10 Best Dog Food for Weight Gain

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BEST DOG FOOD OR WEIGHT GAIN

This is our review of the Best Dog Food for Weight Gain.

We have carried out extensive and objective research to help you find the best dog food for weight gain.

Our findings concluded that Stella & Chewy’s Puppy Beef & Salmon Dinner Patties is the best overall dog food for weight gain. This is because it has a high protein and fat content

All dogs are different hence have unique nutritional needs and every dog stage also calls for different food types.

That’s why we have included reviews of the best brands for each category of dog food for weight gain.

Our Best Dog Food For Weight Gain

  1. Adirondack 30% Protein Recipe Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Puppy & Performance (Best dog food for Weight Gain Puppies)
  2. Crave High Protein Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best dog food for Weight Gain Adults)
  3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Senior Canned Food (Best dog food for Weight Gain Seniors)
  4. Purina Pro 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula (Best DRY dog food for Weight Gain)
  5. Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog (Best dog food for Weight Gain for Allergies)
  6. Stella & Chewy’s Puppy Beef & Salmon Dinner Patties (Best dog food for Weight Gain Raw)
  7. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food (Best BUDGET dog food for Weight Gain)
  8. Solid Gold Barking at the Moon Beef, Eggs & Peas (Best Grain-free dog food for Weight Gain)
  9. Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Feast All Life Stages Grain-Free Canned Dog Food (Best Premium dog food for Weight Gain)
  10. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Chicken & Broccoli (Best Canned dog food for Weight Gain)

10 Best Dog Foods For Yorkies Reviewed

Adirondack 30% Protein Recipe Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Puppy & Performance 

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

Key feature: Omega 6 and 3 for heart health

Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein,20% Crude Fat, 3.8% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture

Caloric Content: 522 Kcal/cup

Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Pea-free

Life Stage: Puppy

Best for: Puppies with sensitive tummies

Are you looking for a well-balanced recipe that will make your puppy come for more?

Then this premium dry food is a perfect choice. It is delicious and irresistible for your fur baby. This delicacy is free from harmful additives and preservatives, making it healthy for your puppy.

Benefits

  • The cooking process is slow, thus ensuring that essential nutrients are retained
  • Rich in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for improved brain functions and smooth skin
  • It is free from wheat, corn, soy, and pea, hence safe for puppies with sensitive stomachs
  • Excellent source of protein for lean muscles

Crave High Protein Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Split Peas, Lentils, Pork Meal

Key feature: Chicken is the number one ingredient

Guaranteed Analysis: 34% Crude Protein, 17% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture

Caloric Content: 449 Kcal/cup

Type of Product:  Grain-free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy

Life Stage: Adult

Best for All Breeds

Massage your dog’s instincts with this high-quality protein recipe with real meat as the main ingredient. It’s formulated with farm-raised Chicken.

This meal has no wheat, corn, or soy, making it an excellent choice for dogs who cannot tolerate these ingredients.

Benefits

  • It is made with real meat from farm-raised Chicken for high-quality proteins that aid in healthy muscles.
  • It is free from soy, corn, and wheat hence safe for dogs with tummy sensitivities.
  • It is made from organic fruits and vegetables, which provide essential vitamins for growth.
  • The ingredients used are sourced within the United States hence safe for all dog breeds.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Rocky Mountain Senior Canned Food

First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Turkey, Lamb, Potatoes

Key feature: Non-Gluten Senior Formula for all breeds

Guaranteed Analysis:  7% Crude Protein, 6% Crude Fat, 1.5% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture

Caloric Content: 469 Kcal/can

Type of Product:  Grain-free, Gluten-free, Chicken Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy

Life Stage: Senior

Best for: Dogs with grain and gluten allergies

This recipe is crafted to meet the nutritional needs of senior dogs.

The first ingredient is real Beef which mimics wild dog food, thus appealing to your dog’s instincts. It’s crafted to promote joint health.

