced diet
  • Rich in DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids
  • Designed for performance and sustained activity
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 9
Bully Max 30/20 High-Performance Dog Food
  • Uses real meat as the #1 ingredient
  • Suitable for adult dogs and puppies
  • The ONLY 5 Star rated performance dog food
Check Price on Amazon
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 10
Dr. Tim's Active Dog Pursuit Formula
  • Metabolically balanced kibble
  • Packed with 86% animal protein
  • Features patented BC30 probiotic
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 11
VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula
  • Composed of 88% meat protein
  • Sourced and Made in the USA
  • Nutrient-dense recipe for all life stages
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 12
Adirondack 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe
  • Complete and balanced recipe
  • Made of the finest ingredients
  • Slow cooked in the USA in small batches
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 13
Wellness CORE RawRev Puppy Recipe
  • Specially formulated with DHA
  • Fortified for whole body health
  • Features 100% pure bites of freeze-dried turkey
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 14
Team Dog Salmon Meal & Herring Meal 30/25
  • 30% high-quality protein food
  • Chicken-free for dogs with sensitivities
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA
Check Price on Chewy
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 15
Instinct Raw Boost Senior Recipe
  • Natural DHA from chicken eggs
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • High-protein kibble + freeze-dried raw
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 16
Tiki Dog Wildz Duck Recipe with Chicken Liver
  • Crafted with cage-free duck
  • Contains 91% animal protein
  • Features real New Zealand duck first
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 17
Nature's Logic Canine Beef Tripe
  • All-natural whole food
  • Made with nutrient-dense muscle and organ meat
  • Grain-free, gluten-free and low in carbohydrates
Check Price on Chewy
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 18
Essence LID Ranch Recipe
  • Premium, wet dog food
  • High in protein and gluten-free
  • Made without fish, poultry or legumes
Check Price on Chewy
  1. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Formula
  2. Inukshuk Professional 30/25
  3. Bully Max 30/20 High-Performance Dog Food
  4. Dr. Tim's Active Dog Pursuit Formula
  5. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula
  6. Adirondack 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe
  7. Wellness Core RawRev Puppy Recipe
  8. Team Dog Salmon Meal & Herring Meal 30/25
  9. Instinct Raw Boost Senior Recipe
  10. Tiki Dog Wildz Duck Recipe with Chicken Liver
  11. Nature's Logic Canine Beef Tripe
  12. Essence LID Ranch Recipe
Get 60% off your first order  

Top Dry Dog Food Brands

1. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Formula

First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Chicken, Ground White Rice, Chicken Fat, Cracked Pearled Barley

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 19
Made with real cage-free chicken, fruits and vegetables, this recipe contains optimal levels of protein, fat and whole grains to fuel the muscles of highly active dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 32%
Crude Fat 25%
Crude Fiber 4%

We start the best dog foods for weight gain list with high-performance dog food – Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete. Although meant for working dogs, this high protein diet is also suitable as a weight gain dog food. Loaded with 32% minimum protein, this dry food offers 25% minimum fat content, which is among the highest among dry dog foods.

Made with high-quality chicken meal and real chicken meat, the kibble also features more calories than the average dog food, with 4107 kcal/kg. Chicken fat is the source of the essential fat in this recipe.

Proudly made in the USA, and without any cheap fillers or artificial additives, this dog food is rich in essential nutrients sourced from superfoods like blueberries, pumpkin, oranges, coconut, and spinach among others.

It also has omega fatty acids and probiotics for digestive health. What’s even greater news for pet owners is that this great product is easy on the pocketbook. 

Online reviews have been very positive, with many customers mentioning the amazing weight gain as well as favorable effects on the dogs’ muscles. Some also mentioned improved coats in their pups. 

