zThe phrase “chubby dog” usually conjures a picture of a roly-poly pooch, eager to chase and play. But not every pup is plump these days. In fact, some dogs need to actually gain weight. Maybe your doggo is recovering from an injury or illness, was recently rescued, or maybe just doesn’t like their current food. Regardless, you may not be sure which way to turn when told your dog needs to gain weight.

It is important to make sure your dog has proper nutrition in order for him or her to stay healthy and disease-free. This is especially true if your dog is regularly active. Without enough nutrients from food, dogs will start losing weight, even if it isn't enough for you to notice on a scale yet. If you are wondering "How do I make my dog gain weight?”, this article will help you determine what is best for your best friend.

Select Food with Higher Protein Or Fat

Dogs require a diet high in nutrients to grow into large, healthy adults. This is even more important with puppies because they are still growing. Protein and fat help dogs grow and develop, as well as help them go through the healthy developmental cycle from puppy to adult.

High-protein, high-fat foods are ideal for gaining weight. Foods that are rich in protein and fat will help your dog gain weight that you should notice in a couple of weeks.

Proteins for Dog

Protein is an essential nutrient for dogs, and is one of their main sources of energy. Dogs require protein from quality sources that are highly digestible and easily absorbed into their body. It is also important to consume the right amount of fiber—it directly affects gut health and stool quality.

Try Wet or Fresh Foods

Some dogs may find wet or fresh foods more appealing than dry food because wet and fresh foods typically hold a stronger scent than dry kibble. It’s possible that your dog just dislikes dry food and will reject it if given any other option. If this is the case, then you may want to consider switching to a different dog food (such as A Pup Above!) to help your dog gain weight. 

If you plan to use a wet or fresh food diet, it is important to keep the food refrigerated, as these types of foods can spoil and harbor bacteria if not properly stored. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for food safety.

Increase Feeding Frequency

Another method to consider when trying to get your dog to gain weight is to feed your dog small meals frequently. Feeding your adult dog twice a day is generally best, but you may want to spread your dog's daily calorie intake over three or four servings. His body will be able to receive nutrients throughout the day and help your dog gain weight. This could aid in digestion and relieve pressure on their stomach.

You can also feed your pet with a raised height bowl that meets the dog’s height and lets gravity do the work so that less stress is placed on the digestive tract.

Let Your Dog Gain Weight With Night Feeding

Just like humans, eating right before bed encourages a dog's body to store the nutrients as fat. By allowing your dog access to food at night, you can help your pet gain some needed pounds.

If your dog eats twice a day, like most dogs, you should think about feeding him food in smaller amounts in the morning and more food later in the evening, before his bedtime. This way, his body will store fat when sleeping, rather than burning it off. However, be careful that you do not overdo the nighttime meals, as this can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

Provide Supplemental Snacks and Treats

Supplementing your dog’s diet with healthy treats gives him the nutrition he or she needs, while also encouraging positive behavior. There are dog treats specially formulated to provide your pooch with healthy fats and proteins, aiding in the maintenance of a healthy weight. Most dog weight gain supplements will be enriched with vitamins and minerals to provide complete nutrition for dogs.

Find the Best Dog Foods 

Not all dog foods are made equal. Always read the label to find out what your dog needs, and get the right weight-gain food for your dog. A Pup Above offers fresh food that your dog will find irresistible. Made in a USDA human-grade facility using fresh ingredients, A Pup Above products have, on average, 77% more protein than other brands. While most traditional “fresh dog food” has been cooked over high heat which loses a lot of nutrients, A Pup Above utilizes the sous-vide cooking method, cooking foods slowly and evenly to retain all that wholesome goodness. 


Keeping your dog’s health top notch is really important – especially if your friend is getting up there in years. With special care and nutrition, your dog can get back to a healthy weight and live with maximum happiness and vitality for years to come.