if you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the most popular high calorie dog food is, then we recommend Purina Pro Plan Sport Formula as the best dog food for weight gain.
It’s essential that your dog can maintain a healthy weight. This means that you must strike a delicate balance between making sure your dog eats enough but not too much. This can be a tricky process if your dog has trouble keeping weight on or gaining it. Dogs tend to gain too much weight, which is why you always want to monitor their food and adjust it accordingly. But there also situations that your dog doesn’t put on enough weight. That’s where high calorie dog foods come in.
In this article, we’re going to review the following high calorie dog foods:
- Purina Pro Plan Performance Formula
- Rachel Ray Nutrish PEAK Natural Dry Dog Food
- Victor Classic High Energy, Dry Dog Food
- Merrick Grain Free Dog Food
- Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food
- Maximum Bully Elite K9.
- Crave Grain Free High Protein Adult dry dog food
Picking out the best high calorie dog food can be challenging if you’re not sure what to consider when you compare products. We picked out the top seven dog foods with higher calorie content so you can compare them side by side. We’ll also outline what the driving factors are behind giving your dog this type of food below.
This dog food comes designed for all ages and life stages, you can choose from six flavors and eight sizes to customize your order. Real chicken or a protein source is the first ingredient on the label. Each formula has 30% protein and 20% fat to help promote dog weight gain and maintenance in sporting breeds.
The higher amino acid content in Purina’s food helps nourish your dog’s skin while improving their coat health. It also gives their muscles a nutrient boost to help them recover from exercise quicker while giving them energy. The glucosamine and EPA content help ensure your dog’s joints age well and remain flexible throughout their life. The kibble is a great size for medium or large breeds to eat without it being too large.
Calories Per Cup
- 393 calories
- Real protein is the first ingredient
- Available in six formulas
- 30% protein and 20% fat ratio
- Glucosamine supports joint health and flexibility
- Good for all life stages
- Kibble has a crumbly texture
- Can leave a greasy residue
- Has a strong smell
This dog food has the taste of open range venison, beef, and lamb to attract your dog. It’s a very nutrient-dense recipe that will help your dog feel full much longer, and this food doesn’t contain a lot of unhealthy and empty fillers. You get the choice of three different sizes and three different flavor combinations.
There are no grains, gluten, or fillers in this formula, and this fact makes it an excellent choice for dogs that have sensitives or grain allergies. There are no artificial flavors, poultry by-product meals, or artificial preservatives or colors. Each batch of this food gets safely cooked in the United States, and it uses very high-quality ingredients to ensure your dog gets the best.
Calories Per Cup
- 338 calories
- Uses United States-based ingredients
- Follows strict quality control standards
- Has wholesome vegetables and minerals
- Comes with easily digestible carbohydrates like sweet potatoes
- Kibble is slightly smaller
- Pricing tends to fluctuate
- Kibble is very hard
- Might be too strong for sensitive dogs
This nutrient-dense dog food uses a mix of pork, chicken, and beef meals in each serving to entice your dog to eat. Since there are higher calories per cup, this food suits sporting and active dogs better than lower-energy breeds. Your dog will get 24% protein and 20% fat in each bag, and this encourage healthy weight gain and maintenance.
Each bag has the Victor Core ingredients that come scientifically formulated to keep weight on. These ingredients support both immune and digestive health. There are gluten-free grains in each serving, and this food is great for dogs with allergies to meat proteins. Your dog will get a dose of prebiotics and probiotics with vitamins and minerals for continued health.
Calories Per Cup
- 412 calories
- Made in Texas
- High protein and fat content
- Gluten-free grain mix
- Boosts immune and digestive health
- Meant for all life stages
- Doesn’t have a large size range
- Takes over 10 days to transition to it
The first ingredient on the bag is a real fish, poultry, or meat, and there are eight formulas to choose from when you order. There is a 70% fat and protein content in this food, and these ingredients help to support your dog’s lean muscle growth and weight maintenance. It contains higher levels of fatty acids to boost your dog’s skin health while leaving then with a shiny coat.