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A few reviewers however noted that this product is crumbly, while some said their food-sensitive dogs experienced gastrointestinal issues.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • High caloric content
  • Protein and Fat contents are high
  • Superfood fruits and veggies for more nutrients
  • Made without corn, wheat, artificial flavors or colors

Cons:

  • Reports of being crumbly

2. Inukshuk Professional Dry Dog Food 30/25

First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Herring Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Wheat

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 20
This diet packs 578 Kcal/cup, providing the energy that working dogs need to excel. Quality ingredients offer superior digestibility and exceptional nutrition.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 25%
Crude Fiber 3.5%

Another high-performance dry dog food that can help your skinny dog gain weight is Inukshuk Professional dry dog food, which boasts 30-25 protein-fat percentages that are suitable to promote weight gain. 

This formula is also created to sustain working and sporting dogs. But skinny dogs can also profit from the great qualities of this kibble, which is also a high-calorie dog food (4125 kcal/kg). It’s also fortified with essential vitamins and minerals and is extra generous in omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.

This dual-protein recipe is packed with flavor from both chicken meal and herring meal. Its rich and savory flavor is further enhanced by chicken liver, chicken fat, and herring oil. This professional formula also includes kelp meal which is rich in iodine which supports dogs’ thyroid function.

We found over 50 online reviews for this diet and all but one were very encouraging. Most pet parents said their pooches’ low body weight improved with this food, and with mentions about seeing shinier coats. Some said their pups got more energetic. The lone naysayer had a fussy pup that turned her nose up on the kibble.

Pros:

  • Specifically designed for working dogs
  • Rich in prebiotics and chelated minerals 
  • Rich in nutrients, especially omega fatty acids and iodine

Cons:

  • May not be suitable for dogs sensitive to corn/ wheat
  • Kibbles are slightly smaller than some buyers expected

3. Bully Max 30/20 High-Performance Dog Food

First 5 ingredients: Chicken MeaI, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Dried PIain Beet Pulp, Ground Grain Sorghum

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 21
A high-protein, high-calorie food formulated to fuel your dog’s performance by giving him or her the energy they need to look and feel their best.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 20%
Crude Fiber 3.8%

We can’t talk about canine weight gain without including the weight gain specialist – Bully Max. Bully Max is a brand that has built its name synonymous with weight gain in dogs. Its products are all about bulking up dogs – weight gain dog food, weight gain treats, and weight gain supplements. 

The Bully Max 30/20 High-Performance dry dog food is the staple dog food that’s formulated for active and working dogs.

This high-calorie dog food offers more calories than most premium brands, with 535 kcal per cup, and ample protein (30%) and fat (20%) levels too. Bully Max 30/20 also boasts 100% natural and human-grade ingredients, without any cheap fillers. 

This weight gain formula suits dogs of all breeds and life stages. Chicken meal is the first ingredient and main protein source. Ocean fish meal in the form of menhaden fish meal is also part of the recipe, which supplies even more highly digestible and flavorful meat protein. 

A little goes a long way with this formula. Each cup of this meal contains 535 calories to help your pup bulk up.  The high-quality protein sources help dogs gain lean and healthy muscle mass.

This Bully Max dog food is also enriched with vitamins and minerals, and probiotics for gut health. Bully Max truly has a growing fan base with thousands of excellent reviews online.

Most dog parents are loving the results in their pups, with some even saying their dogs’ skin and coat got better. There were very few negative reviews, with claims of seeing no changes in their dog’s body weight.

A few also found that their dogs had loose stools with this food. This could also be caused by the switch to a higher fat % formula.

Pros:

  • All natural ingredients
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
  • High in protein, fat, and caloric contents
  • Suitable for all life stages from 4 weeks of age

Cons:

  • Caused loose stools in a few sensitive dogs
  • Recent price hike was quite a jump from its previous price

4. Dr. Tim's Active Dog Pursuit Formula

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Whole Oat Groats, Dried Beet Pulp

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 22
Created for athletic and working dogs with energetic lifestyles, this high-protein formula is packed with protein and nutrients to fuel your canine's every move—not just fill his belly with food.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 20%
Crude Fiber 3%

If you’re looking for another terrific option that’s easy on the budget, you can consider Dr. Tim’s Active Dog Pursuit. This high-performance formula also features a 30/20 protein-fat ratio to sustain active and working adult dogs’ healthy lifestyle. 

