Maintaining the health of your dog is an integral part of owning a pet. Feeding your dog a proper, balanced diet plays a large role in maintaining its health. Similarly, not feeding a dog the correct food can cause health problems. A dog's diet should include proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals [source: Virginia College of Veterinary Medicine]. Dogs that are fed a balanced diet will be neither too skinny nor too fat.If your dog is too skinny, it may be because it's not receiving a well-balanced diet.
Help your dog gain weight by feeding it a well balanced diet consisting of the following:
- Water Water accounts for between 60 percent and 70 percent of a dog's weight. Dogs need fresh clean water available to them at all times. A reduction of 10% of its body water can have harmful affects on a dog.
- Protein A dog needs protein to help build cells, tissue, organs etc. Animal based proteins such as chicken, beef and lamb are the best sources of protein for your dog. Although protein is found in vegetables and cereals, it's not present in sufficient amounts.
- Fats Fats are the most concentrated form of food energy. In fact, protein provides your dog with more than double the food energy of the same weight of protein and carbohydrate.
- Carbohydrates Carbohydrates contain the fiber that a dog needs in its diet. Your dog can obtain its carbohydrates from wheat, corn or rice.
- Vitamins and minerals Make sure to feed your dog a vitamin and mineral supplement [source:ASPCA].
- Commercial foods If you want to feed your dog commercially available dog food, make sure the label states that the food meets the nutritional requirements of dogs established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) [source: Virginia College of Veterinary Medicine].