How Long Does it Take for a Dog to Gain Weight

How long does it take for a dog to gain weight?

All dog owners want their dogs to have a healthy weight. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen like that for all dogs. Despite eating well, some dogs might not gain weight, putting stress on the owner. So typically, how long does it take for a dog to gain weight?

It takes a dog 3 or 4 months to gain up to 20 lbs on a raw diet. If malnourished, it can take up to 6 months to gain weight. However, it all depends on how you feed it, how much you feed it, and the food quality.

In case your dog is underweight, it can be stressful sometimes to get your dog to gain weight, but these tips should help youOpens in a new tab.. Indeed people sometimes can be quite quick to judge others, even though you are trying your best to get your dog’s weight back again.

Note that an ideal body condition is essential in supporting your dog’s health. There are reasons for some dogs to be underweight. Sometimes they might be recovering from an illness or injury, but with some special care and nutrition, such as dog food for weight gain, your dogs can get back to a healthy weight, which will support happiness and vitality.

In answering, how long does it take for a dog to gain weight? Note that healthily gaining weight takes time. So ensure you are feeding your dog with raw healthy foods and at the right timeOpens in a new tab., and you will see the weight of the dog coming back as it should in time.

Factors that determine how a dog gains weight

Do you intend for your dog to gain weight? If yes, then here are seven factors that determine how a dog gains weight.


how long does it take for a dog to gain weight
A Malnourished Dog in the Neighborhood
  1. The Age Of Your Dog: 

Over the years, a dog’s activity level wanes, meaning they will expend less energy. However, aging doesn’t just affect dogs alone; it also happens to dog owners. As the years’ pass, dog owners change their lifestyle by adopting some sedentary habits and less energetic activities, which affect their dogs. This means that if you want your dog to gain weight, reduce the dog’s stress.

  1. Having Your Dog in An Enclosed Spaces:

Note that dogs living in flats have less space for moving around. It is said that dogs should be allowed to walk outdoors, such as taken them somewhere they can run in the open air. However, restricting your dog to stay indoor will determine how it will gain extra weight.

  1. Sterilizations:

Note that sterilized dogsOpens in a new tab. are more than twice as likely to gain weight. The reason for this may include a higher food intake and reduced energy. Sterilization is another way to determine how a dog gains weight.

  1. Giving Food during Gestation:

Remember that in the early stages of fetal development, food plays a major role in knowing the future kitten’s susceptibility to gain weight.

  1. The Breed Of Your Dog:

Note that some breeds of dogs have a greater genetic predisposition to gaining weight. This means that the breed determines your dog’s proportion of gaining additional weight. Breeds like Basset Hounds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Beagles, Cairn terriers, and Dachshunds are more inclined to obesity. Other breeds might be having difficulties gaining weight, but that doesn’t mean they are malnourished.

  1. Having Less Activity:

Having less physical activity determines how a dog gains weight. It simply means less energy expenditure. Once your dog remains very inactive for a long, it is likely to gain extra weight.

  1. Dog Diet:

Giving your dog diets with too much fat or unsuitable home-made diets is another way to determine how a dog gains weight. But if your dog has appetite issues, it may end up losing weight.

Trending  Best Chew Proof Retractable Dog Leash

How long does it take for a malnourished dog to gain weight?

If your dog were sick before, it may gain a few pounds and then stop gaining for a week or more. Note that this can be normal sometimes or might result from the dog’s body recovering. However, if weight gain doesn’t resume in 2 weeks, you should consult your veterinarian.

In answering your question, how long does it take for a malnourished dog to gain weight? It can be for 2 or 3 weeks. But you can get a faster result by feeding your dog with meat-based food, along with some supplements. When done, recovery and weight gain should be seen in a short time as long as your dog has a normal appetite.

However, the downside of this is that dog food tends to be rich, which may upset some dogs’ stomachs. So you should introduce it gradually, add a spoonful to your dog’s existing food, and gradually building up the amount of feed over 2-3 weeks.

Types of food that help Dogs with weight gain

Remember, dog food that is good for gaining weight should have various traits that should make it appealing for the dog and healthy and nutritious.Opens in a new tab. So here are types of food that helps weight gain in your dog.

