Best dog food for weight gain

Best dog food for weight gain


When it comes to our favorite canine creatures, they do not differ much in their weight gain tendencies from humans. Dogs can pack on the pounds just as quickly as humans on a hefty diet. However, there are still some situations in which a pup might require surplus calories to sustain normal body function. With a greater tendency towards being overweight than underweight, dogs still need supervision in their diet to reach a healthy weight goal.

There are multiple dog food products designed to accomplish exactly that. Here we will elucidate some of the best hand-picked recipes and formulas that we have come across to help your pup gain a healthy amount of weight. There are several pros and cons of each product to be looked out for to ensure safe weight gain for your pup. Using dog food in conjunction with the advice of your veterinarian will ensure that any side issues or undiagnosed problems leading to weight loss in your pup are also being addressed.

Buyer Guide

There is a wide variety of premium dog food products designed specifically to achieve weight gain in dogs. Some of the more general parameters to assess before considering dog food products are:

The phase of the life of your dog

One of the first parameters to assess the product which will suit your dog the best is to take into consideration the stage of their life. It is important to strike the perfect balance of macronutrients in a dog’s diet according to the breed, activity level, and age of the dog.

Puppies (below 1 year of age) should only consume a well-monitored ratio of macronutrients to ensure that their growth is not too slow or too accelerated for healthy bone and brain development

Adults (from 1 to 6 years of age) must consume regulated ratios of proteins and fats to enhance muscle growth and prevent weight gain.

Active dogs need additional sources of protein, fats, and antioxidants in their diet to help regulate normal functions of the body without going into deficit.

Senior dogs should be given a diet that has higher fiber content and low fat and protein content to prevent them from gaining weight since their activity levels have declined considerably at this age. Nutraceuticals like glucosamines are also recommended for optimal joint health.

Dry food or wet food

The debate about which type of dog food, dry or wet, is most optimal for your pet’s health is an ongoing one. Here we will list exactly what you need to know about both of them.


The wetness in the food is acquired from added moisture or fat in its composition, and these additions often make it very palatable for dogs. These foods have a high protein ratio. Dogs tend to prefer wet foods over dry ones. However, it can get a little messy for the owner. Wet foods are also about 80% water by composition and only 20% of nutrients, so they may not be optimal for weight gain purposes. Some variants with high fat and protein content can, however, accelerate weight gain in dogs


Dry food is considered the best option for your canine, especially if you’re looking to put some weight on them. It has a high ratio of macronutrients and the added benefit of not being messy. It promotes dental hygiene in dogs and has low-fat options to choose from. It is lower in cost and tends to promote gut health, leading to firmer stools in dogs. Your dog may find it much less palatable than wet foods.

Reasons your dog may be underweight

It is important to remember that low canine body weight is a symptom in itself and not a disease. It could be caused by an underlying issue that has remained undiagnosed, which your vet can get to the root of. It is therefore important to coordinate very closely with the vet during these weight-gain schemes.

A few of the most common underlying issues associated with weight loss include liver disease, thyroid problems, intestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease, a recent surgery, an undiagnosed illness, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, dental issues, and anxiety.

It is also important to note that whilst premium dog foods will serve the benefit of enhancing your dog’s weight, it is not a remedy for trying to speed up the growth of your puppy at an unnatural pace. There is a proper, natural pace with which your dog will develop its skeletal structure and grow its organs, which should not be superseded by supplementary foods or formulas.

 Signs to tell if your dog is underweight

These include a range of conditions that can be observed in the physical and mental state of your dog. Reduced energy levels of the canine and poor eating habits are visible signs to look out for. A range of physical symptoms to observe include a protruding rib cage, shoulders, or hip bone of the canine, compared to their prior healthy condition. Some dogs tend to naturally carry very little weight in these areas, so it is important to know the kind of breed you’re dealing with. Other symptoms to look out for include visible depression, meekness in behavior, and a reduced shine on their silky fur coat.

 Top Five dog foods for weight gain


Bully Max high-performance super-premium dog food

Bully Max high-performance super-premium dog foodWith this high-protein, no-nonsense dog food formula, you are guaranteed the perfect weight gain results for your dog, to help them fill up and pack on the pounds satisfactorily. Composed of real ingredients like brown rice, chicken meat, chicken fat, and dried beet pulp, this protein-rich super formula is a treat to your canine.


This product contains no allergens such as corn wheat or soy. A cup of it provides a whopping 535 calories, with high macronutrient ratios of 33% protein and 22% fat per cup. It is chock full of vitamins and minerals to help sustain healthy bone and organ development. It has added benefits of antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids to add to the richness of the formula.

Not So Good

For such high-quality ingredients and protein-rich composition, the price point of this product is the second-highest of the group.

Elite K9 Maximum Bully All-Stages dog food

Elite K9 Maximum Bully All-Stages dog foodThis premium product is pork and chicken-based dog food which is specifically formulated to provide large macronutrient ratios of protein and fat per bite. Composed of real ingredients like flour meal, chicken meat and chicken fat, barley grains, and white rice, this product is a satisfying fix to help your canine pack on some healthy pounds.


