Malnutrition occurs in dogs when they lack essential minerals and vitamins in their body. This is mainly because their body is deficient of major essential bodybuilding nutrients. Malnutrition is common in majorly homeless dogs due to the fact that they are not properly taken care of or well-fed.
Malnutrition in domesticated dogs in rare cases is caused by nutrients deficiency, and this could only occur if the dog owner is negligent about the kind of food given to the dog. Asides nutrients deficiency, malnutrition can be caused due to health issues in your dog, and it is essential that as your dog shows any sign of illness, he or she should be taken to the vet.
In addition to the above mentioned, malnutrition can be caused by parasitic infestation; as your dog is deprived of all nutrients, he or she needs by the parasite. Dehydration is also a common cause of malnourishment in dogs. And owing to this fact, it is necessary that you take your dog to the vet rather than guessing what the cause could be.
This article has been written to give you detailed and accurate information on how to solve your dog’s malnourishment issues and also to ensure that your dog is healthy and happy.
Also read: Best Flea Treatment for Cats
Signs of malnutrition in dogs
One of the easiest ways to tell that a dog is undernourished is through the physical appearance of the dog. When your dog is fed the proper and correct proportion of minerals and vitamins, it is easier to tell because they will maintain a healthy weight.
One of the ways to know that a dog is malnourished is that the bones will be visible through the skin and the dog appears to be emaciated. This method is most times used by vet doctors to know if your dog is malnourished or not.
Re-occurring health issues in your dog can be a significant concern as this might be a big sign of malnutrition in your dog. If your dog visits the vet doctor week in week out, this means that the immune system of your dog is very weak and it might be unable to fight against infections, bacteria, etc.
A weak immune system can be caused by nutrients deficiency, and this makes it very difficult for your dog to recover from illness because his or her immune system is compromised.
Change in attitude:
One of the easiest ways to knowing that your dog is malnourished is that he or she will not be active majorly because he or she is not getting the required nutrient that keeps him or her strong.
In this situation, your dog will refrain from barking, running, or doing things it does with ease on a normal. A change in a dog’s attitude is not so good for your dog, as this can make him or her depressed. It is essential that when you notice a change in behaviour, it is necessary you seek the attention of a vet.
Dogs that suffer from gastrointestinal issues are most times suffering from an illness or the other. This can be noticed when your dog is experiencing inconsistent bowel movements, diarrhea, etc. consistently, it can lead to weakness, weight loss, fluid loss, etc.
Also read: Best Bark Collars for Big Dogs
How long does it take for a dog to become emaciated?
Emaciation is when your dog significantly loses body fat and muscle mass. Emaciation can be caused due to a lot of reasons ranging from illness, malnutrition, etc. Emaciation is a serious problem in pets, and it is required that an emaciated dog is given quick medical attention. When a dog has emaciated the bone of the pelvic and the ribs become visible to the eye.
Emaciation can occur in your dog if you are a negligent dog owner or due to serious and life-threatening illness or parasitic infestation. In the case of illness, your dog refuses to eat because he or she does not have the appetite to. And in this case, your dog begins to lose weight and gradually becomes emaciated.
If your dog is suffering from a parasitic infestation, he or she will not get the correct proportion of nutrient he or she needs because he or she shares that with the parasitic host.
When your dog does not eat for five days, emaciation sets in majorly because by the fifth day, your dog will start surviving on body fat as this will be the source of energy to sustain your dog. The immediate visible sign of emaciation is weight loss, and the rib and pelvic bone become visible to the eye.
Also read: Best Dry Dog Food to Gain Weight
What to feed a malnourished dog
When you have an undernourished dog, the solution is not to feed the dog with a large ration of dog food. Most dog owners have this instinct, and it is in no way helpful to your dog as their digestive system cannot at this time accommodate large ration of dog food.
It is very important that you take note of this fact because if you feed them a large ration at this time, it could do more harm than good as your dog may develop worse gastrointestinal issues.
It is advisable that you start with a small ration that is of high quality; in other words food with the right proportion of minerals and vitamins that are essential for the growth and development of your dog.
You may choose to look into dry or wet food or the mixture. Dry foods are rich in calories and nutrients, and wet food helps keep your dog hydrated.
What to feed emaciated dog to regain weight
Emaciation is when your dog loses significantly body mass and muscle mass, and it is important that when you feed your emaciated dog, you feed him or her with puppy food or high protein dog food with high-quality nutritional value. You can additionally supply the emaciated dog supplements with 1-2IU of vitamin E per pound of his or her body weight. This helps the emaciated dog to regain the weight as fast as possible.
Final word: How to fatten up a malnourished dog
Dogs are men’s most loyal and faithful companions and because of this, we need to be loyal and faithful in providing all that is needed for our dogs. As a dog owner, it is expedient that you provide your dog with not just a large ration of food, but food with high nutritional content that will help your dog stay healthy and happy.
It is very important that you are very observant and once you notice that your dog is ill or does not do what he or she does with ease on a regular day, it is advisable to seek the help of a vet for a thorough examination of your dog.