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One of the best ways to put weight on a dog is with something called "satin balls". You can find the recipe on many sites on the internet. Some people use it to put weight on their dogs before dog shows, but it's especially good for emaciated dogs and dogs who won't eat. It's high in fat so it puts on weight quickly, but it's also got other ingredients to make it a total diet so it can be fed alone or as a supplement.

My puppy hasn't been eating much and underneath all her fuzz she's skin and bones so I decided to mix up a batch to bring her up to a healthy weight
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Step 1: Gather indgredients

This is the original recipe:
10 pounds hamburger meat (the cheapest kind)
1 lg. box of Total cereal
1 lg. box oatmeal
1 jar of wheat germ
1 1/4 cup veg oil
1 1/4 cup of unsulphured molasses
10 raw eggs AND shells
10 envelopes of unflavored gelatin
pinch of salt

However, if you just want to try them out or have a small dog, I recipe this scaled down version (1/10th or the original).

1 pound cheap hamburger (for high fat %)
1 1/3 cups Total cereal
1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
1 raw egg
6 tablespoons wheat germ
1 package Knox unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
Pinch of salt

The only thing I suggest you change is the oil; vegtable oil has no health benefit, so substitute it with an oil that does (like flax seed oil which is high in healthy omega 3s).

Step 2: Mix the ingredients

Picture of Mix the ingredients
Mix everything together in a big bowl. I recommend putting the dry ingredients first, then the oils, then the egg, then the meat. That way you don't have to wash your hands in between ingredients

Step 3: Form patties

Picture of Form patties
You can form them into balls like the name suggests. I prefer patties though because they are easier to stack in the freezer that way.

How much you put in each serving really depends on your individual dog... I made 14 patties out of the smaller portion recipe
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my vet is dead set against feeding dogs raw meat

Well, your vet may have his reasons, but ask him how many wild animals 'fire up the BBQ' to cook their meals? We feed animals based on our own tastes and tolerances... which is ridiculous, given the 'state of nature' diet they survived and evolved on for millions of years. Dogs are 'meat eating carnivores'... plain & simple. The Vet may be worried about parasites...a valid concern. You'll have to weigh the benefit (higher nutrition value by far) of raw, versus cooked...

d.r.hami1 month ago
For the knox gelatin, is it just one of the four packets inside the box or is it the entire box?

Just one of the packets! :)

DNeaSmith1 month ago

Has anyone ever used this with a dog that has Megaesophagus? We have a Great Dane who is horribly under weight due to having Megaesophagus and I want to try this, but am curious if it will cause more regurge issues. Thanks in advance!

I have a Dane/St. Bernard mix and he has Dysphagia. Hes very under weight and its hard for him to swallow food so we have to hand feed him right now. Would this be ok for him?

chiann197328 days ago
Are these made to eat frozen, or are they just put in the freezer for storage?
Kwanita9 months ago

Do I have this right we are to serve this RAW???

yes, raw.

bullymax1 month ago

Our product Gorilla Max contains 20 grams of protein per scoops, is loaded with BCAA's, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients. It's ideal for adding weight on HEALTHY weight on dogs.

emarieneal2 years ago
also is this the only thing you feed them or is it in addition to other foods.
You can feed it either way. if you are only feeding satin balls that is fine for a two week period or so, then you will need to add a more well rounded diet for added nutrition. Usually, people only add it to an existing diet for a short period of time to get the added weight effect. Be careful, this stuff really works and you don't want your pet gaining too much weight. If your interested in feeding a raw diet like this to your dogs by itself, you will want to look up the BARF diet or visit DVM Karen Becker's site for feeding a species appropriate diet.
Hello jemery kuch I'm just wst to make sure about the satin balls you were talking about, is this the recipe to get my dog gains weight? (Chicken and bone Neck, feet, thighs, breast, drums whatever you can get cheapest.  Carrots  Wheat Germ or Wheat Bran  Extra Virgin Olive Oil  I grind every week for my dogs this amount, and all your dog needs is 600 to 800 grams a day of this to maintain 100%  10 Pounds of Chicken and Bone1.5  Pounds of Carrots750  grams of Wheat Germ1/2 cup of Extra virgin  olive oil For puppies just add unflavored jello cooked oatmeal or rice.)
dergdoom2 years ago
i have a 4 months old husky and cant get a food to agree with him he has diarrhea all the time any ideas
Also, try a bland diet at first. Cooked rice, brown is best, mixed with cooked ground chicken. Just have to say it because i know someone who didn't...make aure the mixture ks at room temp or even cold. Do not give hot food to your dog
He could have an allergy to corn or wheat. Looks for foods withoit them. Also, the diarrhea may be a problem. Bring a fresh sample to your vet to be tested for parasites, including Giardia.
My dog had the same issue and when I first got him as a rescue and have been gradually trying different foods until I found one that worked for him. The one thing that helped when I was switching him over from one food to another was giving him cooked rice. Not a lot about a half cup to 1 cup when he was 50lbs. If your dog does not want to eat it you can add a little peanut butter or a cooked egg. I would add just enough peanut butter to hold it togeather and put it into one of his bones or kongs. It would help.
LaurenB22 months ago

My 13 y/o lab mix has been losing weight due to a tumor pressing on his stomach. Because he barely touches dog food anymore I cook this recipe just a tiny bit on the stove before I give it to him so he smells it and thinks he's getting people food. Have been giving this to him the past 3 days and his energy has improved, and he's looking less emaciated. No digestive issues so far.

rod.chastain2 months ago

I made this for 1 of my pekingese. He has been losing weight for a while and having paw chewing issues. My vet thought it might have been mites but the medication made little change to his condition. Were hoping it's just a diet related problem. I was SURPRISED at him eating raw meat, but he ate it like candy :-) The only thing I changed in the recipe was the wheat germ. I'm pretty sure he his slightly sensitive to wheat so I figured the Total cereal would be enough.

