High Calorie Dog Food

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High Calorie Dog Food

I’ve been getting asked this question often lately, what is the best high calorie dog food? There are a lot of dog food companies out there that claim their product is the best. I mean, obviously they want you to buy their dog food over their competitors. And, in case you haven’t been one to ask me yet, what is high calorie dog food? People that look specifically for this kind of food either A: Have their dogs in a lot of sports, or B: Need to add some pounds to their dogs quickly.

Many dog owners that rescue dogs would be looking to add pounds to their dogs quickly. Many rescues, unfortunately, are malnourished, so they need to gain a little weight to be healthy.

Dogs that compete in shows on a regular basis, or are very active, tend to need a higher caloric intake than your typical house dog. Think of humans in terms of needing more food when they’re very active. Same concept.

Now that you know more about why dogs need high calorie dog food, let’s look at some brands.

Purina Pro High Protein Sport Performance.

Purina Pro
Purina Pro High Protein

This specific formula of Purina Pro is a slightly better formula than their grocery store brand, Purina One. Purina Pro typically has a ratio of 30% protein, and 20% fat. This ratio helps any dog to gain some weight when they’re fed this every day. Looking at the ingredients, there are some things that I’m a bit hesitant on, and that’s just because corn is included in the food a couple of times. Why do I say this?

Well, corn in any dog food is typically used as a filler. Meaning, instead of more proteins, corn is thrown in there to make more food, thus the company makes more money. Face it, corn isn’t exactly super nutritious, especially when it’s used as an ingredient in dog foods.

However, even with that, yes, it is a higher caloric food and if you need to pack on weight for your dog quickly, this is a good way to start.

The Farmers Fresh Dog Food.

Farmers Fresh Dog Food is a fresh version of food that you can order online and it’s all made fresh. Not many dog food companies have started doing this, but they’re getting there as of recently. More dog owners are becoming aware of the garbage that can be included in the bagged foods we buy from the stores. By-products, meals, corn ingredients and other preservatives.

Not all dog foods are created equally.

Some dog food brands are actually dangerous for dogs, but I won’t name them here. But, companies like Farm Fresh actually uses real USDA approved ingredients, they slightly cook the ingredients so that they’re not just charred stuff once done and send the bags to you. Often, ingredients like beef, veggies, brown rice, oatmeal are what are used in this food. All these things are good for dogs.

I will say, if you live in Hawaii or Alaska, unfortunately, they don’t ship to these two locations. Only the continental US. But, you can also make this kind of food at home as well.

Making Your Own Fresh Food.

It’s actually pretty easy to make your own dog food to be honest. Most people think it’s really expensive to do this, but it isn’t. Especially if you live in the states. You can buy all kinds of organ meat, and butcher scraps for super cheap. Even chicken scraps. Yes, dogs can eat raw chicken. I promise.

SalmonThen, you simply take some sort of grain – remember, grains are going to help with the calories, so you need these. I typically use brown rice or oatmeal in my dog foods.

The ratio is what is a little hard sometimes, but you want to focus on the proteins for your dogs. When I end up making the food, I tend to cook too much brown rice, so I always have to just put some in a container for the next batch. I also like to use salmon that’s been freezer burnt. Now, with fish like salmon, I do cook it. Often, there are worms in the salmon that can wind up in your dogs system, and that’s not good. So, I cook the salmon until it’s done.

Steam some veggies slightly, mix in the rice and the salmon – making sure all bones are picked out and voila! Fatty food with the fish. And let me tell you, my dogs love this stuff!

Wellness Dog Food.

Wellness Raw Rev Dog Food
Wellness Core RawRev Dog Food

The last on my list is the one brand that I will always back no matter what, and that’s the Wellness brand. Their ingredients aren’t fillers, nor is there a bunch of junk in these foods. No matter which kind I get for my dogs, they love it. I don’t buy the high calorie dog food, since my dogs are at a good weight. But, for high calorie dog food, look for the High Protein one.

Any dog food that is high protein is meant to be a higher caloric dog food. Now, if your dog isn’t skinny, don’t buy these kinds. If your dog is at a normal weight, then any Wellness food is just fine. I happen to like the Wellness Raw Rev Digestive Health.