Benefits

  • High-quality protein for muscle health
  • Has no grain, gluten, corn, soy, or wheat  thus safe for dogs with grain allergies and stomach sensitivities
  • It contains Chondroitin and Glucosamine for healthy joints
  • Has Biotin and Folic Acid for blood sugar regulation and proper cell growth 

Purina Pro 30/20 Chicken & Rice Formula

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice, Beef Fat, Poultry By-Product Meal

Key feature: High-quality protein from Chicken 

Guaranteed Analysis: 30% Crude Protein, 20% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 12% Moisture

Caloric Content: 484 Kcal/cup

Type of Product: Contains corn and gluten

Life Stage: Adult

Best for All dog breeds

Pamper your baby with this mouth-watering premium food rich in amino acids, antioxidants, and essential vitamins for the overall health of your four-legged companion.

It is specifically crafted to aid in the proper flow of oxygen, which increases the agility levels of your companion. It is 100% safe for your dog as it contains no artificial flavorings or preservatives.

Benefits

  • It contains Glucosamine for strong bones and joints
  • It has 30% Protein and 20% fats for a muscular built and high energy levels 
  • It has probiotics for bowel and health and protection from infections
  • It is made from real Chicken, thus appealing to your baby’s instincts

Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Natural Dry Dog

First 5 ingredients: Herring Meal, Peas, Dried Eggs, Canola Oil, Tapioca

Key feature: Contains Taurine and Omega Fatty Acids for lustrous skin and heart health.

Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 19% Crude Fat,4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture

Caloric Content: 400 Kcal/cup

Type of Product: Grain-free, Gluten-free

Life Stage: Adult

Best for: Dogs that are allergic to grains

If you are looking for a high-quality recipe that will boost your dog’s weight, then this dry dog food is for you.

Packed with Herring Meal, White Fish, and Salmon proteins, the Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch recipe ensures your fur friend grows and maintains strong muscles. 

Benefits

  • Rich in proteins for muscle health
  • It has 19% fat content which provides energy that boosts your dog’s physical activity.
  • It contains organic fruits and vegetables for fiber production, essential for proper digestion.
  • It is free from grains and gluten hence perfect for dogs with grain and gluten allergies.

Stella & Chewy’s Puppy Beef & Salmon Dinner Patties  

First 5 ingredients: Beef, Salmon with Ground Bone, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Tripe

Key feature: Beef and Salmon are the first two ingredients

Guaranteed Analysis:46% Crude Protein, 34.5% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 5% Moisture

Caloric Content:36 Kcal/patty

Type of Product:  Grain-free, Gluten-free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy,100% Natural

Life Stage: Puppy

Best for: Dogs with sensitive tummies or grain allergies

Have you ever wondered how you can help your tiny puppy gain some pounds and be physically active?

Then this Freeze-dried Puppy food is an excellent choice for you as it is rich in high-quality proteins and fats.

Made with real Beef and Salmon, this tangy meal will make your puppy beg for more as it appeals to their wild instincts. 

Benefits

  • Rich in antioxidants like vitamin E that protect from free radicals that cause chronic diseases 
  • It has probiotics for bowel and gut health
  • Excellent source of proteins and fats for thick muscles and improved agility
  • It is made from real Beef and Salmon, thus appealing to your dog’s instincts.

Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Rice Bran

Key feature: Contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin for joint health

Guaranteed Analysis: 23% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture

Caloric Content: 346 Kcal/cup

Type of Product:  Pea-free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy

Life Stage: Adult

Best for Giant and large breeds

This recipe is crafted with antioxidants, organic fruits and vegetables, and protein-rich ingredients for your pooch to derive maximum nutritional benefits from it. It targets large breeds and promotes agility levels.

