Protein/Carbohydrate or Fat

Hello, I’m new to this forum and am looking for help please.

I am thinking of changing my dogs food. I have always struggled to get weight on her. Recently she was very ill and of course didn’t eat. I need to build her back up but also wouldlike her to gain a little more than before, an extremely kg or so as she had absolutely no reserves to pull on.
I’m wonderng what I should be looking for a food with higher protein, carbohydrate or fat. She is on a high protein kibble at the moment but it’s not really working for weight gain.


Hello Karen and welcome to the forum!

Sorry to hear your dog has been very ill recently.
For sure we will try to help, may we ask firstly if there are any foods she should avoid as a result of her illness? And does she now take any ongoing medication?

And would you please give us a little more information about her age and breed and if she takes part in any particular activities (like agility for example).

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Hi Yes of course.

She us an English Springer Spaniel from working stock and is 8 years old.

Thankfully she hasn’t been prescribed any long term medication, it’s just antibiotics at the moment.The illness was an infection in her chest which caused her to show signs of septic shock. Hopefully she has managed to overcome this with no long term effects so there is nothing we need to keep away from. At the moment she is fed Evolution kibble.

We don’t do any particular activities but she is pretty active when out.

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Thanks for the extra information Karen, all helpful to know.

If you’d want to increase her weight it may be helpful to know that Protein contains 4 calories per gram, and Carbohydrates also 4 calories per gram whilst Fat is 9 calaries per gram.

So in a nutshell this means that for each gram of fat you feed her the calorie intake is more than double that of a gram of protein or carbohydrate.

Looking at the nutrients in “Evolution Naturally Adult” the amount of Protein is 38.9%, Carbohydrate is 31.1% and Fat is 16.7%.

You can see this information in the allaboutdogfood Dog Food Directory nutrient dials here :

You might note too when looking at the dials, the level of Protein is, as you say, above average; the level of Fat is average, and the Carbohydrate level is borderline average/above average.

If you wanted to consider perhaps a slight increase of Fat ( as a nutrient) with a slight reduction of Carbohydrate you can easily find foods in the dog food directory by moving the sliders (under the heading “Nutrient levels”) to the values of the nutrients you want.

The link to do that is here :


I find these nutrient dials extremely helpful as they show in a diagram just what are the levels of nutrients in the foods we feed.

Sorry just wanted to add a little extra…if you decide to tweak her diet, will you please try to change her slowly as she will be weakened by her illness at the moment, and the antibiotics may possibly be ‘unsettling’ her tummy too.


Hello and welcome to the forum. As Meg says, the higher fat products might be useful. I have just done a search on the Dog Food Directory with the fat slider set at 17%-40% and it returned 5 pages of dry food. Changing food when a dog has been, or is poorly is not the best time and if your dog does alright on Evolution, you might want to consider topping up. Quality wet food tends to be high in fat so if you added some to the current kibble it might help to add some weight. Alternatively, use it separately to give a third meal. That would probably be my option so that the dog’s stomach is not over filled. Evolution wet food is reviewed here. There is a good selection of wet food on the Dog Food Directory. If you need any help using the filters, please ask. Changing over entirely to wet food could be useful but is usually more expensive than dry.


Thanks both for that, very useful.

Think I’ll try and give an extra helping miday and make it Evolution wet food at the moment until she is a bit better.

I’ll look a bit closer at kibble with a higher fat content later.

I also have a working cocker who puts weight on very easily, I’ve been trying hard to keep things simple and feed the same food. Guess that’s not going to happen.


Thank you for letting us know, and I hope she feels stronger each day and gets back to her old self soon.

Would you please let us know how she progresses as reading your posts are sure to help others who may be in a similar situation.

Thank you for getting back to us. I think you have made a good decision and hope it works out. As for your other dog, I can see your problem. You can have them on the same food but you will probably have to give only a small amount to the dog who easily gains weight and he might not be best pleased. Please would you let us know how you get on?

Welcome to the forum Chloe. I hope that food works out well for you and your dog recovers fully soon.