Owning or seeing an underweight pit bull is disheartening to many. Whether the dog in question is a pet or a rescued animal, there are many reasons the dog could be underweight. One of the most common causes of weight loss or underweight dogs is parasites. Pit bulls are the most abused breed, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Because of this, many of the rescued pits coming into shelters and rescue organizations are underweight due to neglect.
Study the dog's behavior including eating habits, bowel movements, urination and activity levels. Even if it's only for one full day, these behaviors will help the veterinarian determine the cause of the problem.
Take the underweight pit bull to a veterinarian for diagnosis. With the behavioral study you conducted on the dog, a veterinarian will be able to determine whether the problem is parasites, neglect or something else. Get the veterinarian's recommendation on a healthy weight for the pit bull in question, as the breed varies greatly due to different breeding styles and other factors.
Discuss treatment options with the veterinarian. Parasitic infestations and disease often need medication, while neglect or other causes may simply need a healthier diet or supplements. When caused by parasites or disease, the pit should start putting weight on naturally after treatment of the primary cause, according to VetInfo.com.
Purchase weight gain supplements if recommended by your veterinarian. Many of these supplements are available at pet supply stores, while some may be available only through a prescription or only through a veterinarian.
Purchase a high-protein, low-carbohydrate dog food after discussing it with and receiving a recommendation from your veterinarian.
Put your pit bull on a healthy diet and exercise program. An underweight dog still needs exercise to be healthy. Pit bulls are naturally muscular, and exercise helps keep them in optimum shape. A healthy food consists of true, specific protein and carbohydrate sources, not byproducts or unspecific ingredients such as "animal meal." Avoid high-fat foods and foods that contain additives, according to VetInfo.com.
Weigh the pit bull at specific intervals to track weight changes. You also want to make sure the dog is not putting on too much weight, as obesity can result in other diseases.