Benefits

  • It contains Chondroitin and Glucosamine for healthy joints
  • It has antioxidants including vitamin E that protect from oxidative damage
  • Rich in proteins  for growth and development of thick muscles
  • It is crafted from sunflower oil which has linoleic acids for lustrous skin and a glittering coat
  • It has preservatives hence safe for your dog

Solid Gold Barking at the Moon Beef, Eggs & Peas

First 5 ingredients: Beef, Ocean Fish Meal, Pea Protein, Potatoes, Dried Eggs

Key feature: High-quality protein from beef and fish

Guaranteed Analysis: 41% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture

Caloric Content: 415 Kcal/cup

Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-free, Gluten-free

Life Stage: Adult

Best for All dog breeds

This premium dog food will make your dog dance with excitement as it’s made of proteins, fats, and organic fruits and vegetables.

These ingredients work together to boost your dog’s strength and agility levels. It is also rich in prebiotics and probiotics for gut and bowel health. 

Benefits

  • It is an excellent source of proteins for a firm built
  • It has no grains hence safe for dogs with grain allergies
  • It contains organic fruits and vegetables that provide essential vitamins, including vitamin C, for improved immunity

Nature’s Logic Canine Beef Feast All Life Stages Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Sardines, Porcine Plasma

Key feature: High water content for hydration

Guaranteed Analysis: 11% Crude Protein, 9% Crude Fat, 3% Crude Fiber, 72% Moisture

Caloric Content:549 Kcal/can

Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-free, Gluten-free, 100% Natural

Life Stage: Adult

Best for: Dogs with grain allergies and sensitive tummies

This premium dog food is an excellent choice for your fur baby as it contains 100% natural ingredients, which ensure your dog does not negatively react to it.

This grain-free meal is packed with organic fruits and vegetables and suits your dog’s nutritional needs. 

Benefits

  • It contains lots of water for proper hydration and  bowel health
  • It is free from grains making it safe for dogs with grain allergies
  • It has no wheat, soy, or corn hence safe for dogs with tummy sensitivities
  • It has lots of tempting flavors that your picky eater will not resist

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Chicken & Broccoli 

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Broccoli, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum

Key feature: Chicken is the number one ingredient

Guaranteed Analysis: 10% Crude Protein, 8% Crude Fat, 1% Crude Fiber, 78% Moisture

Caloric Content: 221 Kcal/can

Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-free

Life Stage: Adult

Best for All Dog Breeds

If you are looking for a recipe that not only hydrates your dog but promotes the growth and development of lean muscles, then Wellness Core Chicken and Broccoli Food is a perfect choice.

It is rich in antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, and essential minerals. 

Benefits

  • It contains 78% Moisture which ensures your dogs stay hydrated throughout the day
  • It is the best choice for dogs who are allergic to grains as it contains no grains
  • It is rich in proteins for strong and healthy muscles
  • It contains antioxidants that protect from inflammation

Guide to Buying Dog Food For Weight Gain

Let’s dive in and find out how to buy dog food for weight gain correctly.

When Should You Worry? 

You should worry if your dog is losing weight at a high rate. If your dog’s weight loss is above 10% of their body weight, there could be an underlying problem

How can you tell if your dog is underweight? 

You can tell if your dog is underweight if they have the following signs:

  • Protruding ribs. If your dog’s ribs are visible, it can signify low weight. 
  • Changes in eating habits. If your dog suddenly becomes a poor feeder, it can signify weight problems.
  • Dull coat. A healthy dog ought to have a shiny and lustrous coat. If you notice your dog’s coat has lost its shiny appearance, it is a sign of weight problems. 
  • Low levels of energy. If your playful pooch suddenly loses interest in the previously enjoyed activities, it is a red sign of an underlying weight problem. 

Reasons Your Dog May Need to Gain Weight 

 The following are the main reasons your dog may need to gain weight:

  • Low weight is associated with low immunity levels since the body does not get the essential vitamins and minerals which boost immunity.
  • Weight loss has adverse effects on your dog’s skin and coat. The coat becomes dull while the skin looks dry and unhealthy.
  • Low weight causes hormonal imbalances in your dog’s body. This affects your dog’s fertility rates and can cause permanent fertility problems.
  • Underweight dogs tend to have malnutrition problems which lower their lifespan
  • Low body weight lowers your dog’s bone density and leads to muscle loss.