Thanks for this article!!!

can I make these without the wheat germ? or does it really need the germ?

Laras2196 years ago
hi there! I'm really interested in feeding this to my dog, he's such a picky eater and so he's really really skinny now.. But i cant find total cereal here in Indonesia, can i use other brand? Do you have any suggestion? Thank u!
You can also leave the total cereal out if you like. I do for my wheat sensitive dogs.
you'd have to leave out the wheat germ as well I bet
shangrilarcadia (author)  Laras2196 years ago
I don't know what brands they sell in Indonesia, but I am sure you can find another brand to substitute if they don't sell total there. Look for a wheat ceral with vitamins & calcium in it that doesn't have much sugar.
tgiles21 year ago
I just rescued two Pitt bulls one 7 months and one 3 months they are both under weight. What would you recommend as far as feeding them satin balls?
do i use egg shell and how ?
benthekahn6 years ago
Any idea on how to do the opposite? My dog is quite the chub-chub.
cook brown rice(more vid.'s),cooked extra lean ground chicken or turkey and cooked veggies(such as carrots green beans peas)worked for my chihuahua that was very over weight.. no dog food or dog treats .. if u want to treat your dog give it a carrot on the upside it will also help with cleaning its teeth dog treats are all carbs which put weigh on them .. we never feed our dogs dog food raw diet they never had dog food in the olden days and these companies that make it u never know what they put in it flax seed oil is a good source of omega 3 can be added to the meal depending on the size u can refrigerate or freeze it in meals
Some ideas: Daily exercise, you can switch to a raw or dehydrated diet, set up play dates, dog park, only give protein based treats with no carbs.
I have a black lab mixed with saluki and she is a little over a year n a half and I am looking for ways to help her gain a little weight I have tried almost every thing the vet says that she is at a weight that is good could be a little better but a good weight the type of breed she is only suppose to reach a weight of 50 to 60 pounds her weight is 48 pounds
I need a little help on getting her to gain the two pounds would this be a good thing to feed her?
bulldogs4u3 years ago
How much would you feed a 18 pound French Bulldog? Once a day or more. How much per serving? Can you make it ahead and freeze it? Thank You
I would feed 1/2 to 1 satin ball a day to a frenchie, they gain weight fast. You can make the whole batch and freeze it. I recommend only putting 3 or 4 in a baggie and freeze in servings so you don't have to thaw and refreeze the batch.
jgritsch3 years ago
My dog is 14 years and 7 months old, and he just doesn't want to eat anything. He is skin and bones.

Is it safe to give an old dog this raw food?

The vet did not even want to vaccinate him anymore at his age as she didn't want him to have any reactions.

He gets up in his wheelchair cart a couple of times of day, and he enjoys his walks. So, he appears to be happy to be alive. He just doesn't have any interest in food.
This food is safer than kibble. Your dog should be fine, but feed in small amounts until you know for sure that your dog doesn't have any sensitivities to it and maybe leave out the total cereal and wheat germ.
mwyland3 years ago
I have a pitt mix and he is an awesome dog. He is a picky eater. He does need to put on weight... can you tell me how much of this stuff to feed him? I thought maybe 1 ball a day until he puts on a few pounds. And should I continue giving him these once a week just for maintenance? One last question, do you give it to them raw? Thanks everyone for any help....
Raw is preferred since cooked fat is bad for dogs. your idea sounds like a great plan.
I have so much to comment on here! LOL First let me preface by saying that i am a registered vet tech and a HUGE supporter of a WELL BALANCED raw food diet. I am also a breeder/handler of large breed dogs that are very active. This recipe is great for putting weight on a dog and worked miracles on our 3 year old male show dog who is a VERY picky eater. However, if you choose to feed this FULL TIME, you should add a raw food supplement (Dog Bloom makes one) and veggie matter such as kelp/alfalfa powder and/or raw veggies (pureed seem to be best accepted by dogs) you CAN use baby food if you are really lazy and dont mind that it is not RAW. I also make this with ground turkey (70/20) which is a fattier turkey and not as apt to cause stomach issues. I also make "treats" with ground lamb in this same fashion that they love. I have added peanut butter, shredded cheese, and pureed raw chicken liver to add a little variety to the treats. Most importantly this recipe has been approved by my vet as well as my dogs!
so it's ok to feed raw eggs???
Yes, in this recipe it is. Dogs do not have the same digestive requirements as we do and are just fine with anything in a raw egg. You do not want to feed raw eggs too much alone though, as they have been known to deplete vitamin B over a period of time.
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