Note – how do you know if you dog is at a normal weight? When your dog walks, you should be able to see their ribs as they walk. Their ribs shouldn’t all be visible though. Just a couple of ribs here and there as they walk. If you can’t see any at all, then you don’t need a high calorie dog food.

Final Words on High Calorie Dog Food.

Hopefully I’ve given you some ideas on good dog foods that you can buy from most pet stores. Even though Farmers doesn’t ship to Alaska, there are some fresh dog foods that are becoming more available. Or, of course, make it yourself. If it’s beef, no need to cook it. Chicken? They can eat that raw too, along with eggs.

I only cook fresh water fish just so my dogs don’t get worms. That is a concern for me, no matter what. Worms can transfer from fish to animals, so beware.

Also, any dog food can be a good dog food. But, only if you can read the ingredients. I’m not saying, sound out the complex ingredients like Sodium Selenite. If you don’t know what it is, it’s probably not good. Also, stay away from by-products. By-products are a nice way of saying, we threw in a shred of meat from that chicken, but the rest? We don’t know what it is.

That’s about it. High protein %’s, high fat %’s, and ingredients you can read. All dog foods have labels on the back listing what’s in the bag. Don’t be fooled by the pictures on the front either. Just flip that bad boy over and read away. Lots of chemicals? Better to move on to the next.

What high calorie dog food do you use? Do you just throw some meat on their food to help them gain weight? How about some eggs? Share with those that might need it for their dogs!

12 thoughts on “High Calorie Dog Food

  1. I’m a little bit on the fence because grain free food is what I’ve always gone with for my dogs. I guess it’s a matter of weighing the options of helping them put on the pounds versus how they react to grain in their diet, right?

    1. Hi Eric,

      Grain free dog food actually is fairly new in the dog food world. Dogs have been eating grains besides humans since 70BC, believe it or not. Dogs have evolved to eat a lot of the human foods that they’ve been given for so long, that people seem to think dogs need grain free. That’s pretty much saying that dogs need to follow the Atkins Diet, like humans do. But that’s not the case. Dogs that have allergies, can have grain allergies, or certain allergies to meats. However, only by doing an elimination diet, would you know what your dogs are allergic to. I’ve always fed my dogs grains, because it actually is healthy for them, and the proof is in their coats being shiny, fur being soft, teeth healthy and white and so on.

      Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by today!


  2. I wish that we could make our own this might take some time but really beneficial to our dog and will make her healthy. The healthier they are the more their coat shines, the brands of dog food they have are all bad for them and we got better answers here than anywhere. The calories in dog food are high and want our dog healthy not unhealthy thanks for this helpful article.


    1. Mathew & Deloris,

      Of course! I find that most of the dog food articles I’ve read are full of false information and also offer up some brands that have been known for serious recalls, as well as serious illnesses and even deaths among dogs. I generally stay away from naming off these specific brands of dog food, lest I get a lawsuit on my hands. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t list out specific things to look for in dog food. It’s just like human food! Processed junk fills out grocery store aisles all over the world now. It’s terrible to know that many of these food companies are putting preservatives in our food that has been known to cause cancers, and even some very scary illnesses among people. However, in order for them to continue to be profitable, they continue to add the junk. Same with dog food. One in particular has been sued so many times for causing dogs deaths, yet bloggers continue to push the product because the USDA deems them okay. Well, they’re not, and I’m not about to push them even to make money.

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out this article!


  3. Hey Katrina,

    Another great article on how to keep up our dog’s health with the food we give them. My friends own a number of dogs as you are probably aware of by now 🙂 So I am going to share this article with them and encourage them to comment and get in touch if they have any burning questions.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


    1. Thanks Tom!

      Of course, I’m happy to help with any questions! I’m hoping that one day, my articles will reach more people and can help more dogs in the process. Especially when it comes to the food we buy for our dogs. I know one thing for sure, I’m very picky about what I feed my dogs. Just like I’m picky with what I feed myself, and my family. Junk can stay in the stores, I’ll stick with the wholesome stuff that I know we all can eat!

      Thanks for stopping by Tom!


  4. Hi Katrina,

    I was shocked when I read about the bagged food for dogs that might have garbage inside. This wow me… I don’t even notice this before reading your post, so I’ll focus more on reading the back listing instead of the front picture. If I cannot find Wellness in the stores, I would prefer to feed my dogs with chicken & eggs to put on some weights on them.