86% of the protein load is derived from animal protein sources in this meal namely chicken meal and ocean fish meal from herring, plus catfish meal and salmon meal.

It’s also supplemented with a generous supply of essential vitamins and minerals for overall health. And, it includes probiotics for digestive support. This brand is one of the highly recommended kibbles by dog owners. 

From dozens of reviews, customers hail the vast improvements in their pup’s coat and energy. Many have said also that their dogs really love this kibble. However, there were some reports of loose stools with this dog’s food.

Pros:

  • Rich in vital nutrients
  • Helps to boost endurance
  • 30/20 protein-fat content
  • Metabolically balanced kibble
  • 86% from animal protein sources
  • Features patented BC30 probiotic and a unique fiber blend 

Cons:

  • Reports of loose stools with this diet

5. VICTOR Classic Hi-Pro Plus Formula

First 5 Ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat, Pork Meal, Chicken Meal

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 23
This nutrient-dense formula is made with premium-quality beef, chicken, fish and pork meals and is ideal for all life stages, including growing puppies and pregnant and lactating females.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 20%
Crude Fiber 3.8%

Here’s another affordable choice to bulk up your underweight dog – Victor Classic Hi-Pro Plus. Formulated for active adult dogs, this dog food boasts 88% meat protein from beef meal, chicken meal, and pork meal to attain a 30% minimum crude protein load.

It is free from sub-par protein sources such as unnamed meat meals or corn gluten meal. This recipe has a 20% minimum crude fat load and 3815 kcal/kg, which can help your pet gain weight. 

Suitable for all life stages, this dog food can also serve as puppy food for puppies over 6 months old, or even for pregnant dogs. Moreover, this recipe is enriched with essential vitamins and minerals, plus probiotics, to support a healthy pooch. 

This weight gain recipe received encouraging online reviews from pet owners, many of whom said their pups started gaining weight. There were also some mentions of skin and coat progress as well as suitability with sensitive stomachs.

Affordability is also one trait that made this brand quite popular. Among the critical reviews, there were reports of too much flatulence as well as hard poops after trying this kibble.

Pros:

  • Palatable
  •  No artificial ingredients
  • Made from gluten-free grains
  • Ideal for all life stages, including growing puppies, pregnant and lactating females

Cons:

  • Few reports of hard stool and flatulence

6. Adirondack 30% Protein High-Fat Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Ground Grain Sorghum

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 24
This dry puppy and performance dogs dry dog food contains 30% protein, 20% fat and is loaded with the key nutrients your paw-tner needs to help him lead a happy and healthy life.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 20%
Crude Fiber 3.8%

Starting to make a mark among the premium brands is Adirondack 30% High-Protein, High-Fat recipe. This family-owned dog food is proud of its slow-cooking process, which is believed to have enhanced the palatability of the kibble. 

Made in the USA with high-quality ingredients and with none of the artificial additives or cheap fillers, this high-calorie dog food also has a 30/20 protein-fat load to help skinny puppies and dogs gain weight. Also remarkable is its complete and balanced nutrition, plus probiotics, to promote overall health. 

The online reviews for this puppy food have been largely supportive, with several mentions of weight gain in underweight dogs. The only common criticism is that the kibble is too small for large-breed dogs.