With a whopping 481 calories per cup, this meaty treat packs on a macronutrient ratio of 32% protein and 22% fat, way higher than regular products. It is also supplemented with a variety of natural ingredients to improve its absorption, interaction, and overall nutritional profile in the gut. It is composed of a broad combination of proteins and carbohydrates. It also comes at a considerably cheap price.

Not So Good

This product contains menadione, which can be toxic to dogs at large doses. It is probably safe to consume in the small doses that dog foods commercially contain.

Nature’s Logic dry dog food (chicken)

This product contains premium-quality ingredients and is a delicious and nutritious fix for your pup. The food morsels are coated in a rich mix of digestive enzymes, which help in its optimal absorption and assimilation in the dog’s gut.


Packing as many as 515 calories per cup, this probiotic formula helps aid digestion and prevents the fermentation of nutrients from the dog’s gut. It is not supplemented by synthetic minerals and vitamins. It derives its nutritional profile from real whole foods. It is gluten-free to avoid allergies. Composed of chicken fat and plant-based ingredients products like pumpkin seed and millet, it is a healthy alternative to feed your dog.

Not So Good

The price point of this product is high, considering that it is a chicken-based product that prevents any allergies from developing. Since chicken is the primary protein source preferred by most dogs, its price is justifiable.

Purina pro plan sport dog food

Purina pro plan sport dog foodThis high-calorie dog food formula is packed with great flavor and purine proteins. It was not formulated specifically to aid weight gain, but its competitive price and premium ingredients may allow for healthy weight gain.


Packing 475 calories per cup, this product is composed primarily of chicken and does not include an assortment of added flavors, colors, or preservatives to enhance its nutritional profile. It contains Glucosamine from natural sources, which acts as a nutraceutical substance, helping to alleviate joint pain. It can help your pup gain muscle mass. It comes at a very reasonable price point. It is composed of an assortment of protein sources. The main ingredients include chicken, rice, animal fat, corn, gluten, and vitamin E.

Not So Good

This product is the most affordable option on the list, but it lacks the energy content compared to other products. Be sure to cross-check some of the ingredients on this list with your retailer to ensure their sources and origins.

  1. Crave Gain Free dog food

Crave Gain Free dog foodThis protein-packed dog food deserves a place on this list owing to its high-calorie density in comparison to other products in its price range. Where gaining a few pounds is the ideal, a high-calorie product made of salmon, containing no preservatives, colors, or artificial flavors, is a necessary mention on the list. It is also free of allergens such as gluten, wheat, corn, and soy


A very rich assortment of protein, this product contains chicken meal, fish meal, and pork meal as well as vegetable-based ingredients such as split peas and chickpeas. With such a diverse nutritional profile, no extra additives are required in the product.

Not So Good

Strictly speaking, this product contains fewer calories per cup than the ideal products mentioned here. Some owners have reported cases of diarrhea when their dog was switched to this product very quickly, so be sure to look out for that.


In this section, we will dive into the particular questions bubbling in pet owners’ minds, and address some of the relevant concerns about their pets and the products.

What macronutrient ratios are most ideal for dogs you need to gain weight?

Roughly, an adult dog must consume 5.5% of its daily energy intake from fat sources, such as chicken fat; 10% of their requirements from protein, such as chicken meal fish meal, or beef meal; 50% of it from carbohydrates from animal sources like wheat grains and pulses, and the reminder 4.5% from insoluble fiber.

 What flavor do dogs prefer the most in their dog food?

Dogs have a disposition towards meaty items, as they have evolved from a strictly carnivorous diet. They tend to often seek out flavors that resemble meat or are derivatives of it. They prefer the taste of fats and related chemicals contained in meat, so any dog food item with a larger percentage of protein derived from meat is likely to appeal to their palate. Also, dogs possess taste receptors for salty, sour, bitter, and sweet flavors.

 What additive minerals and supplements in dog food are most important for my pup?

Similar to humans, dogs also have a variety of mineral and supplement requirements to aid the proper development of their bones, skin, organs, and brains. Some of the most essential vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, K as well as complex B vitamins. The most important minerals needed for bone health include calcium and phosphorus.

 What are the best times to feed my dog for weight gain?

The best time to feed your dog is around the early hours of the morning, around 7 a.m. when the canine has just woken up and is ready for the hunt. That is the time its digestive system is most receptive to nutrients and can fully digest and absorb them. It is also recommended to feed your dog at 6 p.m. to allow for a good 4 to 6 hours of digestion before they sleep.


There are some situations in which a pup might require surplus calories to sustain normal body function. There are multiple dog food products designed to accomplish that. Some of the best hand-picked recipes that we have come across include:

  • Bully Max high-performance super-premium dog food
  • Elite K9 Maximum Bully all-stages dog food, and
  • Nature’s Logic dry dog food

These products owe their top place to a range of premium ingredients, supplements, and energy-dense macronutrient ratios. Their added allergen-free profiles will provide an excellent source of energy for your canine.

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