Nutrition for Underweight Dogs

There may come a time when your fur-baby becomes underweight, this may be because of changes in their daily routines, changes in their dog food or diet, and many other things.

underweight dogs

Being underweight is unhealthy and could greatly jeopardize the health and quality of your dog’s life.


Determining if your pet is underweight can be identified in many ways.

  • Observe your pet from his side. In an underweight dog, you will see a marked indent between the ribs and the hips.
  • Observe your pet from his top. In an underweight dog, he will see him appear very skinny in this area.
  • In an underweight dog, his ribs and/or spine will be very visible.

Underweight dogs can also display signs such as:

  • Lack of energy
  • Decreased to no appetite at all
  • Dullness of skin and coat
  • Unfinished meals


As mentioned above, a dog may become underweight for many reasons.

  • If your dog gets lost or was left alone at home for many days, your dog may not eat or may not be fed, causing a dramatic weight loss.
  • Your dog may be underweight because of certain diseases (like digestive & kidney disorders) or parasites infestation, and intestinal worms that may stop him from eating and achieving or maintaining his normal weight.
  • Constant stress can also be a reason for weight loss in your pup. Stress from loud noises, changes in daily routine, new people or pets at home, or stray animals can cause your pet to lose weight if it happens too often.

Note: For better management and treatment, it's necessary to know the causes of your dog's weight loss.


The following is a simple guide as to how much you should be feeding your fur-baby in different stages of his life and what nutrients he needs to prevent him from becoming an underweight dog.

  • For puppies. Puppies need a diet that is high in protein and calcium to sustain their growth. Ideally, you should be feeding your pup three times a day until he reaches one year old, at which time you may begin feeding him twice a day. But remember that the amount of food you'll have to feed your pup depends on his weight, daily activities, etc.
  • For young adults. When your dog reaches a year old, he's now in his maturity and maintenance stage. This means the nutritional requirements and amount of food will stay almost the same all throughout his entire young adult stage of life (considering he's not sick or goes through daily intense physical activities). Your dog should have a visible waist and you should feel his ribs with your fingers below a small layer of fat.
  • For active adults. Exercise is important to all dogs for optimum health and fitness. Dogs who are more active (like those who do sporting activities) need more food and calories to sustain their food requirements, prevent hunger, and fatigue.
  • For senior dogs. Your dog's dietary needs will change as he grows old. Senior dogs will have lesser energy requirements and should be fed according to their health condition.


Managing underweight dogs can be a challenge but we’ve come up with efficient approaches to better your fur-baby’s weight.

  • Increase your fur-baby's quantity of food in a day. Feed your fur-baby a couple of times in a day rather than feeding him large quantities in one feeding.
  • If you are raw feeding your dog, feed him lean meat. Lean meat is healthier and easier to digest.
  • If you are feeding your dog commercial kibbles, you can add some of your dog's favorite snacks. Pet Parents® supplements can be great treats for dogs, as they are jam-packed with nutrition and offer a lot of health benefits to your fur-baby.
  • You can add fruits and veggies like sweet potato, apples, pumpkin, etc. together with Pet Parents® Probiotic Supplement that's loaded with fiber, vitamins, & minerals that support the digestive tract, helping relieve an upset stomach & treat diarrhea & constipation. 
  • To further help meet your fur-baby's nutritional needs, you can provide Pet Parents® 5-in-1 Multivitamin that helps promote powerful daily health support. Whether it’s to promote skin & coat health, hip & joint support, immune & intestinal function or to help maintain heart health, our dog multivitamin chews have your fur-baby covered.
  • Provide your dog with fresh water to stay well hydrated.
underweight dogs

Nutrition for underweight dogs can be a lot of work, but Pet Parents® is your right hand in helping your dog lead a happier and healthier life.