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Does Your Dog Need To Gain Weight ?

Dogs lose and gain weight depending on the season, gender, physical exercise, diet and illness.

When transitioning from a processed diet to a raw diet, your dog will lose fluid weight dependent on how your dogs system has reacted to a highly processed diet containing additives and preservative and loaded with carbohydrates, will depend how much fluid their body has to off load.

Dogs previously fed a processed diet may have a thicker bloated appearance, or look and weigh seemingly OK. However, this maybe due to water retention and or inflammation, and not an actual true measure of body mass.  If that’s the case, they may have been underweight, but inflammation or water retention made them look ideal.

Simply put – Some dogs start off needing to lose weight because they are above the recommended target weight for their size.

Three reasons why dogs may lose weight:

  1. Dogs may lose more weight than they should because they are working dogs, high energy dogs or anxious individuals. If this is the case for your dog, increase his daily food requirements until you reach his target weight, then drop down to a maintenance diet of 2.5% to 3% of his optimal body weight or the percentage that best suits your individual dog and his activity levels.
  2. Age: It’s worth taking into account the age of your dog, and nutrition should be tailored to each individuals needs in that area. Older dogs will benefit from the addition of bone broth and digestive enzymes to help them maintain a healthy digestive system and over all health in later years.
  3. For the younger dog or puppy do ensure you are upping the amount of food regularly to accommodate their growth spurts. We suggest puppy food until 12 months old and then transitioning to either the working dog range (full complete raw) or the 80:10:10 with the additional protein in and add your own veg and oils.  If on the Working Dog range you feel the additional protein will benefit due to growth spurts etc, then adding in the odd farm laid egg and sardines in water (or drain the preserving oil) will also be a super addition.

Increase food dependent on your dogs individual needs

So to reiterate, if your dog needs to add weight, then increase the amount of food they are receiving until you get to optimal weight, then reduce to a maintenance percentage.  Or as listed above, change the range or just add a small amount of additional protein. With some dogs it may be too much for them to take more food in their regular 2x daily meals, so it may suit them better to give them three to four smaller meals a day and spread the load.

To help digestion and transition, you can gain additional benefits by adding in some raw apple cider vinegar and digestive enzymes, which can be found here  https://help.bellaandduke.com/help-with-feeding-raw/101-guide-to-essentials

One final note to consider,  if you are having a high energy weekend or holiday, give your dog some of the extra calories he’ll require by increasing their usual food allowance.

If you are not sure what a dog at target weight looks like please read our article on ‘What Should My Dog Weigh?”

If you are at all in doubt then please visit your vet to rule out any underlying health issues.

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