The fatty acids also help protect your dog’s joint health by improving their flexibility. There are whole ingredients in this food like blueberries, apples, peas, and sweet potatoes without any gluten, wheat, corn, soy, preservatives, or fillers. You’ll get a 100% satisfaction guarantee when you order this food, and Merrick will refund you in full if you’re not completely happy.
Calories Per Cup
- 380 calories
- Formulas for all ages and breed sizes
- Contains whole ingredients like apples and peas
- No grains to upset your dog’s stomach
- Meat is the first ingredient on the label
- Very strong scent
- Can upset sensitive dog’s stomachs
- Can’t reseal the bag
This 40 pound bag of dog food has a very high calorie count at over 500 per cup. It will help your dog gain weight and bulk up, and this formula contains 20% fat and 30% protein. This food is the only meat-based dry dog food specially formulated for Pitbulls. Real meat is first on the label, and this food is suitable for all ages.
Every batch of this food goes through a triple check before packaging. This ensures that its strict quality control standards are met or exceeded. This food has never had any recalls attached to it, and AAFCO registers this food in its database. Brown rice makes up a good portion of the carbohydrates, and this is easy to digest.
Calories Per Cup
- 535 calories
- Meat-based dry dog food
- Suits all life stages
- AAFCO registered
- Never had a recall
- Feed up to 50% less due to higher calories
- Only available in one size
- Can cause loose stools
- May take months to see results
This food comes formulated for multiple breeds, and you can feed your dog the same thing from the time they’re a puppy until they hit their senior years. It has multiple amino acids, protein sources, vitamins, and minerals to ensure your dog gets a balanced meal each time they eat. It’s 32% protein and 22% fat in the formula, and the main protein sources come from pork and chicken.
The yeast extract in this food helps to support healthy and lean muscle growth while maintaining your dog’s digestive health. The complex carbohydrates like bran, oatmeal, and peas help keep your dog full longer, and this blend also gives them a bigger boost of energy. The cranberries and pumpkin encourage healthy digestion, and the formula also contains probiotics.
Calories Per Cup
- 481 calories
- Chicken and pork flavor
- Yeast extract supports muscle growth and maintenance
- Pumpkin improves digestive health
- Formulated for multiple breeds
- Several protein and cabohydrate sources
- Can cause diarrhea
- More expensive to buy online
- Can’t reseal the bag
This food has oceanfish and salmon as the two main protein sources, and you can choose from three different sized bags. Your dog will get 34% protein and 17% fat in this formula, and meat is the first ingredient. You can feed this food to adult dogs of any size to help them build muscle and maintain their weight.
This is a grain-free food that has healthy carbohydrates that are easy on your dog’s digestive system. You won’t find any corn, chicken by-product meal, soy, wheat, or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. This lowers the risk that it’ll upset your dog’s stomach. The amino acids and minerals help round out your dog’s diet and support their growth throughout their lives.
Calories Per Cup
- 443 calories
- Available in three sizes
- Made with 34% protein
- High in fatty acids
- Healthy carbohydrates with no grains
- Kibble is a nice size
- May be too hard for older dogs
- Has a high amount of salmon meal
- May set of skin and coat allergies
Why should you give your dog a food that is higher in calories? What could cause your dog to lose weight? If you’re concerned about your dog’s weight, you’re not alone. Some dogs struggle to keep weight on, and we’ll outline everything you need to know below.
Why Give Dogs High Calorie Dog Food?
If your dog has something preventing them from gaining weight or keeping weight on, they may need a higher calorie food to keep them healthy. Sporting or very active breeds typically burn much more calories than older or less active breeds, and they need higher calories to make up for it. If they don’t have it, you could see them start to lose weight at an alarming rate. Foods with higher calories also support lean muscle growth, and this can help your dog bulk up.