Pros:

  • No artificial ingredients
  • Promotes healthy skin and a lustrous coat
  • Nutritionally complete and balanced recipe
  • Slow-cooking makes the food more palatable

Cons:

  • Kibble may be too small for large-breed dogs

7. Wellness CORE RawRev Puppy Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 25
This raw, grain-free dry food for puppies is specially formulated with DHA to support the development of the brain and eyes, healthy body mass, lean muscle and a shiny coat.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 38%
Crude Fat 17.5%
Crude Fiber 5%

When it comes to high-quality ingredients, Wellness Core is one of the heavyweights in dog foods. Its RawRev grain-free puppy food with a freeze-dried turkey recipe is surely a must-try for your underweight pup. 

Made with real chicken as the first ingredient, this grain-free dog food has an outstanding array of food ingredients that include turkey hearts, salmon oil, flaxseed, bananas, spinach, broccoli, and sweet potato to name a few. And yes, it includes freeze-dried turkey bites for the extra flavor and nutrition. 

The protein content is a remarkable 38%, which is superb for gaining weight and also lean muscle mass. The fat load is 17.5%, which is slightly below our recommended 20% but certainly higher than most maintenance pet foods. But this recipe packs extra calories, with 3839 kcal/kg. 

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The grain-free recipe is teeming with healthy omegas, antioxidants, and probiotics, apart from the basic nutrients required by growing puppies. 

Like with most brands in this article, this puppy food also received rave reviews online, which came as no surprise given the excellent quality of the food components.

Dog owners said this grain-free dry dog food helped their underweight dogs gain weight. Also, they said their pups licked the bowls empty with this chow. Some customers however wished there were more freeze-dried bits in the bag.

Pros:

  • High-quality ingredients
  • With freeze-dried turkey bites
  • Specially formulated with DHA & Taurine
  • Does not contain any fillers, wheat, corn or soy

Cons:

  • Bag contains a very small amount of raw turkey bits

8. Team Dog Salmon Meal & Herring Meal 30/25

First 5 Ingredients: Salmon Meal, Whole Oats, Canola Oil, Red Lentils, Herring Meal

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 26
Paw-fect for performance, training and hunting dogs, this food has been meticulously formulated to provide the ideal blend of protein, fat and nutrient-dense, healthy ingredients.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 25%
Crude Fiber 3%

Fairly new brand Team Dog presents a high-protein and high-fat formula that’s suitable for adult pups of all breeds and sizes. Its 30/25 Elite Blend Premium formula is perfect for dogs who need to gain weight, but also require a chicken-free diet.

This grain-inclusive recipe features salmon meal as the main source of protein. The protein and fat levels are 30% and 25% minimum respectively, which is just about right to promote weight gain in underweight pups, as well as sustain the high energy requirements of active dogs. Instead of cheap fillers, the carb and fiber sources of this meal are wholesome grains such as whole oats and whole millet.

While this product is quite new, it has been gaining a lot of support, especially from pet parents of working dogs. According to feedback, their picky pups loved the highly palatable fish-rich kibbles. Most of the positive reviews state that they have seen significant improvement in the quality of their dogs’ skin and coats. 

Aside from the healthier coats and higher energy levels, the dogs are also gaining more muscle mass with this 30/25 formula. Digestion has also improved for many dogs.  The only negative comment was from an owner of two German Shepherds who had loose stools after eating this recipe.

Pros:

  • Great for sensitive dogs
  • High-quality animal protein sources
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA
  • Has given many dogs superb skin and coat condition

Cons:

  • Very high fat content may not be suitable for sensitive tummies

9. Instinct Raw Boost Senior Recipe with Real Chicken

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Chicken, Tapioca, Chickpeas, Peas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 27
Made with real chicken as the first ingredient, there’s all the protein he needs for strong and lean muscles, plus natural DHA for brain and eye health—and it all comes from the finest ingredients from around the world.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 36%
Crude Fat 16%
Crude Fiber 4%

As for our older four-legged loves, we recommend a high-protein dry dog food that’s not too high in fat content.

But more importantly, a high-quality dog food that can satisfy our aging pooches. We find the best senior dog food for weight gain to be Instinct Raw Boost grain-free dog food for its overall qualities. 

