Feeding and caring for a malnourished dog


To know if a dog is malnourished, one must first feel its ribs, which must be clearly felt but not visible

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Last update: March 3, 2016

The causes that make a dog very thin or malnourished are varied. You may have a disease or harbor parasites. Extreme thinness also occurs in animals that have been abandoned or lost. And there is caused by a nervous disorder. Finding out what causes malnutrition is important to be able to direct food in the right way.

When a dog does not eat enough, the blood glucose level drops. And it impairs the functioning of your kidneys, brain, heart and muscles. On the third day of hunger your metabolism slows down, and on the fifth your own fat stores are your energy source.

In a situation of extreme thinness of a dog, the initial impulse is usually to supercharge the animal. However, this is not correct. It is important to start feeding him gradually and gradually, without allowing the dog to get fed up and controlling the time he spends on feeding.

Distribute the food

The dog that has suffered a period of malnutrition should not have free access to food, nor eat freely in these initial moments of feedback, since serious digestion problems may occur.

The malnourished dog should be served a small portion of food every six hours

The malnourished dog should be served a small ration of food every six hours, that is, four times a day, instead of allowing it to be satiated in a single food intake.

If a dog has been exposed to the lack of food for a long time, his stomach does not reduce, but it does become more sensitive to his stretching When he eats food. The sensitivity to the expansion of the stomach disappears around five days after proper feedback from the dog.

It is advisable to divide the daily amount of food according to the weight of the dog, so it should be annotate the consumption of our pet's food. It also helps to weigh you, at least once a week, and record your dog's weight. Later, this will give you an idea of ​​the kilos your dog has gained.

Food apathy

The rejection of food does not always indicate that the dog has no appetite. Some dogs end up getting used to only one type of food, so they can reach to refuse others no matter how hungry they may be. If it is estimated that the dog has been deprived of food for seven days or more, the feedback diet provided must be composed primarily of grease and, to a lesser extent, carbohydrates.

Food to feed the dog suffering from malnutrition must have an appropriate mineral composition, especially phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.

The diet of a dog that has spent days without eating must be composed mostly of fat

The amount of calories in food should not exceed what the dog consumes under normal circumstances. It is very important that the dog has free access to water, which is the most important nutrient: a loss of 15% of water would imply death by dehydration.

If a dog refuses to eat dried croquettes, mixing them with canned food can be a way to make the food more attractive to the animal. Wet supplements contain a much larger amount of water than fat and protein, so it is not recommended that they become the main component of a dog's diet that is undernourished.

Diet ingredients

The first ingredient in a very thin dog's diet should be chicken, turkey, lamb or meat. Look for quality foods that have an average fat content of 18%, and protein between 28 and 30%. Since dogs that need to gain weight are recommended a greater amount of fats in their diet, the addition of some protein-rich foods to your dog's diet does not present major inconveniences. These supplements may include cooked meats, without bones, and dairy products or hard boiled eggs.

The dog does not eat for a nervous disorder

If your dog's nutrition problems are due to type disorders nervous, the priority must be to rebalance your internal chemistry. If your pet's nervousness is already being treated, it will not take long to eat normally. In any case, a quick visit to the veterinarian is crucial for a good diagnosis and the correct feedback of our pet.

Symptoms of a malnourished dog

An undernourished dog you will be extremely thin and have completely lost all your muscle mass. Thus, its bone structure can be touched without problems and even detected with the naked eye. However, in addition to these obvious symptoms, others may appear:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Lack of shine in the hair
  • Flaky and dehydrated skin
  • Lack of hair
  • Weakness and constant lethargy

If you have a dog in these conditions, visiting the veterinarian is essential! You need to assess the severity of your condition, give you personalized recommendations and keep track of your progress.

How to feed a malnourished dog

Fighting malnutrition is achieved little by little, Overfeeding a dog in this state to gain weight immediately is a serious mistake., since your digestive system will not be able to digest all that food and you will cause problems.

