What to Feed A Malnourished Dog: Best Foods to Try

Dogs of any age or breed can be affected by this serious issue of malnutrition. A malnourished dog is not receiving the necessary nutrients and calories for proper growth and development. Malnutrition is often a result of poor diet, poor eating habits, or a medical issue that impairs the dog’s ability to absorb nutrients. It is important as a responsible pet owner to notice and identify the signs of malnutrition in your dog and take the necessary steps to feed and nourish your furry friend back to health

Firstly, it is important to get in touch with a veterinary if you notice or suspect that your dog is malnourished. The vet may run various tests to ascertain the cause of the malnutrition and provide the necessary guidance on the best course of action to take. Once your dog’s condition has been diagnosed and any medical issues treated, it is important to focus on providing a nutritious and balanced diet. Below is a comprehensive list of the best foods on how to fatten up a malnourished dog.

What to Feed A Malnourished Dog: Best Foods to Try

Feeding a malnourished dog is a delicate process that should be done under the guidance of a veterinarian. Dogs with malnutrition may have special dietary needs and medical conditions that should be addressed. Here is a list of 10 foods that can help nourish a malnourished dog, but remember to consult with a vet for a tailored feeding plan:

High-Quality Commercial Foods

There are high-quality commercial food brands in the market specifically designed for malnourished dogs to give them all the basic food nutrients required to bounce back to health. Some of these quality commercial foods include the Eukanuba Premium Performance Adult Dry Dog Food, Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food, and the Purina ONE True Instinct With A Blend Of Real Turkey and Venison Dry Dog Food.

Cooked Lean Chicken

Cooked lean chicken is a good option to feed a malnourished dog because it is a lean source of protein, making it easy for the dog to digest and absorb the necessary nutrients. To maintain and keep a healthy immune system, protein is very important as it helps tp build and repair tissues and increase muscle growth. Malnourished dogs often have weakened immune systems and can benefit from the added boost of protein.

In addition to that, cooked chicken is also low in fat and calories which allows malnourished dogs to get the needed nutrients without overloading their digestive system. Cooked chicken is also a healthy way to increase weight gain and help the overall well-being of your furry friend.

Aside from the low fat and calories, cooked chicken also contains essential vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, and vitamin B needed for the overall well-being and development of your malnourished furry friend. All these nutrients mentioned help to improve their energy levels, support healthy coats and skin and help in the production of red blood cells.

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Cooked Lean Turkey

Cooked lean turkey is essential for malnourished dogs as it is a great source of protein that helps to build and repair muscles, organs, and tissues and it also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system for your malnourished dog. Furthermore, cooked lean turkey contains a very low-fat proportion and contains essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B that support the development and function of the body. If your dog has dental issues or trouble chewing, cooked lean turkey may be a great food option for them as the texture can be suitable for their teeth. When you are looking for an easy-to-digest food, cooked lean turkey is top on the list as it also helps the malnourished dog to regain strength and vitality. All in all, if you are looking to provide your malnourished dog the necessary nutrients and support their need for their recovery then you should consider feeding them cooked lean turkey!

Cooked Ground Beef

One excellent source of high-quality protein is cooked ground beef containing about 25 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. Protein is essential for malnourished dogs as it helps in building and repairing muscles and tissue.

Cooked ground beef is easily digestible for dogs as the meat is very tender and soft making it easy for malnourished dogs to chew and swallow. 

Essential nutrients like iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and niacin are contained in cooked ground beef making it important for maintaining a dog’s overall health and can improve the immune system of a malnourished dog.

Boiled Rice

Boiled rice is a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, and some essential minerals like zinc and iron making it a highly nutritious food for your malnourished dog as it helps to provide the needed energy to support the dog’s metabolism and immune system.

A malnourished dog may have a compromised digestive system that may have trouble digesting food so boiled rice is easy to digest, making it a great choice for dogs with a weakened digestive system. Dogs with digestive issues should also be fed with boiled rice as it is gentle on the stomach.

Boiled Sweet Potatoes

Boiled sweet potatoes contain essential nutrients like vitamins A, B6, and C and important minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients are important to support the healthy growth and development of your malnourished dog. Aside from the vitamin and mineral contents, they are straightforward to digest making it a great choice for your dog’s sensitive stomach. The soft and tender texture of boiled sweet potatoes makes it easy for malnourished dogs to chew and swallow.

Boiled sweet potatoes are also rich in complex carbohydrates needed for the steady release of energy for your malnourished dog as they may have low energy levels due to lack of proper nutrition. The anti-inflammatory properties of boiled sweet potatoes also make them a great food option for malnourished dogs as it contains antioxidants and inflammatory compounds that help reduce inflammation for a malnourished dog suffering from arthritis or skin allergies.

