SHARE

If your dog is having a hard time gaining weight and lean muscle, then it’s time for you to reevaluate the food that you’re feeding him. Is it high in protein and fat? Is it made without useless fillers and artificial ingredients? Dogs need a specific diet to gain weight healthfully. If you’re worried about your pooch, consult with your veterinarian about the best dog food for weight gain.

Helping your dog to gain weight sounds like a simple task, but if it’s not done properly it could lead to serious health consequences. Some of the options mentioned below may be perfect for your dog, but it’s important to consult your vet before switching to any new type or brand of the best dog food for weight gain.

A veterinarian or a certified canine nutritionist should always be your first source of information when it comes to feeding your canine companion, especially if you’re trying to get him to gain muscle and weight, and increase his body size. See below our discussion on the benefits and ingredients of these seven best weight gain dog food brands:

Dog Food for Weight Gain Price Value Rating
Purina One SmartBlend Nutrient-Dense Formula $$ $1.64/lb 4.2/5
Eukanuba Premium Active Adult Dry Food $$ $1.47/lb 4.5/5
MVP K9 Formula Mass Weight Gainer for Dogs $$$ $0.44/srv 4.3/5
Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Food $$$$ $3.80/lb 4.4/5
Purina Pro Plan Natural Grain Free Dry Food  $$$ $1.95/lb 4.5/5
Blue Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Food $$ $1.77/lb 4.3/5
Dr. Tim’s Premium All Natural Pursuit Active Formula $$$$ $3.13/lb  4.4/5

* Click on the best dog food for weight gain for more information and prices, or scroll down below for more details.

Choosing the best dog food for weight gain

Best Dog Food for Weight GainWe’ve previously discussed the nutritional requirements for dogs. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to figure out what your dog should be eating every day. The nutritional requirements of a typical dog should be based on his age, weight, breed, activity level and health condition.

A healthy diet is critical for all dogs, but it’s especially important for dogs that are underweight. You need to find the best dog food for weight gain that allow their body weight to increase by adding lean muscle. Increasing the fat content in the food will only cause Fido to pack on unnecessary fat, which will actually have a negative effect on his health.

As previously mentioned, there are many variables that will effect which dog food is best for your pet. This is the case whether your dog needs to gain weight or not. Every dog’s body is different, and that means that the required amount of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fat will be different for each canine.

Choosing a dog food isn’t just about what it offers, either. It’s also about what is does not offer. Finding a product that is free from artificial ingredients, unnecessary fillers and toxic chemicals is of the utmost importance. Not all dog food products are created equally, and you need to select the highest quality for your beloved pet.

The 7 Best Dog Foods for Weight GainA veterinarian or a canine nutritionist can help you find a diet that will meet your individual dog’s specific nutritional requirements. They can also guide you in finding the best dog food weight gain that is specifically made with quality ingredients.

Working with a professional is the only sure way to find the best dog food for weight gain that will be nutritionally appropriate for your pet. We cannot stress enough how important it is to consult an expert to learn about the appropriate nutrition for canines and the many diets available that can provide that nutrition.

What is the Best Dog Food for Weight Gain?
top 7 nutritionally balanced foods for weight gain

1Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free Nutrient-Dense Formula Dry Food

Purina One SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free Nutrient-Dense Formula Dry Dog FoodPurina ONE True Instinct Grain-free Dry Dog Food chicken and sweet potato formula is developed for adult dogs. This best dog food for weight gain is nutrient-dense, grain-free and contains real chicken, chicken meal, cassava root flour, and sweet potatoes. Its 30% crude protein content and 442 kcal of metabolizable energy (per cup of food) are great numbers to start with if your dog has an active lifestyle and needs to gain some weight.

Ingredients: Chicken (Source of Glucosamine), Chicken Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Cassava Root Flour, Canola Meal, Pea Starch, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved with Vitamin E, Pea Protein, Dried Egg Product, Dried Yeast, Dried Beet Pulp, Sweet Potatoes, Liver Flavor, Essential Nutrients: Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E, Choline, Vitamin B-3, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-5, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-6, Folic Acid, Vitamin K, Vitamin D-3, Vitamin B-7)

This rich-tasting formula has crunchy triangular kibbles that can be moistened or served as is. Dogs love the taste and always finish their share without trouble. You know that their food is fulfilling to them, because they don’t keep begging for food. After a meal of Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Grain Free Nutrient-Dense Formula Dry Dog Food they’re fueled for the day and are active till their next meal.

best dog food for weight gainYour dog won’t need supplements because this bag contains all the vitamins and minerals that dogs need and it has good levels of glucosamine and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Compared to other grain-free recipes, this one is priced more competitively, and digestion or sensitivity issues are rare.