First of all, chicken meal and real chicken are the first two ingredients that mostly provide the high 36% protein load. The fat content is still ample at 16%, which is just right for senior dogs. The caloric content is pretty high too at 4169 kcal/kg. 

The ingredient list is astonishing too, which lists salmon meal, salmon oil, chicken organs, pumpkin seeds, carrots, and apples among others.

This grain-free formula is also abundant in essential vitamins and minerals, plus probiotics. It is free from sub-par protein sources such as unnamed meat meals or corn gluten meal.

This product got several favorable reviews, with many dog parents saying their senior pups love this kibble, especially the mixed freeze-dried bites.

Some claim they see renewed energy in their old dogs, and others found their dogs also gaining weight. Some naysayers say their pups only like the freeze-dried bites, which some also found too little in the bag.

Pros:

  • Grain free formula
  • Raw, freeze-dried meat bits
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • With L-Carnitine that helps burn fat

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • The freeze-dried bites may not be enough

Top Wet Dog Food Brands

1. Tiki Dog Wildz Duck Recipe with Chicken Liver

First 5 Ingredients: Duck, Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken Liver, Chickpea Flour, Dried Yeast

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 28
Features cage-free duck as the very first ingredient along with nutrient-packed chicken liver. No artificial colors or preservatives in this grain-free recipe, just ethically sourced ingredients to support your sidekick’s overall health!

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 10%
Crude Fat 11%
Moisture 74%

As for wet dog food, we find Tiki Dog Wilz Duck as the best dog food for weight gain because of its protein and fat levels of 10% and 11% respectively, which are quite high for canned food.

But that’s not all. This grain-free dog food is also made with amazing ingredients that are ethically sourced, led by cage-free New Zealand duck, making it highly recommended for picky pups.

No artificial enhancers such as flavors, colors, or preservatives are included in this grain-free duck pate. It is also free from carrageenan, which is a thickener commonly found in wet pet food. 

This tasty pate has mostly positive feedback from pet parents. Highly palatable, buyers noted that their dogs come running whenever this pate is served at dinner. With naturally flavorful and fatty duck, this sure serves up a meal that guarantees a clean bowl.

This product has also received positive reviews from pet parents looking to help their dogs gain weight. Its high caloric content at 565 ME kcal/can is key in helping pups put on the pounds.

Pros:

  • Features real New Zealand duck first
  • With nutrient-packed chicken liver
  • Ethically sourced and high-quality ingredients
  • Completely free from grains, artificial colors and preservatives

Cons:

  • Price has recently increased

2. Nature's Logic Canine Beef Tripe

First 5 Ingredients: Beef Tripe, Beef, Beef Broth, Spray Dried Beef Plasma, Montmorillonite Clay

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 29
Made with whole foods, this food is highly palatable and nutrient-dense, and includes muscle meat and organ meat with select dried fruits and veggies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 11%
Crude Fat 8%
Moisture 78%

Not to be outdone is another great wet dog food for weight gain with high-protein and high-fat contents – Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Tripe grain-free dog food.

This all-natural pate has 11% minimum crude protein, 8% minimum crude fat levels, and more calories, which are perfect for your underweight pet. 

Check out the incredible ingredients – beef tripe, real beef, beef broth, artichoke, pumpkin, apricots, and others. Tripe is great for restoring a good balance of intestinal flora in dogs. It is a natural way to improve gut health.

This grain-free formula promises to be a darling to your adult dog or younger pup.It can be served as a topper to kibble or as a supplemental meal.

The recipe is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. This means that it cannot be your dog’s sole source of nourishment. 

Except for a few reviews, most online comments have been friendly, majority of which were about the excellent palatability. There were two complaints about the texture, which the customer described as mushy, and the strong odor.

