It is important to determine the cause of the weight issue before you try anything, since there are many medical issues that cause weight loss. Intestinal worms, digestive disorders, intestinal obstruction and kidney failure are just a few of the problems that could be behind your dog's lack of substance. Check with your veterinarian and get your dog a clean bill of health before you turn to supplementing their diet.
The first method is to increase the amount of food they are getting in a day. For raw feeders, add more muscle meat to help put on the pounds or increase the overall percentage you feed. For dogs eating a commercial kibble diet, add an extra half cup or full cup as a mid-day snack. For dogs on a homemade diet, increase the amount of carbs and protein. Be wary of overfeeding in one meal, avoid bloat by feeding extras as a mid day snack right before your dog has an afternoon nap. Since you may be increasing the volume of food your dog is eating, it is important to remember never to feed your dog one hour before and one hour after exercise, this will prevent bloat and life-threatening gastric torsion.
Another option is to add one whole raw egg to your dog's food bowl, this high protein addition is sure to help pack on some weight. More things to add to your dog's food bowl include sweet potato, pumpkin, apples (without seeds or the core), green beans and raw green tripe. Raw green tripe is an excellent addition to a skinny dog's diet for a variety of reasons, read my article on the benefits of raw green tripe here!
For kibble fed dogs, try adding a higher fat and higher calorie canned food to each meal. A couple tablespoons to half a can should be sufficient for adding extra calories to a meal. Look for high quality canned foods such as Merrick, Wellness, Go! or Homestyle.
Lastly, providing healthy treats and snacks is a good way to add extra calories to your dog's diet. Make sure you do not go overboard with the treats, since that is an easy way to jump to the other side of the weight spectrum. Read my article on choosing healthy treats for more information.
More food means more calories, but make sure to provide a high protein, whole food diet as the foundation to health and vitality. Nutrition plays a major role in physical condition, and you can also incorporate a good exercise routine to help maintain proper weight.
For more information on switching your dog to a high quality diet, visit my Diet and Nutrition page or contact me!