The Dog does not Gain Weight: possible causes

Your dog may not gain weight for several reasons. This may be due to the type of diet, insufficient hydration, excessive exercise, disease or the breed type of the animal.

One of the main characteristics of dogs is that they have a lot of energy. Of course, a lot depends on the breed, the time they spend exercising and other factors. However, there are times when your dog doesn’t gain weight and you can’t figure out why.

Reasons why a dog does not gain weight

There are various reasons why a dog does not gain weight. In this article, we will briefly explain some of the possible causes.


The type of diet that a dog that gets a lot of exercise must follow must be different from that of a dog that moves little. For example, a dog living in an apartment will not consume the same calories as a dog used to graze sheep.

It is advisable for the dog to ingest the right amount of nutrients that must be related to the physical exercise he does every day.

Reasons why a dog does not gain weight: nutrition

One of the reasons a dog does not gain weight can be related to the type of food and diet they follow. He may not be eating the right amount of food or the type of feed you provide him does not contain all the nutrients he needs.

Even if he consumes the right amount of food for his weight and size, another cause could be that the dog is not absorbing all nutrients properly. This could be due to some type of disease.

Unlike cats, which eat little but more frequently, dogs tend to eat a large amount of food on a regular basis.

Water is essential

Don’t forget the importance of hydration. It is very important that the animal always has fresh water at its disposal. Water is essential for a dog’s life.

Therefore, in addition to the diet, care must be taken that the dog drinks a sufficient amount of water. Otherwise, your pet’s body will not function properly.

One of the possible consequences of poor hydration is that the dog does not properly absorb the nutrients present in the food it eats. For this reason, the animal must always have water to drink at its disposal .

Dog breed

Depending on the breed, the physical constitution of the dog changes. One example is the greyhound, which might look like an undernourished dog.

Greyhounds are dogs with a very slim build. Within the skinny dog ​​group, there are also chihuahuas and borzoi , just to name a few.


In some cases, the dog does not gain weight due to an illness. If you notice that your pet is eating properly but is not gaining weight, we recommend that you take him to the vet.

Among the diseases related to a lack of weight gain are intestinal diseases, diabetes or pancreatic problems .

Sometimes, along with the other symptoms, a lack of appetite can be observed in the animal. In these cases, the dog may lose muscle mass or have gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhea.

In addition, other obvious signs may be the loss of luster of the coat or an excessive lack of energy. Each disease has specific symptoms and generic symptoms.

Intestinal parasites, another possible cause of your dog not gaining weight

Among the different types of parasites, there are endoparasites. Among them, those that affect the digestive system are nematodes (cylindrical worms) or cestodes (flat worms).

Parasites of the digestive system lurk in the intestine. There, they suck blood and the nutrients they feed on, causing tissue damage and the onset of anemia. In addition, they can cause intestinal obstruction which can result in dog death.

Despite the fact that the dog is fed properly, endoparasites can be one of the reasons why a dog does not gain weight. Therefore, we recommend that you have your dog dewormed whenever your vet deems it necessary.

The vet will also advise you which product is best depending on the type of parasite present in the dog. Parasites vary depending on where the dog lives. So, in some cases it will be better to use one product and for others another.

Today we have briefly explained some of the possible causes that do not allow your dog to gain weight. There may be others that we have not listed. If in doubt, we recommend that you consult a veterinarian.

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