Pros:

  • Budget friendly
  • Grain-free, gluten-free 
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Contains fruits and vegetables
  • Perfect for pets who are sensitive to legumes

Cons:

  • Strong odor
  • Not formulated to be a complete meal

3. Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Ranch Recipe

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Broth, Pork, Pork Liver, Natural Lamb Flavor

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 30
This wet dog food is made with a limited ingredient recipe––no fish, poultry or legumes, just delicious wholesome ingredients like lamb and pork. Plus, quinoa and pumpkin add a boost of fiber.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 11%
Crude Fat 7.5%
Moisture 78%

For pups with sensitive tummies and food allergies, the one of the best dog food for weight gain is Essence Limited Ingredient Ranch Recipe as it has none of the more common food allergens. Real lamb is the first ingredient in this high-protein pate, along with bounteous essential vitamins and minerals. 

This pate is nutritionally complete and balanced. It is suitable as a complete meal for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and life stages, making it perfect for a household with multiple pets.

It’s loaded with 11% minimum protein and 7.5% minimum fat levels that are appropriate for your underweight dog. This recipe is free from beef, poultry, fish, legumes, and gluten. It also does not contain artificial enhancers or carrageenan.

So far, the few online reviews have been all friendly, saying their furry friends love this pate. Dogs look forward to being served this extra meaty pate.

It is quite gentle on sensitive tummies, too. While a bit pricier than the average wet food, pet parents find great value in this highly-nutritious and meat-rich pate. 

Pros:

  • Great for sensitive stomachs
  • High in protein and gluten-free
  • Made with wholesome ingredients
  • 100% natural ingredients led by real lamb

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
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Bonus: The Best Toppers, Treats and Supplements for Weight Gain

1. Stella & Chewy's Dandy Lamb Meal Mixers

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Spleen, Lamb Liver, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 32
Made from 95% grass-fed lamb, organs and bone plus 100% organic fruits and vegetables—offering the benefits of raw food nutrition with the convenience of freeze-dried preparation.

To help your underweight dog gain weight, add some tasty food toppers to regular dog food. Food toppers add to the palatability of the food and also some extra calories, protein, and fat contents. And when it comes to toppers, it’s hard to equal the greatness of Stella & Chewy’s Dandy Lamb Meal. 

Made with high-quality real lamb and lamb organs, this grain-free topper offers protein and fat levels of 38% each, which are remarkable in countering your dog’s weight loss. It also has other commendable ingredients like all-organic cranberries, spinach, and squash. It has vital nutrients and probiotics too. 

There were close to 200 online reviews for this topper, 96% of which have been highly supportive. Most dog owners found it easy to serve this topper to their dogs that loved it.

There are a few critical comments, mostly about their pooches not being big fans and some about the high price tag.

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Pros:

  • Help entice a picky eater
  • Perfect for sensitive dogs
  • Great ingredients with real lamb and lamb organs
  • With 100% organic-certified fruits and vegetables
  • Zero grains, gluten, fillers, artificial preservatives

Cons:

  • Steep price

2. Stewart Pro-Treat Wild Salmon 

Only ingredient: Wild Salmon

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 33
Nothing but 100% pure wild salmon is found in these high-protein, low-fat treats. Your pooch with allergies or food sensitivities know what they’re getting with this single ingredient formula.

After getting your pet the best dog food for weight gain, give her high-protein treats for good measure. One of our top choices is Stewart Pro-Treat freeze-dried treats, especially the Wild Salmon. Made with 100% wild salmon, these savory treats offer 80% protein and 13% fat loads to help your skinny dog gain weight. 

Salmon is also naturally rich in essential omegas that present bountiful health benefits including skin and coat enhancement. This treat is also a single ingredient protein and grain-free to prevent food sensitivities. 

This treat received a 95% acceptance rating in online reviews, with most respondents liking the appetizing taste that they claim to have improved the appetites of their pups.

Some also love the fact that it’s generally safe for food-sensitive dogs. Most of the negative reviews were about the high cost, with a few mentions of the texture being too hard.

