Malnutrition in dogs is a serious problem that must be treated correctly to prevent any additional harm to the dog. Often, dogs are left malnourished due to abandonment or neglect. However, other times, dogs can become malnourished without their owners being aware. Even the best pet owner with the best intentions may find their dog is malnourished due to their dog’s eating habits.
Dogs can become malnourished if they consume too many snacks and treats, leaving them missing essential nutrients needed in their diet to stay healthy. Often, pets are rewarded with treats to show love and affection from their owners. Often, this is fine; however, it needs to be conducted in moderation. You couldn’t remain healthy living on junk food alone, and neither can your dog. Obesity or a poorly balanced diet are among the leading factors for malnutrition in dogs.
So, how can malnutrition occur at home without the owner even being aware? Well, although we are all advised not to do it, many pets receive table scraps. On occasion this is fine; however, your pet can’t solely rely on table scraps to stay healthy. Table scraps will not provide your dog with adequate nutrition. Therefore, table scraps should make up less than 5 percent of your dog’s diet.
Whether it is your own pet or a stray that you’re caring for that’s suffering from malnutrition, here are some tips to safely treat malnutrition in dogs:
#1– Start Treatment Immediately
If you suspect a dog may be malnourished, they need to be treated immediately. Their diet needs to be corrected right away to prevent further damage. A veterinarian often provides you with the resources and information you need to safely treat malnutrition in dogs. While you treat the malnutrition at home, your dog will continue to be monitored by a veterinarian.
#2– Provide a Well Balanced Diet
In order to treat malnutrition, you must feed your pet a well balanced food. If possible, avoid the cheap brands of dog food because they rarely contain everything your dog needs to thrive. Often, low quality dog foods are equivalent to eating French fries all day.
#3– Monitor Your Dog’s Eating
Your dog needs to be fed the correct amount of food for their age, weight, breed, and activity level. However, if your dog is also suffering from starvation, you will need to start with very small portions to avoid further harm to the dog. If your dog isn’t suffering from starvation, make sure you’re feeding your dog the correct amount of food in moderation. Avoid free feeding because that’s a common cause of overfeeding in dogs.
Malnutrition in dogs can be safely treated at home, but it needs to start immediately to ensure additional health complications don’t occur. If you suspect a dog is suffering from malnutrition, consult a veterinarian right away.