PROS:

  • Grain-free
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • 30% crude protein content and 442 kcal of metabolizable energy per cup of food
  • No corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meal, artificial flavors or preservatives
CONS:

  • As with any of the best dog food for weight gain brands, some reviews claim this food upset the dogs stomach causing vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • A few reviews say the buyer found meal worms or other bugs when they opened the ba

best dog food for weight gainMost helpful review about this best dog food for weight gain: “As a veterinary assistant I am constantly on the lookout for the most nutritional food to feed my fur baby, as well as to recommend to clients who need to switch their pups over to a more nutrient dense diet. This food is…”

 

2Eukanuba Premium Active Adult Dry Food

Eukanuba Premium Active Adult Dry Dog FoodEukanuba Premium Performance Dry Food delivers optimum levels of protein and fat (30/20) and calcium to support lean muscles and strong bones and sustain an active dog’s energy needs. It is made with chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn meal, brewer’s rice, fish meal, sorghum, chicken fat, beet pulp, dried egg product, and fish oil. It is enriched with vitamins and minerals, and has adequate levels of chondroitin and glucosamine to ensure healthy joints.

Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Corn Meal, Brewers Rice, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Fish Meal, Dried Egg Product, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Salt, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract

This has enormously helped working dogs that had difficulty keeping their weight on.  Not only have dogs attained their ideal weight and kept it, they also bloomed on Eukanuba Premium Active Adult Dry Dog Food. They have strong bones and joints, which they need in their high-level activity, and have glossy coat and healthy skin.

best dog food for weight gainThe nice thing about using this product to boost your dog’s weight to normal levels is that there’s no need to overfeed dogs to attain that objective. The correct food dose recommended for your dog’s age and activity level does that after a short time.

PROS:

  • Delivers optimum levels of protein and fat (30/20)
  • Proven to reduce tartar build-up in 28 days
  • Made without fillers
CONS:

  • Formulated for dogs over 1 year old
  • Made with some concerning ingredients like chicken by-product meal, corn meal, dried-egg product and chicken fat

best dog food for weight gainMost helpful review about this best dog food for weight gain: “Great dog food for the money. I haven’t noticed any drop off in ingredients or performance by my dog post Mars purchase. I’ll continue buying. Update: My next order of Eukanuba came in with the bag taped up…”

 

3MVP K9 Formula Mass Weight Gainer for Dogs

MVP K9 Formula Mass Weight Gainer for DogsMVP K9 Formula Mass is an all-breed solution for adding bulk on skinny dogs. Picky dogs or dogs that recently went ill need some perk in their diet to give them more weight, and Formula Mass may just have what it takes. This powder formula from MVP K9 Supplements has 28% crude protein and 50% crude fat – you won’t find fat content this high in most dog food formulas. This healthy fat provides an energy source to sustain your dog’s high-energy activities and recovery without relying so much on the body’s protein resources, which are best used up for building and repairing muscles.

Ingredients: Vegetable Fat, Whey Protein, Flax Seed, Creapure

This formula is an add-on or topper to your dog’s regular wet or dry food. Its ingredients are vegetable fat, whey protein, flaxseed, and creapure. Aside from fat and healthy calories, MVP K9 Formula Mass Weight Gainer for Dogs is also a good source of 18 naturally-occurring amino acids that support muscle strength and repair.

best dog food for weight gainThis is a must-try for dogs that need to regain their energy and lost weight. It packs a lot of other benefits, too, such as nicer coats and more alert disposition. It’s very easy to use since you don’t need to change your dog’s food, so there will be no drastic change in your dog’s setup.