Pros:

  • Aromatic & full of flavor
  • Single-ingredient – real wild salmon
  • High-protein, highly digestible
  • Great for pets with allergies or food sensitivities 

Cons:

  • Container is not full
  • Can be hard to eat for some dogs

3. Bully Max Supplement for Weight Gain

First 5 Ingredients: Omega Fish Oil, Canola Oil, Purified Water, Dextrose, Whey Protein

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 34
Each serving is packed with two weight-gaining powerhouses: all-natural whey protein and fish oil. Together, these ingredients help even the scrawniest dogs to pack on pounds fast.

One splendid weight gain supplement is Bully Max Liquid Weight Gainer 2-in-1, which is made by weight gain specialist Bully Max. 

It has 100% natural ingredients that are known to help your dog achieve a healthy weight gain, and fast. It’s also easy to apply via syringe with a simple drop to food or water.

It has 150 calories per ounce and 50% crude fat. It is oozing with vitamins and minerals, especially L-carnitine to help your dog burn fats more efficiently. 

Several online reviewers have said that this weight gain supplement worked well in helping a pet gain weight in a short period of time. There were very few critical comments, with just a few saying they hardly see any difference after half the bottle is used up.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • All-natural ingredients
  • High in fat and caloric levels
  • Helps your dog gain weight safely & effectively

Cons:

  •  Only comes in 1 size
[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 35

About Underweight Dogs

In this part of the article, we’ll try to shed light on why some dogs lose weight and what dog parents can do to prevent further weight loss and start bulking up their dogs. 

Why Dogs Lose Weight

There are many possible causes of weight loss. While it can be alarming, the weight loss doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a serious health problem, unless, of course, your dog is rapidly losing weight.

In many cases, dogs can just be too choosy with their food that they don’t eat enough. Sadly, many pet parents don’t care to see if their pets are eating enough, thinking that they may just not be hungry enough. So the first question to ask is “Does your dog eat well?”

To summarize, the most common causes of weight loss in dogs are:

  • Picky Eaters
  • Health Issues
  • Stress
  • Diet Change
  • Other pets

Picky Eaters

Like humans, dogs need to like their food to eat it. Of course, they’re forced to eat when they get hungry. But picky eaters don’t usually eat enough.

Some dogs develop a certain preference in taste later on in life. Many senior dogs are especially fussy with food, which can be a challenge for dog owners. Sometimes, it takes several trials and errors to determine the right dog food.

Health Issues

Sickness or pain can quickly make a dog lose its weight and appetite. There are several canine health disorders that cause a dog to lose appetite and energy.

If your dog is normally a hefty eater that suddenly refuses to eat, this may be because of pain or illness, in which case, a visit to the vet is the best move. 

This is especially more evident when other symptoms can be seen in your underweight dog such as vomiting, diarrhea, increased gas, and lethargy. More serious disorders can cause dogs to quickly lose weight even when the appetite is normal.

Here are some of the more common health issues that may cause your dog to shed weight:

  • Food sensitivities and allergies
  • Dental problems
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Advanced heart disease
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Metabolic disorders

Many commercial pet foods contain ingredients that cause food allergies and sensitivities to some dogs, the most common of which are beef, chicken, dairy products, eggs, and some grains. An allergic reaction could result in skin irritation, diarrhea, and vomiting among others.

If your dog is in pain, especially in the mouth due to dental issues or injuries, she tends not to eat as the eating experience becomes unpleasant. Dogs with teeth and gum disease, mostly senior dogs, will have difficulty chewing on hard food like kibble.

Dogs with little or no teeth don’t get to eat enough because they’re unable to. Dental issues should not be taken for granted as oral bacteria can spread throughout the body and cause other more serious illnesses.

Cancer can cause dogs to suddenly and rapidly lose weight. Older dogs are especially more prone to malignant canine cancers like lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, and osteosarcoma, which are known to induce weight loss.