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Boiled sweet potatoes are also good sources of dietary fiber as they can help regulate a dog’s digestive system, most especially for malnourished dogs who may have digestive issues.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are an excellent source of protein for malnourished dogs which is needed for building and repairing tissues in their body. All the amino acids necessary for the proper functioning of your dog’s body are contained in scrambled eggs which help to improve muscle mass and strength. They are also highly digestible protein sources making it ideal for dogs with a sensitive or compromised digestive system as they provide the needed nutrients without putting too much strain on their digestive tract.

Scrambled eggs are great food options for a malnourished dog as they can be easily accessible in most homes and can be quickly prepared without breaking the bank in urgent need of nutrition.

Cooked Carrots

Cooked carrots are a great food option for your malnourished dog because of the following reasons: 

Cooked carrot contains essential Vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B6, and C as well as potassium, magnesium, and fiber needed for your dog’s overall health.

Cooked carrots are softer and easier to digest for a malnourished dog than raw carrots especially if your dog has digestive issues as a result of malnutrition.

Cooked carrot helps to provide a quick and sustained energy boost for a malnourished dog because of their great carbohydrate content. Antioxidants can also be found in cooked carrots which helps to boost your dog’s immune system and improve its overall health.

Weight gain is a major issue for malnourished dogs but with foods like cooked carrots that are low in calories but high in nutrients, they can healthily gain weight and live in good health.


Bananas are easily digestible making them a great food option for malnourished dogs with weak digestive systems as they can provide much-needed energy and nutrients without putting strain on the dog’s digestive system. They are also good sources of natural sugar which can help provide a quick source of energy for a malnourished dog that may have trouble eating larger meals due to a lack of appetite.

Bananas are essential for a healthy digestive system as they are rich in fiber that can help regulate bowel movements for malnourished dogs that may have digestive issues such as constipation. They are calorie-dense food which is beneficial for a malnourished dog to gain weight and improve their overall health.

Cooked white fish

Cooked white fish is one of the best foods to feed your malnourished dog because of the following reasons:

It has a high protein content needed for building and repairing tissues in the body. Due to its high protein content, cooked white fish can easily be digestible for a malnourished dog, they have a very soft texture making it easier to chew and swallow.

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Cooked white fish is packed with lots of essential nutrients like vitamin B12, D, potassium, and selenium which help to boost the immune system for overall health. They are relatively low in fat and are great for a malnourished dog with gastrointestinal distress. Furthermore, they are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids particularly EPA and DHA for maintaining a healthy coat, skin, joints, and overall health.

Signs of Malnutrition in Dogs

Some of the obvious signs of malnutrition in dogs include:

  1. Weight Loss: This is an obvious sign of malnutrition in dogs because if they are not consuming enough food and their body starts to break down fats and muscle for energy they eventually lose weight.
  2. Dull or Flaky Coat: Due to the lack of fatty acids needed for a shiny and healthy coat, their skin may become dull and flaky.
  3. Muscle Wasting: This happens when the muscle in the body starts to deteriorate due to a lack of protein.
  4. Lack of Energy: If a dog is not getting all the nutrients it needs, they may become lethargic and have a lack of energy.
  5. Poor Appetite: Dogs suffering from malnutrition show little or no interest in proper feeding.
  6. Stunted Growth: Dogs who do not get the needed nutrients for growth may start to depreciate in height and size compared to breeds of the same age.
  7. Digestive Issues: Malnourished dogs may experience digestive issues like diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation due to inadequate nutrition and a lack of necessary nutrients for proper digestion.
  8. Dental Problems: A malnourished dog may develop unhealthy teeth and gums because the teeth and gums are not getting the necessary nutrients for development.
  9. Behavior Changes: Malnourished dogs may easily become irritable, aggressive, or develop behavioral problems as a result of poor nutrition.
  10. Weakened Immune System: Because food is essential for a strong immune system, malnourished dogs may be prone to illness and other diseases compared to breeds of the same age.

Best Weight Gain Dog Food for Malnourished Dogs

  • Bully Max High-Performance Super Premium Dog Food
  • CRAVE High Protein Adult Dog Food
  • Adirondack 30% High-Fat Puppy & Performance Recipe
  • ZIWI Peak Dog Food
  • Purina Pro Plan SPORT Dry Dog Food

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get my malnutrition dog to gain weight?

You can get your malnourished dog to gain weight by feeding them quality dog food that contains all the nutrients needed for healthy living.

What is the best way to feed a starved dog?

The best way to feed a starved dog is to serve a small meal every six hours (4 times a day).

Are eggs good for malnourished dogs?

Yes, eggs are a good source of protein for malnourished dogs.

How long does it take for a malnourished dog to gain weight?

Approximately it takes a few weeks for a malnourished dog to gain with proper feeding.

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