Is Your Dog Lacking Nutrition?

Nutrition is important to keeping your pup healthy! Much like humans need a variety of food and nutritions, dogs need various carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to keep themselves happy and healthy! However, a lack of nutrition can cause various problems to show on your pup.

Symptoms and Causes of Malnutrition

Some of the major signs that your pup that lacks nutrition tend to show in the skin and coat, lack of energy, change in their poop, and even depression. Some other signs can be:

  • Breath that can stop a train in its tracks (yeah, it’s that bad)
  • Stinky puppy (B.O.)
  • Dandruff
  • A coat that lost its luster
  • Shedding excessive amount of fur
  • Excessive gas 
  • Hair loss
  • Bowel movement irregularities        
  • Increased allergies
  • Weight gain
  • Itchy or mangey skin 
  • Weight loss

These symptoms can be mild or can be quite severe, on what your pup is lacking nutritionally. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should immediately bring your pup to the vet to see the cause of these problems.

If you’re wondering how your pup could be malnourished, you should check the label on their food. They could have a lack of food, food that isn’t right for their needs, or even a digestive condition that doesn’t allow your pup to absorb the nutrition they have. On some occasions, it could be a parasite that has been taking nutrients from your pup!

What Essential Nutrients Does My Dog Need?

All pups need a basic diet of water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. All these simple nutrients are what keep your pup happy and healthy! Here’s a small break down of why your pup needs these nutrients:

  • Water: All creatures are made out of 70% – 80% water, and in order to keep that percentage, both dogs and humans need to have a source of water available to them at all times! Water is what helps transport nutrients to the right places to make sure your pup won’t be malnourished.
  • Protein: Protein is a nutrient that helps supply energy to all parts of the body. It also helps make your pup’s body strong and stable! This nutrient is meant to keep your pup energized as well as strong! Protein is also what makes your pup’s fur and skin look smooth and soft.
  • Fats: Fats, much like proteins, is meant to supply your pup with energy. It also provides essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which makes your pup’s skin and coat look glossy and clean. Fats also helps to enable absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, which gives your pup the nutrients they need. 
  • Carbohydrates: Carbs are a type of nutrient that provide sugars, starches, or fibers. While these nutrients aren’t nearly as important as they others, they are able to provide your pup with the energy they need to move around for the day. They are also able to provide minerals and vitamins that your pup needs as well!
  • Minerals and Vitamins: Minerals and VItamins are able to help your pup’s metabolic system, as well as other small bodily functions that help your pup’s body function. Many minerals are unable to be produced by your pup’s body, so they must get them from food. Minerals are important because they help keep your pup’s bones strong, as well as help transport nutrients throughout the body. 

How to Stop Malnutrition 

Malnutrition can happen at any stage of your dog’s growth

As always, the first step you need to take to help your dog get back on the right track is to take them to the vet. Your vet should be able to help you identify exactly what your pup needs to stay healthy. However, try these small solutions first to see if your pup feels better before taking them to the vet!

Find proper food

The first step you should take is feeding your pup. Make sure that whatever you’re feeding them is meant for dogs, and have the right balance between proteins, carbs, fats, minerals, and vitamins. This might also mean you may have to switch a higher-quality brand. Always be sure to read the label on the back!

If you think your pup gains weight too fast or is prone to being gassy, he might benefit from an introduction to the grain-free lifestyle which puts a halt to obesity and flatulence pretty quickly. Grain-free dog food means less carbohydrates, just enough protein for muscle development/nutrition, and vegetables and fruits to round out the diet. Here’s a list we’ve compiled of the best grain-free brands your pup will love. Check it out

Consider supplements

If your furry friend is only lacking a few important nutrients, consider buying supplements that can provide your pup with whatever they’re missing. Supplements of all kinds are available in most pet stores, or even on online sites such as Amazon and Chewy.

Check your pup’s weight

If your pup is looking tiny, the solution may just be giving them more food! Make sure to double-check how much food your pup is supposed to be eating with a vet. However, if your pup is losing food rapidly, it may be a parasite that has infected your dog. Immediately go to the vet if you think this is the case!

Overall, if your pup is lacking nutrition, a bit of troubleshooting should be able to help your pup. Always make sure your puppy’s food has all the right ingredients they need to keep them strong and healthy!

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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