Using pet supplements to help your dog build muscles is not always recommended. Generally, canines don’t need muscle supplements because they can gain weight and muscle mass with certain healthy diet changes. But a dog muscle builder may be occasionally recommended in some situations.

Certain dogs may have a specific health condition preventing them from gaining and reaching a healthy weight and building muscle, and dog supplements may be prescribed by the vet. Before you buy any muscle builder for dogs, it's crucial to get information about the specific supplement, its advantages and disadvantages, and the possible side effects. In this article, we'll cover the important things about muscle builders for dogs.

What Is a Muscle Builder for Dogs?

What a dog muscle builder looks like

Dietary pet supplements come in different forms and have many purposes, and they are extremely popular in the USA. For example, it is estimated that a third of all dogs and cats in the US receive some type of dietary supplement or vitamin.

A dog muscle builder is a type of dietary supplement that comes in the form of either powder or tablets. It's intended to help the dog gain weight and build muscle mass. However, muscle supplements can also help with a few other things not specifically related to making a dog look more muscular.

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Why Use a Dog Muscle Builder

Why Use a Dog Muscle Builder?

Other than the obvious, muscle supplements have a few viable advantages, especially for athletic or working dogs, as well as dogs that require supplementation due to health reasons. Among other things, muscle supplements can:

1. Build essential muscle mass

Of course, the main reason for using muscle supplements is to help a dog build muscles and appear more muscular. An owner may want his guard dog to look more intimidating to protect his property and family. Another common reason for building muscles in dogs is to improve the dog’s chances of placement in competitions.

2. Build stamina and strength

Athletic, working, and show dogs need not only to appear muscular but to have exceptional strength as well. These supplements can help build that strength which can help the dog’s performance in a number of sports.

Agility competitions and many other dog sports, on the other hand, require stamina. They include running, jumping, and avoiding hurdles. Dog muscle supplements can increase the dog’s stamina, and make him more agile and fast.

3. Increase energy level

Your dog may feel more energetic if you include muscle supplements in his diet. If you have a dog that’s been feeling a bit lethargic lately, supplements made to increase activity in dogs can provide him with the necessary boost to overcome such issues.

4. Help with injury recovery and prevent future injuries

Dogs that have a good build with strong muscles are less likely to suffer muscle injuries. Overweight dogs and those who lack exercise can experience problems with muscle tears, muscle atrophy, and degeneration later in life.

Dogs that already suffer from muscle atrophy can also benefit from muscle supplements. Some studies have shown that supplementation with muscle builders for dogs can slow down the effects of this condition, or even stop it in some cases. However, you shouldn’t try to deal with this problem on your own; always consult your vet first.

5. Correct vitamin deficiency

Muscle builders can help with vitamin deficiency. A lack of essential vitamins in dogs can cause a range of health problems like muscle weakness, lethargy, joint pain, bone deformities, and more. Vitamins D and E are especially important for muscle development in dogs.

It is important to point out once again that you shouldn’t try to fix your pet's vitamin deficiency issues simply by shopping for the best muscle builder for dogs without consulting your vet first.

Ingredients Found in Muscle Builders for Dogs

Ingredients in dog muscle buildersMuscle builders have a wide range of different ingredients. However, a few ingredients are more likely to be in all of these supplements.


Protein in muscle builders is usually either whey protein or milk protein. It's typically an organic compound with the purpose to create and release amino acids and enzymes into a dog’s body. Amino acids are essential for tissue repair and muscle building, and enzymes are responsible for better digestion and making metabolism faster.


Other than protein, creatine is the second most crucial ingredient in any muscle builder for dogs. It's primarily responsible for helping the body build muscle more effectively, provide energy and retain water in muscles. Just like humans, canines produce creatine naturally in their bodies, but active and athletic dogs may need more of it.


This ingredient is also known as vitamin B2 and it has a great ability to assist the body in breaking down complex carbs and converting them into glucose, using them for building muscles and filling the body with more energy.


This component in dietary supplements is responsible for energizing the dog but it can also help with muscle growth. Working dogs can benefit the most from maltodextrin. It's rare in pet supplements, and you should only choose a dog muscle builder with this additive if your dog spends a lot of energy on a daily basis and only after consulting with a veterinarian.

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How to Use a Dog Muscle Builder Correctly?

How to Use a Muscle Builder for Dogs CorrectlyMany pet supplements can be helpful but they can also be used without any real effect or even have some unwanted consequences and many side effects. Nine times out of ten, your dog does not need any supplements, especially muscle builders.

Before you start giving your dog muscle builders or any other supplements or vitamins, discuss this with your vet and get his advice and approval.

Beware of possible side effects

Pet supplements, including a muscle builder for dogs, are made of synthetic ingredients, and not real vitamins and nutrients which can only come from regular food. That is why supplementation of any kind needs to be done with extreme caution to avoid any dangerous side effects.

For example, vitamin A can be toxic when taken in large amounts. Over-supplementation of vitamin A is not something for pet owners to worry about when it's natural and through a normal diet, but it is a real possibility with synthetic vitamins.