The tumors could cause weight loss due to their metabolic needs. Or these could be causing the dog some pain, which results in appetite loss.

Kidney and heart issues may not immediately cause weight loss in dogs. Normally, this happens in more advanced stages of the condition. So if these issues cause weight loss, it’s probably because the dog has had them for a while.

Metabolic disorders such as diabetes can also cause rapid weight loss in dogs. Gastrointestinal problems are also common causes for weight loss in dogs as the food is not digested and absorbed well.

But the more serious issues in the digestive system are the usual culprits, which gradually cause the dog to lose weight. Excessive vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms of GI problems. If these occur more frequently, weight loss is inevitable.

Stress

Like humans, dogs also lose the desire to eat when stressed or anxious. There are so many reasons that can stress a dog out or cause anxiety and depression.

A change of environment, a new pet, a loss of another pet, separation anxiety (when you’re not around), fireworks, or maltreatment are common stress factors. Chronic stress can lead to other health problems too. Keeping them happy is a great way to keep them healthy and live longer.

Diet Change

A change of diet could also trigger the loss of appetite as the dog is unfamiliar with the new dog food. This is why a gradual change, over a period of about two weeks, is recommended. Or, the new diet may have fewer calories and lesser protein and fats than the old food, which could explain the weight loss.

Other Pets

If you have multiple dogs or pets, your skinny dog could be bullied by the more dominant ones. She may then leave her food bowl for the bullies to take.

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How You Can Help Your Underweight Dog Gain Weight

There are some measures that you can do as a dog parent to help your underweight dog gain weight, especially if her weight loss is not caused by a serious illness.

Favorites

Most dogs can’t resist their favorite diet and treats. But it can be a challenge finding out their preferences, especially if you have picky dogs.

You can dry buying small packages of different options just to see which ones they prefer. They may prefer a particular dog food, animal protein, or recipe. 

The same goes for fresh foods and treats. You can also try to add some toppers, or fresh foods like eggs, tuna, or some olive oil to make the diet more appetizing.

Sweet Potato & Pumpkin

Pumpkin and sweet potato are known to help add a few pounds to your dog’s weight. You can serve as treats or toppers to regular dog foods. You can have this home-cooked (without any spices), or select canned or dehydrated products that are meant for pets.

Peanut Butter

Most dogs love peanut butter on their treats or fresh fruits or veggies like carrots. Peanut butter adds extra calories to the treats. But make sure to use all-natural peanut butter or one made for pets. Artificial additives in some peanut butter products are unhealthy for dogs.

Playtime and Exercise

Your dogs need lots of exercise even when they’re skinny. It’s part of keeping strong muscles and joints. So make sure you provide them with at least half an hour of exercise daily.

Better yet, play with them or walk them around the neighborhood. This stimulates them and also battles stress. And of course, they tend to eat more after exercise.

Hand-Feeding

Sometimes dogs are encouraged to eat when you hand-feed them, just like when you feed your 2-year old child.

Ad Libitum Feeding Strategy

For really picky eaters, the ad libitum feeding strategy may be worth the try. This is having no fixed meal time but having food available all the time instead. But this strategy is not ideal for multiple pets with some hefty eaters.

Even if she won’t eat, always have clean food and water available for when she gets hungry. Dogs can sometimes become moody and may not eat during regular mealtime. But they will likely feel the urge to eat later on.

[year] Best Dog Food for Weight Gain: Bulking Up Your Underweight Pup 37

Conclusion

It’s your responsibility as a dog owner to ensure that your pup is in a healthy weight – not underweight or overweight. Some dog breeds have naturally large or slim body frames. But when a dog’s ribs are too prominent, she’s probably malnourished.

There are several possible causes for your dog’s weight loss, from simply being a picky eater to having a serious illness. If the best dog food for weight gain doesn’t make a difference, or if the weight loss is unexpected, it’s best to consult the veterinarian immediately.

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