6 Causes, Home Remedies & What to Feed

It is rather unusual for a dog not to gain weight or even to lose weight. It is also important for your dog’s health that his body is supplied with sufficient energy and nutrients.

In this article you will find reasons why your dog is losing weight despite eating and which dog food is suitable for weight gain.

In a nutshell: Why is my dog ​​not gaining weight?

Your dog won’t gain weight if he’s fed the wrong food, is stressed, or is sick. Sometimes he can even lose weight.

However, a lack of supply can be dangerous for your dog and have serious health consequences. Therefore, you should definitely consult your veterinarian.

In order to properly care for your dog, you need to know his needs. For all questions about the health of your four-legged friend, you can contact the online veterinarian Dr. Sam competent veterinarians at his side – every day of the year and beyond the usual office hours.

How do I know if my dog ​​is too skinny?

Stroke with gentle pressure from the head over the body to the tail. The ribs, hip bones and spine should be under a light layer of fat. The last two rib bones may only be visible in very slim breeds such as greyhounds.

A dog that is too skinny will have a sunken belly and a dull, lackluster coat. Depending on the severity of malnutrition, hair loss can also occur.

Maybe your dog is just one of the skinny dog ​​breeds?

Your vet can also determine the Body Condition Score (BCS), which specifically determines when a dog is considered too thin for each breed of dog.

Dog is getting thinner: 6 causes

There are many reasons why a dog becomes thinner and thinner. These can be harmless, only temporary reasons, but it can also be due to serious illnesses.

To help your dog, you should be able to identify what is causing his weight loss.

1. Improper feeding

A feeding problem can quickly arise. Young dogs need different food than adults and seniors, active dogs need more energy than sofa sitters and pregnant bitches eat for their puppies.

The food should always meet the needs of your dog. If his calorie needs change, you must also adjust his food portion.

A too high water content, too low fat content or too much fiber also ensure an insufficient calorie intake. The dog is saturated so quickly without having absorbed enough energy.

2. Food fussiness

Dogs can be divas too. While some also eat indefinable, black lumps from the street, others expect sprigs of parsley on their main course. You can only find out how a dog gains weight by trying it out.

Insecure dogs often shy away from food changes. If no drastic change is necessary for health reasons, you should therefore mix old and new food for the transitional period.

Dogs with food intolerance avoid their bowls for good reason if they regularly feel unwell after eating or have to vomit. The only thing that helps here is a clarification with your veterinarian as to which food you can feed tolerably.

3. Stress

Some dogs feel disturbed when eating by other pets or children and need more quiet at their feeding place. Moving that space to a better environment or making sure your dog can eat alone will solve the weight problem on its own.

And even if your dog is stressed in other areas of his life, this can show up as withdrawal and food refusal. Stress triggers can be changes in the apartment or its social environment, such as the death of an animal roommate or the separation of its humans.

4. Illness

Toothache causes many dogs to refuse food because chewing is simply too painful.

Gastrointestinal diseases, tumors or diabetes massively disrupt the metabolism. The nutrient supply is then no longer sufficient for regular growth.

Very rarely, dogs also suffer from chronic intestinal inflammation or the pancreas.

5. Parasitic infestation

Dogs need to be dewormed regularly to avoid catching worms. Because some of these species attack the gastrointestinal tract and steal the nutrients digested there from the dog’s body.

You can recognize a worm infestation by many symptoms, but then it is already quite pronounced. So make sure you deworm it regularly.

6. Result of insufficient supply

A misbehaved dog used to undereating will often respond by gorging on food – or, in rare cases, disregarding it.

Malnutrition can also mean that his intestinal cells are already severely damaged. Then they no longer absorb nutrients properly, so that even with a sufficient amount of food, the dog remains undersupplied.

What are the consequences of being underweight in dogs?

Being underweight in dogs disrupts its immune system, which also suffers from undersupply. Your dog is then more susceptible to infections and poorly equipped to fight them. It also takes longer to heal.

The muscles break down, which is exacerbated by your dog’s lack of fitness. He looks limp and there is hair loss and skin changes.

After a long period of time in which your dog does not gain weight or even loses weight, circulatory problems develop: blood pressure and pulse drop and anemia begins.

Overall, underweight dogs have a shorter life expectancy.

What feeds to make my dog ​​gain weight?

The right food should always have a sufficiently high energy content for your dog and contain enough fats and proteins.

1. Dog food to gain weight

If your dog needs to gain weight, you can purchase special food after consulting your veterinarian.

This contains many important additions for the respective causes of the weight problem. Therefore, it is also important to clarify this cause first and only to react to it with suitable food.

2. Home remedies

If there are no serious illnesses and you are sure you are using suitable food, you can use a few tricks to encourage your dog to eat again:

  • Mix feed with a little broth or cottage cheese
  • Feed food in several small portions
  • try new food

You can also let a fussy dog ​​starve for a day or two in front of a full bowl. It doesn’t hurt him – and at some point hunger wins. But then make sure that your dog drinks enough.

Find a quiet feeding spot and see if your dog is gaining weight and eating again.

When should I go to the vet?

Being underweight in a dog can be dangerous. Therefore, you should definitely go to the vet if your dog is not gaining weight. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t eat or if he loses weight despite eating.

If your dog is already visibly too thin or not drinking enough, it is advisable to see your vet as soon as possible. Otherwise, more serious illnesses can follow.

Even if your puppy is not gaining weight or an old dog is losing weight despite eating, a vet appointment is absolutely necessary.

An online consultation with Dr. You can book Sam quickly and easily via WhatsApp. No more waiting for your appointment – here you will be connected immediately to a veterinarian, every day from morning to midnight.


If your dog doesn’t want to eat, there can be a number of reasons. If he does not gain weight because of this, or even loses weight, it can be very dangerous for his health.

You should regularly check your dog’s health yourself and check its weight as part of this. A little fluctuation in his weight is normal, but being overweight or underweight can harm him in the long run.

at Dr. Sam will advise you online veterinarians on the right diet and the right way to care for your dog. You can easily and easily book a consultation via WhatsApp and you will be connected immediately without any annoying waiting time.