Food to gain weight, but not energy!


Could anyone recommend a dry and wet complete dog food for a very energetic underweight 2 year old Labrador.

I don’t want to increase her energy or the amount of poos! But she currently looks like a greyhound, she is never going to become a typical fat Labrador thankfully but could do with a bit more weight on.

Any recommendations?


I can’t recommend a food because I’m also in the process of learning. Just curious why do you want him to gain weight? isn’t dogs supposed to be lean?

She is too lean and perhaps even losing more weight as she is so active.

i see…, anyway let’s wait for the pros to get into this :slight_smile: 8)

Hello and welcome to the forum,

Could you tell us what you are feeding at the moment and if you feed the recommended daily amount? Also have you ruled out any medical reason for her being lean. It is not often the Labradors are underweight from what I have observed. ;D

I feed a grain free turkey based dry food, whichever brand is on offer, with some grain free wainwrights wet food. She only weighs 20.9kg and she’s an average height Labrador, and loves her food. The vet isn’t worried about her weight, as long as she is happy in herself and active which she is. But she has lost 2/3kg since I got her in February.

Firstly I have a Lab…a castrated 4 year old boy. He weighs 25kg at the moment.

Personally I prefer Labradors to Flabradors… ( a light hearted dig at over feeders - not a dig at show line examples!)

Mine is a relatively small working line Lab - He is Lean, fast and energetic but the later on demand and not displayed 24/7. Good stamina and energy burst ability are fine but if the dog is bouncing of walls all the time consider if dog has enough meaningful exercise & stimulation. If dog is under a year old don’t over do the joint impactive
excercise…consider other stimulation &/or water based activities…

Turkey may not be the best protein choice…You don’t state specific brand kibble you are feeding though if you feed Wainwrights wet foods can vary in composition quality. I have happily fed the grain free trays that rate ok on here.

Of the turkey kibbles I looked in past at the skinners field and trial seems ok on paper…but it does contain grains.

Turkey is by no means a bad food but as a protein source I don’t belive it is rocket fuel either.

Without seeing your dog exercised for any duration it’s hard to know if it is genuinely getting food energy overload or not. I feed relatively high energy food but no hyperactivity here…just a dog with on tap energy when needed.

Plenty of hyperactive kids on foods that aren’t high quality.

An abundance of energy on demand is fine but ideally you also need an off switch. That could be a dietary issue as some foods can allegedly make dogs more hyper than others…But don’t dismiss suitable stimulation & excercise. issue.

Tried mine on a few kibbles in past, but have currently switched to a raw complete (for various reasons including health). Most grain free kibbles on here 4 star rated or above seem acceptable to many. 4.5 or thereabouts and all should be fairly well…assuming you want to stay on a kibble of course.

Some cold pressed foods maybe worth a look.

I probably wouldn’t mix kibble and wet but that’s me.

It will cost a fair amount to feed purely wet complete.

All the above is maybe worthy of some consideration but do bear in mind labs mature later than some breeds. They can take over and be quite intense when young if so allowed. I would expect a 2 or 3 year old to settle in terms of calmness when not stimulated. My 4 year old here just as quick as ever but just chilled in downtime…all dogs are different (temperament, calmness, size etc) , including labs…but diet can play some part in this.

Re dog size…look up dog body condition chart on Google - Ideally you should be able to feel last couple of ribs and maybe see a hint of last.'If you can see all ribs your dog would benefit from a weight gain.

You mention vet visit so I am assuming no other issues or health concerns.

Hope some of the above may be worth consideration.

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Thanks for your advice, yes it is helpful. She is 21 months old, and try to get a good balance between exercise and stimulation. But I can just about see all her ribs. No other health issues.

I’m going to look at a different protein source to start with and take a look at feeding raw in the future if that doesn’t help.

Thanks again.

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