Although it is an adult dog, the most advisable thing is to resort to a feed for puppies, since it has a greater caloric intake. It is convenient to choose a high-end one and combine dry feed with moist food, at least during the first days, to also recover the hydrating snow.

The best is give several small portions a day instead of just one or two more abundant. For example, four daily servings is adequate, the veterinarian will know how to recommend the most appropriate amounts for your particular case.

Also, don't forget that you should always have fresh water available!

Other care for a malnourished dog

To end malnutrition, Not only is it important to feed the dog well. Keep in mind that now you barely have body fat, so it will be impossible to keep your temperature stable and you will need external help, offer a warm environment and blankets, especially if it is winter.

Probiotics for dogs can help your body to make the most of all the nutrients you eat at meals. Ask your veterinarian for information.

You will need to do Regular visits to the veterinarian to monitor the evolution of your health and weight. He will know how to tell you when he has reached his ideal weight and therefore when he has stopped being a malnourished dog.

If you have decided to take care of a malnourished dog, we are very happy! But it is an important decision, because a dog in that state really needs you. Be careful, responsible and inform yourself as much as possible.

Don't over-feed it

It is completely normal that when we see a dog that is very thin we intend to give it much more food than we would if it were healthy. But this is something we should avoid, for its own sake. A binge of food can cause stomach damage, as well as nausea, dizziness and vomiting, so that, in the end, everything that had been swallowed would end, again, out of his body.

Distribute the food

A healthy dog ​​can have the full feeder always at his free disposal, but in case of thinness it is important that we give it four times a day. When an animal does not eat enough for a few days, the stomach becomes more sensitive to its stretching. This sensitivity, fortunately, disappears more or less after five days of proper feedback from the dog.

Give quality food

Feed for dogs sold in supermarkets is usually made, especially cereals (corn, wheat, oats, etc.), and not animal protein that is what dogs need, especially those that are having a bad time. To help you improve, We recommend giving Applaws, Acana, Orijen, or other similar feeds, or Yum or Summum Diet.

Keep track of your weight

To know how it is improving, It is very advisable to weigh it at least once a week. Thus, little by little we will see that really our care is being very useful and that the hairy is recovering his health.

Sooner rather than later, he will be jumping for joy, sure 😉.

The malnourished dog

An undernourished dog will have many health problems. Normally we will see your ribs and notice the low weight you have easily. These dogs have low defenses, so you may have caught some disease. Problems in the skin and in the fur are common, since it does not have the necessary nutrients so that it is in perfect condition.

Another of the symptoms of a dog that have this problem is weakness. Dogs that do not eat much will be lethargic for a long time, so it is normal that the first few days just move and sleep a lot, since they will not have the strength to play. Many even have a hard time standing. These dogs may also experience vomiting and diarrhea on a regular basis. This happens because the stomach has been subjected to lack of food and because dogs often eat everything they find, which is usually garbage and things that hurt their stomach.

Go to the vet

Depending on the state of the dog, we can give care directly at home or there will even be feed it parenterally in the vet. However, a visit to these professionals is always necessary to determine the general condition of the dog. An undernourished dog can suffer multiple diseases or have eaten things that hurt them a lot. They can have from scabies to distemper or anemia. Each case is different, so you always have to put yourself in the hands of professionals, who can guide us better when caring for this malnourished dog. The veterinarian will not only look at possible diseases, but also consider that there may be a nutritional deficit of something to put a specific diet, something that we can not know. Typically, these dogs have a blood test for a general check of their health.

Malnourished dog feeding

Feeding is a key part in the recovery of a dog suffering from malnutrition. Precisely the dog is in that state due to the lack of food for a prolonged period. However, we must bear in mind that it's not about overfeeding the dog without control. On the contrary, we must be very careful when giving the food so that it does not suffer stomach pains, diarrhea or vomiting that can weaken it further.

