It is often difficult to decide how to start bringing rescue dogs back to proper health if he or she is malnourished.  However, by carefully following the steps below, the dog will hopefully be living a healthy, normal life in no time.

1)    Provide a warm, comfortable, safe environment. Malnourished dogs
often have a hard time keeping themselves warm because they have little body fat.  Shivering is unhealthy for them because they will burn needed calories this way. Remember your new dog has been through a lot of stress recently, so make sure your home is relaxed and calming when you take him home.

2)    Breakfast!  Provide the dog with breakfast first thing in the morning; it is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast for a malnourished dog may include a mixture of scrambled eggs, white rice and high protein dog food. You will want to give the dog 1 cup of food at first. Give another cup only if he wants more. Avoid overfeeding to prevent vomiting.

3)    Snacks are the key.  Feed the dog a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack.  Acceptable snack include cheese and/or bits of beef or chicken.  Dog treats are ok but check the ingredients to ensure that they are made from real meat and/or cheese. Real meat and cheese will help the dog to gain weight more than meat fillers.

4)    High-protein lunch and dinner.  Make sure to provide a real source of protein. One way to provide high protein meals is to crack a raw egg over high-protein dog food mixed with rice.  As with breakfast, start out by feeding him 1 cup of food and increase it if he seems to still be hungry.

5)    Give something to munch on.  Set out a bowl of dry dog food for overnight when you cannot tend to him.  Don’t add eggs to it because they will spoil overnight.

6)    Give a probiotic supplement.
A malnourished dog could be having gastrointestinal problems due to lack of food or eating inappropriate foods. A probiotic supplement such as Fortiflora or PSCPets Intelliflora will help to bring back normal gastrointestinal function.

7)    Regular vet visits. Make sure to have your vet do a thorough examination of your dog and give you tips on how to help restore him to full health. Then keep going in for regular checks to make sure he is growing and any underlying health problems are being dealt with.

Caring for a malnourished, abandoned dog is an extremely rewarding process. You are saving a life as well gaining a friend. Learn more about adopting a shelter dog  if you are interested!