Some of the possible side effects of giving your dog synthetic vitamins or supplements include dry skin, joint disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, dehydration, immune depression, birth defects, increased tumor growth, and more. To avoid these side effects, you need to have a good reason to provide your dog with muscle builders and to always follow the prescribed dosage. Never try to increase the dose that’s recommended based on your pet’s weight and activity level in order to “speed up” the results.

Feed Your Dog Properly

Supplements work best when they are a part of a well-balanced healthy doggy diet. A muscle builder for dogs cannot replace a healthy diet with all the necessary nutrients; these supplements can only be an addition to it. Feed your pooch high-quality, natural dog food or make him homemade meals that include all the necessary ingredients. There are several recipes for gaining weight and building muscle that you can try.

Provide Regular Exercise

Muscle supplements are full of ingredients like protein and creatine that makes the dog more energetic and also supplies an additional serving of calories. This requires regular exercise in order to fulfill its purpose. Long walks, running, playing games, training routines, and especially swimming are all good ways to provide your dog with the exercise he needs to build the required muscle mass.

If you give your dog muscle builder without regular activity, your pooch will simply gain weight in the form of adipose tissue (fat) instead of muscle mass. Discuss the exercise regime with your veterinarian to avoid overworking your dog, too.

Be Patient

You may not see the results as fast as you hoped. Results take time and if you want to give your dog muscle builders, do it with realistic expectations. If you provide your pet with a balanced diet and regular exercise, you will see results within a couple of months.

How to Shop for Dog Muscle Builders

You can find a muscle builder for dogs online or at your local pet store. The first thing to decide on is whether you would like your supplements to be in powder form or tablets. It may be easier to sell your pooch on tablets because they often look like dog treats.

Other things to pay attention to are the ingredients and taste of the pet muscle builder. It can be very difficult to make your canine eat the supplements if they don’t like the taste, so consider this before you choose a dog muscle builder. As far as ingredients go, look for supplements rich in protein and with the least amount of unnecessary synthetic additives. A good muscle builder for dogs will also have other more important nutrients responsible for muscle building, like vitamins, additional amino acids, and antioxidants.

The Best Muscle Builder for Dogs Brands

Here are some of the best muscle builders for dog brands that you can discuss with your veterinarian and choose based on your dog's needs. Because Pit Bulls are the breed where pet owners most commonly look for muscle builders, brands like Gorilla Max and Bully Max are some of the most commonly purchased today.

MYOS Canine Muscle Formula

MYOS Canine Muscle Formula supports optimal muscle health and strength in dogs of all sizes. This all-natural, steroid-free supplement is clinically proven to build muscle and prevent muscle loss for improved recovery. It may reduce muscle atrophy and weakness caused by the natural aging process for better mobility and endurance. The active ingredients also help promote cognitive, vision, bone, and skin health for dogs. Although MYOS is made from 100% fertilized chicken egg yolk, it contains no chicken components.

PET CARE Sciences Dog Weight Gainer

PET CARE Sciences Dog Weight Gainer is packed with protein and all the other natural supplements that your dog needs to regain lost weight or increase muscle size. Included vitamins such as amino acid help with joint strains, reduce inflammation, and supports your dog's skin and coat condition. Containing roughly 90 servings of sweet bacon flavor powder, you will not struggle to get your dog to take this supplement. Simply add to their food daily to see the best results. We recommend half a scoop daily for a puppy and one full scoop daily for adult dogs.

MVP K9 Muscle and Performance Supplement MVP K9 Muscle and Performance Supplementis another popular brand and their dog supplement suitable for most breeds that need assistance in building muscle mass. It contains creatine, amino acids, and protein from different sources. The formula can be added to your dog’s daily diet without needing water, just make sure to follow the recommended dosage.

Bully Max The Ultimate Canine Supplement Bully Max The Ultimate Canine Supplementis the second type of muscle builder for dogs from the same popular brand, Bully Max. It's made of natural ingredients, and according to the company, all dog breeds older than 7 weeks can use this product for building muscles and improving overall health. This supplement contains synthetic ingredients like maltodextrin, then dried whey, vegetable oil, beta carotene, and a few vitamin supplements, among other things.

In Conclusion

A muscle builder for dogs is a type of pet supplement that's meant to help with increasing the muscle mass in dogs and improving overall health in athletic, sporting, working, and otherwise active dogs. They can also improve a dog’s stamina and strength and raise the animal's energy level.

Note that muscle supplements, like most other supplements, are not essential and can even be harmful to your dog’s health if used inappropriately or when given to dogs that do not require them. Always make sure to get your veterinarian's approval before you start using a dog muscle builder or most any pet supplements.

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Muscle Builder for Dogs - What It Is and How to Use It

Patrick has been a long-time dog adopter and currently lives with his two dogs - Tarzan and Loki - in Brooklyn, NY. He is a certified dog trainer, writer on all things dogs, animal shelter volunteer, freelancer researcher of animal sciences and aspiring author.