How To Add Weight To Your Working Dog
Keeping weight on a working dog can be difficult, especially as the shooting seasons start.
A dogs weight will vary on a number of factors. Some are hereditary, its type, its age, and its lifestyle. It’s common for people to believe if you can feel a dogs rib cage, its too skinny but this is not always the case.
It’s sensible to keep a diary of your dogs weight so that you are able to track any weight loss through the working season, and weight gain during their off season. By monitoring you can adjust appropriately.
At Afonfelin we use www.mykc.com to record our dogs weights. I’m terrible with paper so an online system suits me. You can also use the LWDG free printable health log.
What Should My Working Dog Weigh?
On the James Wellbeloved site they have a sliding scale that you can match to how your dog looks and feels, to give you an approximate idea of whats appropriate for your dog. Alongside weight, think about the dogs fitness levels. A very fit dog can look skinny but be in incredibly good shape and condition.
We have also included at the bottom of this post a list of most dog breeds and their suggested weight in KG for both dogs and bitches.
Ruling Out Disease
Before we make changes to our dogs diet to increase weight, the possibility that disease or injury may be present and affecting their condition, must always be considered.
If your adult dog normally has no issue holding weight, and suddenly loses condition for no obvious reason, such as a large increase in exercises levels, seek veterinary advice before looking at adjusting their diet.
Parasitic infestations can also affect a dogs weight. All dogs need to receive regular worming and check for ticks, fleas and other parasites as an infected dog can and will lose condition rapidly.
Frequency Of Feeding
When trying to add weight to a working dog it is a good idea to provide additional little amounts of food often. Large meals with smaller frequency, can be passed through without getting the optimum nutrition absorption. If your commitments such as work make it hard to add more meals, you could ask a neighbour or friend to pop food in for them, or pay a dog sitter or walker. There are also automatic feeders available on the market to help you.
Different Types Of Food
Working Dogs tend to have a variety of diets depending on what their owners have found to give them the most success.
For your dog work out what suits them best , and what suits your lifestyle the best. There isn’t one answer to increasing a working dogs weight through feeding, so don’t be scared to make gradual changes and see what gives them the best results.
When you mention raw feeding , people naturally think about raw meat. Whilst this plays a part there are also many other raw ingredients you can use in your dogs diet. Oily fish, berries, eggs, cheese and veg can all be included to add calories to your dogs daily intake.
Raw Food can be purchased from many canine raw food providers, or can be sourced from your local supermarket. If you are looking for suggestions for companies to use, head over to the Ladies Working Dog Group – Free Community and type ‘Feeding’ into the group search bar.
The History of Tripe recipe book explains tripe as “the edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals”.
Green Tripe, is the most natural form of tripe that has not been bleached or dressed in any way. It has all the goodness of tripe including additional calories from the fat and protein, the good bacteria and other good stuff to benefit your dog.
Depending on from where, and in what state you receive the tripe can massively affect its smell and how you feed it, but there’s no doubting it can be a great way to add weight to your dog.
Additional Complete Dog Food Meals
Most canine food companies have weight loss products, but less have bespoke weight gain products.
Speak to the company you are using for your dogs normal feeds and ask if there’s a product they suggest. Sometimes just adding an additional meal into the day, and after a long days work can be enough to hold or increase their weight.
High Fat and High Protein Treats
When you’re trying to put weight on a dog, high fat and high protein treats can be an excellent source of additional calories. Natural peanut butter is loved by most dogs and is a great addition to a skinny dog’s diet as are sardines, and fat off your steak.
Canine Weight Chart
This table gives a general idea of the weight your dog should be. Keep in mind that a fit dog carrying muscle may show as being overweight due to muscle mass. Make sure to take into account your dogs appearance as well as weight.
|Average Adult Weight (kg)|
|Anatolian Shepherd Dog||40-70||Large|
|Australian Cattle Dog||15-20||Medium|
|Australian Silky Terrier||3-5||Small|
|Bavarian Mountain Hound||20-25||Medium|
|Belgian Shepherd Dog||25-30||20-25||Medium|
|Bernese Mountain Dog||40-55||30-45||Large|
|Black and Tan Coonhound||25-35||Large|
|Cavalier King Charles Spaniel||5-9||Small|
|Coton De Tulears||4-6||3.5-5||Small|
|Dandie Dinmont Terrier||8-11||Small|
|Dogue de Bordeaux||50||45||Large|
|English Toy Terrier||3.5-6.5||Small|
|Entlebucher Mountain Dog||20-30||Medium|
|Estrela Mountain Dog||40-50||30-40||Large|
|French Bulldog||12.5 or less||Small|
|German Longhaired Pointer||27-32||Large|
|German Shorthaired Pointer||25-30||20-25||Medium|
|Great Swiss Mountain Dog||50-65||40-50||Large|
|Irish Red & White Setter||25-34||Large|
|Irish Wolfhound||54 or more||47 or more||Large|
|Jack Russell Terrier||7-8||Small|
|Japanese Akita Inu||34-54||32-45||Large|
|King Charles Spaniel||4-7||Small|
|Old English Sheepdog||32-40||28-35||Large|
|Parson Russell Terrier||6-7||Small|
|Pekingese||6 or less||Small|
|Portuguese Water Dog||20-27||16-22.5||Medium|
|Pyrenean Mountain Dog||50-54||36-41||Large|
|Russian Toy||2.5 or less||Small|
|Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer||25-35||Large|
|Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier||16-18||13.5-15||Medium|
|Spaniel (English Springer)||20-25||18-23||Medium|
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier||16-18||13.5-15||Medium|
|West Highland White Terrier||7-9.5||Small|
|White Swiss Shepherd Dog||30-40||25-35||Large|
|Yorkshire Terrier||3 or less||Small|
Question Of The Week
What do you find works best for putting weight onto your working dog? Pop your comments below.