    I also love the idea of cooking for your dog, and I’ve seen one of my dog friends cook food for her Shiba whenever she is free, which brings her lots of fun and a good time.

    Thanks for sharing. I’ve learned something new today. 🙂

    1. Matt,

      Yes, never rely on the front of the bag to help you decide on food. Most dog foods will actually blatantly falsify what’s in the bag on the front of the bag. For example, it will say, “All Natural Beef” when in fact, it contains beef by-product which can include only 1-3% beef. The rest can be products from every other animal besides fowl. Fowl goes to a different processing plant, and this includes turkey, chicken, hens, duck etc. Some bags will even have a picture of beef on the front, by in the ingredients, there’s no beef.
      Don’t be deceived by the front of the bag. Always best to read the ingredients so you actually know what’s in there for your dog.

      Hope this helps!


  5. I also cook food for my dogs at home and I will make the recipe you shared here. I am sure that my dogs are going to love it!
    People are always comparing dogs to wolves when it comes to food, but dogs have evolved from wolves ages ago and do no longer eat the same diet. For millenia dogs have lived with humans and adapted to our diet, have turned into omnivores. I read somewhere that grain-free food isn’t that great, that in fact they should eat grains. I sometimes add chia and/or flax seeds to their foods for their high omega contents and other nutrients.

    Is the farmer’s fresh dog food expensive, since it’s organic or does it have reasonable prices?

    1. Hi Christine,

      You know, I actually tried to look on their site to order some for my dogs weeks ago, since I’ve heard good things about it, but it won’t let me since I live in Alaska. As far as cost, I’m assuming that it’s around the same as the other fresh foods for dogs that are sold in stores. I don’t think it’s too pricey, but I’d wager that it’s more expensive than if you cooked it yourself. However, I did forget to note that if you decide to cook for your dogs, be sure to add minerals and vitamins to their food as a supplement. Dog food companies will add this in to their food so that the dogs get all the vital nutrients they need, but cooking will limit what they get. Just like with us when we eat the same thing over and over. You would have to diversify their diet in order to get them what they need. Easier to just get the liquid vitamins they need instead.

      Thanks for stopping by, glad you liked this one!


  6. A friend who owns a couple of dogs usually makes food for his dogs and he mentioned it wasn’t expensive and at least he could control what he gives to his dogs and he is more comfortable with this method. He buys fresh meat and cooks it with no spices. Adds grains sometimes when he has some available.

    I have another friend who mixes some already made dog food with fresh eggs and sometimes he mixes it with cooked meat and i have been wondering how healthy this method is but the dogs seem to be just fine and he has had them for close to three years.

    I think dogs should definitely eat the right amount of nutrients to avoid looking malnourished which could maybe lead to them life span being shortened.

    Thank you for this article.


    1. Femi,

      Yes, eggs are actually really good for dogs, especially raw eggs. When my dogs coats are looking a bit grim, or not as shiny as they normally are, then I add some raw eggs on top of their food for them. Within a day, you can see a huge difference and their fur goes back to being super soft and very shiny. Out of all the Bullies that I’m around up here in Anchorage, Atlas has one of the softest coats out of all of them. I believe it’s because I’m so picky about what I feed her and I make sure to give her eggs when she’s looking like she needs them.

      Muse, whom we’ve only had a few short months, when we first got her, her coat was coarse and rough, like most of the Bullies we see. However, after being diligent with eggs and raw meat on occasion, her coat is looking much better now. For your friends that cook their meat, if its beef, I recommend raw. Raw has a lot of the micronutrients in it prior to cooking it. Unless they serve it rare. But dogs can eat raw meat, and it’s really good for them. The only time I make sure to cook it, is if it’s comes from a subpar food plant. Sometimes, during the slaughter and up to processing, pus and other bad bacteria can follow it. So, if I buy it from a lower grade retailer, then I cook it.

      I wrote about giving my dogs certain foods for their coats health if you’re interested. You can see it here: https://akhurricanebullies.com/how-to-make-your-bullys-coat-shiny/

      Thanks for stopping by Femi!


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