Nutrition is vital to living a good quality life and this statement stands true not only for us as humans but, also animals—our dogs are no exception.
If our dogs consume less than the required amounts of nutrition it will lead to deficiencies, and overfeeding may lead to excess weight.
That being said, there are times where circumstances require us to give high-calorie dog food to our canine friends for their own well being.
When it comes to choosing a high-calorie dog food, it is important to give the very best one. But, first things first. We have to understand what exactly are high-calorie dog foods and under what circumstances they should be given?
FeedFond has compiled a guide to help you understand and decide which high-calorie dog food would be best according to your dog’s breed, age, and size.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Best High-Calorie Dog Foods – Comparison
- High-Calorie Dog Foods (Updated – 2019)
- What is high-calorie dog food?
- Why Give Your Dog A High-Calorie Dog Food?
- Does your dog really need to gain weight?
- Bottom Line:
Best High-Calorie Dog Foods – Comparison
Last update on 2018-05-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
High-Calorie Dog Foods (Updated – 2019)
Out of hundreds of dog foods available on the market, choosing the right high-calorie dog food to actually help put weight on your dog is difficult. To make it easier, we have done the heavy lifting for you!
We reviewed hundreds of products available and picked the five best high-calorie dog foods. Let’s jump right into the review – followed by the buyer’s guide.
#1. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Dry Dog Food
In addition, the high-quality protein in the meal helps build lean muscles and maintain a healthy weight.
It’s also nutrient-dense with Omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants from flaxseed, apples, carrots, broccoli, and green peas, along with other vegetables.
#2. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This high protein, natural grain-free is on the top of our list for the best dog available on the market. It is made from deboned chicken which constitutes 70% of the meat source ingredient.
The other ingredients include fruits and vegetables like blueberries, sweet potatoes, peas, etc. which pack this meal with antioxidants.
It is also high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, along with glucosamine and chondroitin, both essential for your pet’s bone health.
The limited ingredient formula of this meal is perfect for dogs who need higher calories but may have health issues. This dog food is grain-free with key ingredients of salmon and sweet potato.
The canola oil, salmon oil, and flaxseed in the formula make it excellent sources of omega-3 fatty and omega -6 fatty acids, which are essential for supporting your dog’s skin and coat health.
These ingredients are good sources of energy that provide a complete balanced nutrition for adult dogs. It is free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Overall, it’s a great high-calorie dog food for your dog.
#4. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Formula Dry Dog Food
The amino acids in the food help high calorie of the muscles, and the EPA and glucosamine help support orthopedic health and movement.
This one, with the protein and fats, is particularly great to maintain the energy of your active dog—it helps improve your dog’s endurance.
#5. BLUE Life Protection Formula Adult Dry Dog Food
Blue Life contains kibble which they call LifeSource bits—they’re dense in antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins essential for your dog. It’s made with deboned chicken and fresh vegetables and fruits. This kibble will also help ensure your dog gets the calories needed to maintain good health.
It has the perfect blend of calcium and phosphorous, and the meal is filled with DHA to support cognitive development. In addition, it also contains glucosamine and chondroitin which help support joint health and mobility.
It is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives and is made from natural ingredients.
What is high-calorie dog food?
Before we give our dogs high-calorie dog foods, it is important to understand what makes a quality food high calorie.
A high-calorie dog food is usually “holistic” and free of artificial preservatives. You will find most of them have all natural ingredients and are dense in healthy sources of fat.
That being said, while looking for high-quality dog food, watch for foods that contain Omega-3 and Omega- 6 fatty acids, and sources of healthy oils such as salmon or flaxseed.
Also related: Guide To Buying The Best Dog Food For Sensitive Stomach
Why Give Your Dog A High-Calorie Dog Food?
Not all dogs need high-calorie dog food. The calorie intake depends mainly on your dog’s breed, age, size, and activity level. Based on the mentioned factors, most dogs have a specific caloric recommendation.
However, this may vary depending on certain circumstances as follows:
#1. If your dog needs to gain weight:
If you feel that your dog is very thin with limited activity and poor health conditions, they definitely need some high-calorie food to help up their energy levels.
How can you know if they need to pack on some pounds?
First of all, you can typically tell just by looking at them. They will look boney and maybe frail. In addition, you’ll also notice that they are no longer as energetic as they used to be.
They might seem lethargic and depressed, often paired with a complete loss of appetite. That’s when you know your dog could do with some more calories. And not just any calories, good calories—we are talking about holistic nutrition.
#2. If you have a very active dog:
Some dogs are more active than others. You’ll notice, they like to jump and run around seemingly without getting tired. And that’s why they need higher calorie dog food—they are burning more calories to keep up with their energetic drive.
#3. If your dog has certain health issues:
Your dog may be losing weight due to certain health issues like diabetes, general illness, thyroid issues, dental problems, etc. Some dogs may even lose weight after going through surgery.
The best way to help your dog when they are going through health issues is by giving them a balanced diet; in many cases, a high-calorie diet is a great step to help get them back to health.
#4. If your dog is pregnant and nursing:
During pregnancy, dogs need special dietary care. It’s logical but simply put, the baby takes in the vitamins and other essential minerals from the mother itself.
Even after giving birth, a nursing mother needs to be given the extra boost in their calories because as she’s giving milk to her pups, she’s losing out on most of the essential nutrients for her own body.
So, make sure to give her a higher calorie, quality diet while pregnant or nursing.
Does your dog really need to gain weight?
Well, that is something you have to decide based on your dog’s current health.
Before deciding whether to give your dog a high-calorie food for weight gain, make sure to take him for a checkup.
That way, you’ll be able to pinpoint their exact condition. Then, in consultation with your vet, you can ensure they get the proper, balanced diet.
It’s also very important for you to understand the labels on the high-calorie dog food, and then help them gain weight by taking other necessary steps:
- Feeding your dog more frequently
- Adding high-calorie treats and supplements to your dog’s diet
- Choosing food that is rich in protein and good fats
There you go! We’ve done all the research for you and given you all the basics there is to know about high-calorie dog foods. In addition, we also reviewed the best products available.
Just remember, before you make a choice, it’s entirely up to you and your dog’s situation—those are the final deciding factors to determine which is the best food for your dog.
Make sure to consult a vet before making any major shifts in your dog’s diet. We hope you’ll make the very best use of this guide.