Underweight dog

Hi all,

I’m on the hunt for a suitable food for my underweight year old Cockapoo. He is not a big foodie, so simply increasing quantity isn’t an option but he is very very energetic so I’m conscious that I don’t want to feed him something that will send him loopy.

He walks for 1.5 hours a day, but it is a full on countryside walk, and he will run flat out for the majority of it - playing with other dogs, sniffing or chasing birds.

He was fed tribal cold pressed for a while where I saw a good increase in his condition, but one day he just refused to touch it. I kept offering it to him for over a week thinking he won’t let himself starve, but he started eating sticks and leaves on our walks instead which caused him to keep being sick every night.

He is now on Forthglade wet food which he loves, but had a very runny bottom (it was introduced very gradually). We added some dry food to the mix and he will pick at that every now and then, but his poos are still not great.

Basically, I think what I’m asking is how can I find a decent high calorie dog food that won’t give him unwanted excess energy? Or is there anything I can add to his food to help? I’ve also tried Salmon oil and that really really did not agree with his tummy :-\

He has a monthly check in at the vets and they’re not concerned as he’s not losing weight, he’s just not really putting any on either. Thank you

Hello. That is an awful lot of exercise and it is not surprising that he is underweight. If you can reduce his exercise for a while that might be helpful. Giving him some mental exercise in the home could be a good substitute.

Generally speaking, a diet that is higher in fat (it has more calories) should help to maintain weight but high fat usually is accompanied with high protein and you seem to be associating this with hyperactivity. I don’t know of any actual evidence that this is the case.

A dog that has so much exercise needs a diet that is high in protein and fat so maybe consider the higher rated foods. These can be found in the dog food directory, using the filters at the side. Please post back if you need help with this. Also, you may want to consider adding some sweet potato, pumpkin or butternut squash to improve the stools.

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One point to note as well - every dog is unique! All nutrition is controlled by our gut bacteria, so while you may be feeding him a ‘high fat’ diet, the bacteria in his gut may not be degrading these fats efficiently, thus leading your dog to be living with more of an ‘average’ or ‘low’ fat diet.

Reminds me of school - I always had a mate that would eat lots of carbs and never put on weight…meanwhile I would eat a slice of pizza and put it on instantly! Turns out its not just ‘metabolism’ - its all controlled by these little gut bugs… :-[