Trending  How Long can a Dog go Without Food


Remember that your dog will be willing to eat any food that tastes good. Also, wet foods tend to be more palatable than dry; this is because it has higher diets in fat and protein.

However, homemade diets are generally the most palatable option here. Still, if you are going to cook for your dog, ensure you’re working with a veterinary nutritionist who will ensure that the diet is nutritionally complete and balanced.


Note that the digestibility of a food is a measurement of how much your dog can actually utilize it compared to the amount that is eliminated because it’s not absorbed.

This means that if the food is highly digestible, your dog will not have to eat as much to reap its nutritional benefits.

Unfortunately, there is no way to directly assess a food’s digestibility when going through its label. But note that fiber, by definition, is indigestible, so you’ll want to avoid any food that is high in fiber.

One way to know the digestible food is to look at your dog’s face when eating that diet. A dog that eats a highly digestible food will produce firm, low-volume, and well-formed stools, while those that eat diets with low digestibility will produce more and looser feces.

Calorically Dense

Any calorically dense dog food will have lots of energy (calories) in a small food.

This means that your dog doesn’t need to eat much to take in many calories. Remember, you can now get info about a food’s caloric density on its label.

Note that fat provides more calories per gram than either protein or carbohydrates; this means that high-fat related foods are usually more calorically dense than low-fat foods.

So you should note that higher levels of protein are often needed to support your dog’s ability to gain weight.

Is too much weight good for a dog?

Indeed, humans seem to be drawn to chubby things; we all love pudgy puppies. However, when dogs grow up, the health effects of them being overweight can be far from cute.

Truly, more than half of all dogs in the U.S. are said to be overweight or obese. Note that overweight puts our dogs at higher risk for arthritis and also shortens their life expectancy. There are also numerous other dogs’ problems, like tumors, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

So to avoid too much weight gain in dogs, calories burned must equal or exceed calories consumed.

The reason why you should be concern is that extra body fat will put your dog at a higher risk of getting the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Back and joint injuries.
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart and lung conditions
  • Liver problems
  • Certain cancers
  • A shorter life span
Trending  Where Should my Puppy Sleep at Night Time

So because of these, keeping your dog at their ideal weight is vital to their overall health.

What do you feed an underweight dog?

Note that whether you bought a new dog or your dog is recovering from a difficult situation, it will be sad to see your dog lose too much weight.

Remember that an underweight dog can be sluggish, undernourished, and potentially at risk for more health problems if their bodies don’t get enough nutrients.

Below are what you need to know about feeding your underweight dog and giving them the nutrition needed to regain a healthy weight.

  1. Get a higher calorie food for your dog.

Getting food that contains high calories and protein will help your underweight dog. This is because your dog needs more calories to maintain its weight. Remember, for any dog that is only moderately active or sedentary; calorie food will help the dog put on the much-needed weight.

  1. Just feed your dog small meals throughout the day or consider free feeding.

Doing this will allow your dog to eat throughout the day and consume more calories. Although free-feeding is not recommended sometimes, this is because it can lead to weight gain, but since that is what you want for your dog, it is okay to free feed.

  1. Try to supplement meals with snacks.

You should try considering some supplemental food made with meat sources such as bison, high in fat and protein. Note that these foods, which are usually canned, will be labeled for supplemental feeding only. However, make sure that they do not replace a balanced formula for your dog. Also, you may add vitamins or some other supplements to help in keeping your dog healthy.

  1. Try using wet or fresh foods.

Indeed, these types of food may be more appealing for your dog as they have a stronger scent than dry food. In case you have selected to free feed, follow food safety guidelines to ensure your dog’s food doesn’t spoil.

This is because most wet or fresh foods need refrigeration after opening them. If you are using fresh food like Ollie, which is shipped frozen and thawed in the refrigerator, it should be kept cold before serving it. But if your dog doesn’t like cold food, then consider another formula they can eat warm like a bowl of stew.


Dr. Jason Williams

Dr. Jason Williams has served the veterinary field for over 26 years. After graduating from the Prestigious University of California--Davis. He has practiced in both the large and small animal sectors. His experience with Animals is immeasurable. Dr. Jason has found pleasure helping pet owners find the best information they'll ever need for their pets(companion). He currently has 20 pets and is dedicated to sharing from his wealth of experience to pet owners all over the world.

Recent Posts