How to Measure Your Dog’s Weight
If you’re not sure what your dog’s actual weight is supposed to be, head on over to PetMD. They have a healthy weight calculator on their website. This tool allows you to fill in all of your dog’s information before it calculates their healthy weight. You put in their age, breed, name, weight, and body condition. The calculator will give you an approximate calorie range you should feed your dog a day to reach their ideal weight. You can also consult your veterinarian if you have questions.
Another easy way to tell if your dog is underweight or overweight is to perform a quick touch and visual test. Take your hands and lightly touch along your dog’s sides to see if you can feel their ribs. You should be able to feel their ribs without pressing hard, but they shouldn’t be prominent. If you can’t, your dog is most likely overweight. If their hipbones stick out, you are dealing with a underweight dog. This short YouTube video will show you how to check your dog’s weight.
The Biggest Reasons Your Dog is Losing Weight
Did you know that there are several things that could cause your dog to lose weight? It can be scary if your dog suddenly starts to drop weight, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re super sick. We’ll tell you the biggest reasons dogs lose weight below.
Dogs can suffer from anxiety just like humans can. Your dog wants to feel safe when they eat. If they don’t, they may stop eating. This can result in rapid weight loss that won’t go away until you figure out what’s stressing them out and fix it. It could be separation anxiety, a switch in your routine, or maybe you invited a new baby or pet into the home. Work on treating your dog’s source of anxiety and see if they start gaining weight back. read more about anxiety in our extensive article.
As your dog ages, the chances of them suffering from dental problems goes up. Their teeth can crack, break, or get cavities, and this can make it painful for them to eat. Their breath will usually start to smell very strongly as the decay advances, and you may notice their gums turn red or start to swell.
It’s very common for dogs to get infested with internal parasites like tapeworms or roundworms. If they do, they can seem hungry all of the time and eat a lot, but your dog will still keep losing weight. You could see worms in their feces as the infestation advances. Your veterinarian will diagnose and prescribe medications to treat them.
Things to Consider Before Buying a High Calorie Food
There are several essential factors that go into narrowing down the different types of dog food. The following short guide will help you.
Protein – The protein in your dog’s food should be one of the first ingredients on the label. It should come from a whole protein source like beef, chicken, or salmon.
Calorie Count – The calorie content can vary from in the mid-400s up to the mid-500s per cup. You want as many calories as possible without sacrificing quality, and this is a delicate balancing act.
No Fillers – Some dog food has a lot of fillers in it. These are empty ingredients used to bulk up the food’s formula without adding nutritional value. Instead, look for a dog food that has things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and peas to round out the formula.
Grains or No Grains – Some dogs do okay with eating grains while others have allergies. Watch your dog’s coat and skin for signs of allergies and decide whether or not their food should have it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What dog food has the most calories per cup?
Out of the seven choices we reviewed, the Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food had the most calories per cup at 535. However, you can see that several of our other picks were very close behind with their calorie content. This higher calorie count makes it very easy for your dog to gain weight or bulk up. You do want to carefully monitor them to be sure they’re not getting overweight.
2. How can I increase the calories in my dog’s food?
The first thing you can do is switch them to a higher calorie food if they’re not on one. You can also try to add a scoop or two of wet dog food in and mix it with the dry dog food. Not only will this add moisture, but it’ll also pack in more calories. You can split their large meals into smaller ones throughout the day and encourage them to eat a little more. Also, talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s weight concerns. as a side note, if you want to know more what a dog can and cannot eat, read our top 35 article on that.
The winner of the best high calorie dog food is Bully Max High Performance Super Premium Dog Food with 535 calories in every cup. This weight gainer dog food comes formulated to give you lasting results and bulk up your dog’s muscle content while helping keep them at a healthy weight. We liked that this is a meat-based dry dog food that seems very flavorful.
Every batch of food goes through a triple-check process before being sent out. This gave us greater peace of mind concerning the food’s quality. Finally, it allows you to feed your dog up to 50% less while hitting a higher calorie margin.