PROS:

  • Contains 28% crude protein and 50% crude fat
  • Suitable for dogs of all breeds and ages, including nursing mothers
  • Good source of 18 naturally-occurring amino acids
  • Ingredients used are tested for 100% safety
CONS:

  • This is not a full meal – only meant to be a topper for your dog’s regular meals
  • There are multiple reviews from buyers who say that they did not notice any weight gain after feeding this to their dog for weeks

best dog food for weight gainMost helpful review about this best dog food for weight gain: “We purchased this product for our pitbull because no matter how much we fed her she still looked a little undernourished. We tried different foods, always purchasing top of the line food for both her and our basenji…”

 

4Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Food

Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog FoodBully Max High Performance is a 30/20 formula like Eukanuba Premium Performance, and has a whopping 535-calorie content (per cup) which is the highest in our list and possibly in this category.  It is made with chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat, beet pulp, sorghum, barley, brewer’s yeast, flaxseed, fish meal, egg product, fish oil, probiotics, and vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. The increased calories that Bully Max brings to your dog’s diet adds energy which is vital in gaining weight, building body mass and muscles, and increasing strength and alertness.

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, ground sorghum, pearled barley, brewers dried yeast, whole ground flaxseed, menhaden fish meal, egg product, menhaden fish oil, potassium chloride, salt, l-lysine, lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product dehydrated, propionic acid, vitamin e supplement, ascorbic acid, organic dried kelp, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin b12 supplement, vitamin a acetate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin d3 supplement, folic acid, iron sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, natural flavor

This dog food packs a lot of calories and, fortunately, it’s also flavorful, because it would be such a waste if dogs didn’t like it. Dogs take quite easily to it and have no problem switching. In as short as 2 weeks on Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food you’d already notice some bulk forming.

best dog food for weight gainDogs are not simply gaining weight in this formula – they’re more active, too, which is very important. Their skin and coat show great health. A few skin irritations were noted with Bully Max, but that’s a dog issue not the food per se. Overall, this is a great option for dogs that need to fill out.

PROS:

  • Protein and fat content is 30/20
  • 535-calorie content per cup
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • Formulated for all life stages
CONS:

  • There are multiple reviews from buyers who say that they did not notice any weight gain after feeding this to their dog for weeks
  • Some reviewers noted their dog suffered from skin irritation after being switched to this food

best dog food for weight gainMost helpful review about this best dog food for weight gain: “The food is something my dog likes and he looks like hes gained a little muscle. However a huge almost $20 price jump means I will find something else. Now it’s $65. For 15 pounds is…”

 

5Purina Pro Plan Natural Grain Free Dry Food

Purina Pro Plan Natural Grain Free Dry Dog FoodPurina Pro Plan Natural grain-free lamb and egg formula’s animal protein sources are lamb, chicken meal, and dried egg product. It is grain-free and uses alternative carb sources like pea starch and cassava flour. It also contains vitamin supplements and chelated minerals. It has optimal ratios of omega 3 and 6 to ensure healthy skin and coat. The significantly high fiber level aids in improving bowel movement and regulating blood glucose.

Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Pea Starch, Canola Meal, Cassava Root Flour, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Egg Product, Dried Beet Pulp, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Fish Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Manganese Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Copper Proteinate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Folic Acid, Biotin, Sodium Selenite

Dogs that were switched to this transitioned beautifully – even some dogs that had very sensitive tummies – and are doing great on Purina Pro Plan Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food. Their hair turned glossier and they’re at their ideal weight, which are the easiest ways to tell how a dog does on its new formula.

The lamb and egg combination is a hit to the palate of most dogs, so it has helped them eat properly and attain their proper weights. The small kibbles are perfect especially to some dogs with problematic teeth, which may get discouraged from eating large bites. Instead, they get to eat and finish their portions. Highly palatable meals can make dogs over-eat and be obese, but the high fiber content of Purina Pro Plan Natural will also help keep things in check.

 

PROS:

  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
  • Grain-free
  • Contains vitamin supplements and chelated minerals
  • No poultry by-product meal, soy, artificial colors, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives
CONS:

  • Made with lower quality ingredients like chicken meal, animal fat and dried egg product
  • As with any of the best dog food for weight gain brands, some reviews claim this food upset the dogs stomach causing vomiting and/or diarrhea

best dog food for weight gainMost helpful review about this best dog food for weight gain: “I’ve been in the dog industry for over 16 years and have seen dog foods come and go, but Purina has hit a homerun with this grain free formula. I have a 8 year old yellow lab male that weighed a handsome…”

 

6Blue Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Food

Blue Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog FoodBlue Life Protection Formula from Blue Buffalo is for adult dogs and is made with deboned lamb, oatmeal, barley, turkey meal, brown rice, sunflower oil, probiotics, and vitamin and mineral supplements. There are two kibble types – the first type is triangular in shape and brown, while the other type (called LifeSource Bits) is pebble-shaped and dark. The LifeSource Bits are made with blueberries, cranberries, spinach, flaxseed, pomegranate, and other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables through a low-temperature process.

Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Potatoes, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Calcium Carbonate, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Potato Starch, Dried Chicory Root, Caramel Color, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, L-Lysine, Garlic, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Spinach, Pumpkin, Barley Grass, Dried Kelp, Parsley, Turmeric, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Taurine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, L-Carnitine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Beta Carotene, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary

This dog food has adequate levels of protein, fat, and total calorie count that dogs need for growing muscles, supporting body functions, and sustaining play and activities. Appropriate feeding methods and correct food dosage will help in attaining the proper weight for dogs who are on Blue Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food.

best dog food for weight gainDogs love the taste of Blue Buffalo, and this lamb recipe especially, so dogs that usually lack appetite take easily to this and finish their portions clean. This makes gaining weight so much easier. It’s very important to consider your dog’s current weight and activity level when deciding on the amount to feed.

PROS:

  • Deboned lamb is the first ingredient
  • Made with whole grains and real fruits and vegetables
  • No chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
CONS:

  • Some unhappy buyers questioned the quality control of this product, noting torn packaging, bugs in the food, mold on the food and discoloration of the food
  • As with any of the best dog food for weight gain brands, some reviews claim this food upset the dogs stomach causing vomiting and/or diarrhea

best dog food for weight gainMost helpful review about this best dog food for weight gain: “I have been feeding the Large Breed Fish and Oatmeal (Life Protection Formula) since May of this year, switching from Taste of the Wild to Blue after adopting a Labradoodle. This review is only for what I received from…”

 

7Dr. Tim’s Premium All Natural Pet Pursuit Active Formula

Dr. Tim's Premium All Natural Pet Food Pursuit Active Dog FormulaDr. Tim’s Premium All-Natural Pet Food Pursuit Active Dog Formula is so calorie-dense that you need not feed as much amount of food as Blue Buffalo or other dog food for that matter. It is made with chicken meal, ocean herring meal, salmon meal, porcine plasma, and other protein sources. Its carb and fiber content comes from brown rice flour, oat flour, beet pulp, flaxseed meal, rice bran, and psyllium seed husk. It has added vitamins and minerals and probiotics for healthy digestion and strong immune system.

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed natural tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), whole oat groats, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), dried egg product, rice bran, menhaden fish oil (preserved with mixed natural tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), ocean herring meal, ground whole flaxseed meal, catfish meal, chicken liver meal, salmon meal, dried porcine plasma, lecithin (sunflower derived), dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, kelp meal, dried chicory root (source of inulin), yucca schidigera extract, psyllium seed husk, choline chloride, salt, taurine, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, beta carotene, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, inositol, niacin supplement, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, zinc oxide, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), copper proteinate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), d-calcium pantothenate, potassium iodide (source of iodine), manganous oxide, vitamin B12 supplement, sodium selenite, vitamin D3 supplement, L-carnitine, folic acid

This food is developed for dogs that have active lifestyles – dogs that jog, run, and play almost every single day. This high-calorie food helps to keep them in top condition. Dogs that have been on Dr. Tim’s Premium All Natural Pet Food Pursuit Active Dog Formula for a considerable period of time are able to keep their ideal weight and have well-toned muscles.

They have great energy, have shiny coat, and always have the appetite for their food. They never seem to get tired of it and never turn down a meal, so it must taste very good. If your dog needs some filling out, this can help her/him gain weight nicely.

PROS:

  • 86% of protein from animal sources
  • Made with patented BC30 probiotic for digestive health
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • Contains a minimum 30% crude protein and 20% crude fat
CONS:

  • Contains some lower quality ingredients like chicken meal, chicken fat, dried egg product and multiple fish meals

Disclosure: We may earn affiliate commissions at no cost to you from the links on this page. This did not affect our assessment of products. Read more here and find full disclosure here.