You have to buy quality feed. In the vet they can recommend some feed that helps them in recovery, since there are formulated specifically for this purpose. It is usual that a I think of high-end puppies. These feeds have many nutrients for a growing dog, which helps any malnourished dog recover, even if it is an adult dog. In addition, these feeds are usually softer and smaller, being perfect for a dog that is weak. The feed should be mixed between dry and wet to provide more fat and water to the dog.

As for the intakes, they need to be small and spaced so that the dog can do the digestion well. You should not make a single intake in the day, because this is heavier for the stomach and may not do well digestion or vomiting. With small meals the dog will assimilate it better and have energy throughout the day. It is also very important to provide fresh and clean water throughout the day. Sometimes we are advised to give the dog a drink with mineral salts that will help him recover if he has suffered diarrhea.

Malnourished dog care

The malnourished dog not only needs daily food to recover. It is important that we also provide daily trust and love. These abandoned dogs are usually distrustful at first, but once they begin to receive care we will see a change in their mood, something that we should also look at. There are many dogs that weaken to the point of stopping eating, because they can also get sad and their mood counts a lot in recovery.

We must provide you with a hot dry place to sleep in Daily and rest. Malnourished dogs are usually tired and lethargic for a while, and therefore it is important to give them a place to sit and be comfortable.

On the other hand, these dogs may have skin problems. It is important give them a good bath and deworm them inside and outside. If they have scabies or any other problem, the veterinarian will give us the appropriate treatment and the guidelines to follow. If it is only a coat damaged by the lack of nutrients, we will find that it will improve little by little. These dogs may have baldness or lack of hair but eventually recover.

Another important step for these dogs to recover is to improve their digestive system. Today there is probiotics available for dogs They have bowel problems. These probiotics help the dog to recover its intestinal flora and health, so that the nutrients it takes are well absorbed.

Symptoms of a malnourished dog>

The most characteristic feature of a malnourished dog is its extreme thinness, we will observe a zero amount of fat and muscle mass, Consequently, bone structures can be clearly seen with the naked eye.

However, there are also other symptoms presented by a dog in a state of malnutrition:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Dull hair
  • Flaky skin and hairless body areas
  • Lethargy and weak>

Go to the vet

Veterinary care is a priority when we are treating a malnourished dog since some cases are so severe that rehydration and even parenteral nutrition should be used, that is, intravenously.

The veterinarian will also determine the existence of other diseases that may have been caused by malnutrition and establish if there is a specific nutritional deficit that prevails over others, which should be taken into account for subsequent dietary treatment.

The malnutrition of the dog>

Overfeeding a malnourished dog is a serious mistake, since its digestive system is not prepared for excess food and this could lead to a wide range of gastrointestinal symptoms.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends use a high-end puppy feed, although we are treating an adult dog, since this type of feed is the richest in calories and nutrients and is absolutely necessary in the treatment of an undernourished dog. During the first days of treatment, dry feed should be mixed with wet feed, thus increasing the water content but also the fat content.

The food rations should be moderate but frequent, being the ideal thing for the dog to make 4 feedings daily, also It will be a priority that you always have clean and fresh water at your disposal.

Due to the low percentage of body fat of an undernourished dog, the same You will have great difficulty maintaining your body temperatureTherefore, you will need outside help. This implies that you must have a warm and comfortable space, it will be appropriate to have a fluffy bed and several blankets at your disposal.

It is important that the malnourished dog can easily absorb all the nutrients it is receiving, to improve digestive system function One of the best options is to start a probiotic treatment for dogs.

Make regular visits to the veterinarian

Not only is it important that the dog initially has a veterinary assessment, but also It will be essential that until the dog recovers an optimal body weight he can go to the veterinarian periodically.

The meaning of these periodic visits is the supervision of the nutritional treatment and its adaptation in those cases in which the animal's response is not the most appropriate for its recovery, after having offered the necessary care and feeding for a malnourished dog.

If you want to read more articles similar to Care and feeding of a malnourished dog, we recommend that you enter our Basic Care section.