What Causes Weight Loss in Dogs? 

Weight loss in dogs occurs when their caloric intake is lower than their energy requirements. The following are some of the reasons why dogs lose weight :

  • Poor nutrient absorption: This makes it hard for your dog to benefit from essential nutrients as they are poorly absorbed
  • Dental problems: When your dog has a painful tooth, it becomes hard to chew food, and they may prefer to stay hungry to avoid the pain
  • Cold environments: A prolonged exposure to a cold climate promotes weight loss
  • Health problems: Diseases that cause vomiting and diarrhea lead to weight loss.
  • Parasites: The presence of parasites in your dog system leads to weight loss since parasites share food with your dog
  • Anxiety: Anxiety tends to make dogs eat less food or avoid food altogether. This leads to weight loss.
  • Age:  As dogs age, they lose weight. This results from fluctuations in appetite and age-related diseases.

Tips for Helping an Underweight Dog Gain Weight 

The veterinarian is the best person to identify the main reason for weight loss.  However, you can also help your dog to gain weight. The following tips are useful:

  • Serve your dog a high-calorie meal that boosts the energy levels and help replenish lost energy after an exercise or play
  • Serve your pooch a diet that promotes the absorption of nutrients and improves digestibility. These include food rich in vitamin C, including oranges and cranberries, and iron-rich foods like legumes
  • Feed your dog small meals spread throughout the day since smaller amounts are easily digestible
  • Ensure your dog engages in physical activities like outdoor walks or indoor playtimes. This will exhaust your dog and make them hungry. 
  • Serve your dog a puppy food formula as it contains more proteins and calories, which boosts your dog’s weight gain.
  • Use the ad libitum strategy where you leave the food for your dog to consume when hungry or bored. 

What to Look for in Dog Food for Weight Gain? 

While selecting food for weight gain, the main thing to look out for is the protein and fat content. The food also should be calorie-dense.

High protein content promotes the growth and development of lean muscles, while fats aid in energy production.

Proteins should come from real meat sources. Avoid ‘meat’ labels and go for specific labels like ‘chicken,’ ‘beef’, or ‘salmon’. Fats should also come from quality sources.

Go for foods containing healthy fats like chicken fat which boosts your dog’s energy levels and aid in bulking up your dog

For maximum benefits for your dog, look for protein content of 30% and fat content of 20%. In addition, look for foods rich in fiber since they help with digestion. 

Furthermore, you should look for food crafted with organic fruits and vegetables for vitamins.

Vitamin C is essential as it boosts immunity. Lower infections promote weight gain since illnesses make dogs lose weight.

Is it wise to make homemade high-calorie dog food for weight Gain? 

No, it is not wise to make homemade high-calorie food for weight gain as you might not know how to balance the ingredients for perfect weight gain food.

What to do about picky eaters?  

For picky eaters, a wet food topper can help in alluring them to eat.

Adding wet or canned food to your dog’s dry kibble not only improves the taste but it ensures there is enough water in the food.

In addition, wet or canned food boosts your dog’s calorie levels. You can also observe your dog and see the type of meat they enjoy and keep serving their favorite meat.

In addition, serving smaller meals throughout the day rather than one or two big meals is beneficial as it makes digestion easier and ensures that your dog gets hungry quickly.

Wet vs. Dry food for weight gain 

Although wet food is highly palatable, dry dog food is more calorie-dense than wet food. Wet food is appealing to dogs as it is rich in flavor.

In addition, wet food has lots of water that promotes hydration, boosts bowel health, and flushes out toxins from your dog’s system.

On the other hand, dry food is easier to digest, thus ensuring full absorption of essential nutrients.

To bulk up your pooch, the best option would be to mix the palatable wet food with the calorie-dense dry dog food and get the benefits of both dry and wet dog food.

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick

Switching your dog’s food abruptly can have adverse effects on your pooch’s health condition.

To lower the risks of sickness resulting from the introduction of new food, you should start by giving smaller portions of the new meal, then increase the amounts gradually. 

The following table will help you to switch dog food without your pup getting sick:

Day Old foodNew food
180%20%
360%40%
540%60%
720%80%
90%100%

FAQ

What can I feed my dog for weight gain? 

Feed your dog calorie-dense food and those rich in proteins and fats. In addition, you should look for foods that promote the absorption of nutrients, including legumes and oranges.

Can grains help my dog gain weight? 

Yes, some grains like rice can help your dog gain weight. However, most dogs are allergic to grains, and low-quality foods use grain by-products as fillers. potatoes are the better options

Which meat can help my dog gain weight? 

Yes, red meat can help your dog gain weight. This is because it is rich in proteins and fats. Chicken and chicken fat are also excellent choices for weight gain.

How many times should my dog eat to gain weight? 

Feeding your dog three to four times per day will help your dog gain weight. This is because spreading meal times throughout the day promotes digestion and lowers the risks of bloating.

Can fat help my dog gain weight? 

Yes, fat can help your dog gain weight. However, you should supplement the fats with proteins and carbs since they will convert into energy. 

How can I increase my dog’s appetite? 

You can increase your dog’s appetite by switching to a more tasty formula or visiting the vet for appetite-boosting medications. The vet will also rule out any underlying health conditions.

Is a raw food diet good for weight gain? 

Yes, a raw diet is good for weight gain as it is rich in proteins. However, a raw diet can raise metabolic rates, making it hard for skinny dogs to gain weight. 

Do dogs lose weight with age? 

Yes, dogs tend to lose weight as they age. This is mainly due to muscle loss. But if your dog is losing weight rapidly, you should consult your dog’s vet.

Can weight affect a dog’s life span? 

Yes, weight affects a dog’s lifespan. Overweight dogs are faced with obesity, while underweight dogs are at risk of malnutrition. These two factors lower the lifespan of your fur baby

Can supplements help a dog gain weight? 

Yes, supplements help dogs to gain weight. However, you should use supplements sparingly as too much can adversely affect your dog. Your dog can get diseases from too many supplements.

Can treats help my dog gain weight? 

Yes, showering your fur baby with calorie-dense treats during those special occasions helps them add some pounds. Look for treats that contain high amounts of calories, fats, and proteins.

When is weight loss in dogs considered clinically significant? 

Weight loss in dogs is clinically significant when your dog is losing more than 10% of its body weight. You can look for medications or change your dog’s diet. 

What is an ad libitum feeding strategy, and does this work for weight gain purposes? 

Ad libitum feeding strategy involves leaving food for your dog to eat throughout the day. It works for weight gain purposes as dogs eat wherever they are hungry.

Can I use puppy food to help an adult dog gain weight? 

Yes, you can use puppy food to help your adult dog gain weight, as puppy food has a lot of calories and fats. Calorie-dense food and fats promote weight gain.

Are any canine weight gain supplements worth using? 

Yes, using them in the short run may help but they are quite expensive and long-term usage may have harmful effects on your dog. Using natural options is advisable.

Our Verdict 

Weight gain is a long journey for both pet parents and their babies. Our review has made it easier for you to identify the best food to give your baby and help them add some pounds.

Our best dog food from the review is Stella & Chewy’s Puppy Beef & Salmon Dinner Patties, as it contains a high percentage of proteins and fats which play a critical role in weight gain. 

There are many factors to consider when selecting dog food for weight gain and they include the protein, fat, and fiber content. You may also need to switch to a new formula to boost your dog’s weight

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Author
Belinda Kendi
Belinda Kendi is a talented content marketer and dog food copywriter who produces relatable and valuable content.

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