Featured, Nutrition & Health

Satin Balls – For Ill or Underweight Dogs

March 17, 2011 by · 28 Comments 

If you have a dog that just doesn’t seem to hold its weight, is a picky eater, or has just experienced an illness that left it weakened, making satin balls for your dog can help bring him back to optimal condition.  I have a great dane that frequently fell to illness in her first year, and at 2 years old cannot maintain her target weight.  In all of these situations I used satin balls to help her recover as it was the only thing she would be interested in eating.  Currently she gets 3 satin balls a day with her normal meals to keep her weight stable.

This recipe is designed to put weight on fast, and to be very good for making their coat shiny and soft.  It is high in calories to give them an energy boost that is much needed in times of stress. And most important of all – they are extremely palatable.  These are not a substitute for a nutritionally balanced diet for your dog, but they can be added daily as a supplement and make great treats for training. 

There are three batch sizes listed below to choose from depending on the size of dog and quantity desired.  These hold up well in a freezer in zip-lock bags, just freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet before bagging them up.  You can then take out the number needed and defrost them.  Just mix all ingredients together and form them into small balls – no cooking required.  Remember to make each satin ball small, about an inch in diameter, and be sparing in the amount you feed, as it doesn’t take many to get the job done!

Satin Balls for Little Dogs — or to try out recipe on your dog to see if he will eat it.
1 lb cheap hamburger (for high fat %)
1 and 1/3 cups Total cereal
1 and 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
1 raw egg
6 Tablespoons wheat germ
1 package Knox unflavored gelatin
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons unsulfured molasses
Pinch of salt

Satin Balls Half Recipe
5 lbs cheap hamburger (for high fat %)
1/2 large box Total cereal (about 6 cups cereal)
1/2 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 7.5 cups oats)
5 raw eggs
1/2 of 15oz jar wheat germ (about 2 cups)
5 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
5/8 cup vegetable oil (this is pretty close to 2/3 cup)
5/8 cup unsulfured molasses
Pinch of salt

Satin Balls Full Recipe
10 lbs cheap hamburger (high fat %)
1 large box Total cereal (about 12 cups cereal)
1 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 15 cups oats)
10 raw eggs
1 15oz jar wheat germ
10 packages Knox unflavored gelatin
1 and 1/4 cup vegetable oil


28 Responses to “Satin Balls – For Ill or Underweight Dogs”
  1. Janette says:

    My dog is allergic to eggs what else can be used in place for eggs in the Satin Balls?

  2. sherri says:

    Is it allergic to commercial egg substitute?

  3. lani says:

    We are in new zealand. What would be the equivilent of the cereal? many thanks

  4. This sounds Great for sick and underweight dogs!!! Thank You for the Recipe.

  5. Twilla boyce says:

    I live in Canada and have had absolutely no luck finding Total brand cereal. I did some research and discovered that Total is wheat based. This is not good for my boxers as they have difficulty digesting wheat and the recipe already has wheat germ in it. I am going to substitute Special K cereal instead. It is rice based. I’ll let u know how it works.

  6. Cheryl Lee says:

    Are Satin Balls safe for pregnant bitches?

  7. sherri says:

    I would rather you asked this of your veterinarian. I don’t want to give incorrect information.

  8. mary ellis says:

    this is similar to what I was given by a professional handler – it was called fat balls. Instead of Total cereal – it used Special K.

    I have a dog that I had to go to raw food due to her losing her teeth due to autoimmune problem that she had.

  9. Patricia Stieglitz says:

    What can be substituted for the Total cereal if my dog is allergic to wheat products?

  10. sherri says:

    Is your dog allergic to just wheat or all grains? I have switched my dogs to a good quality kibble that is grain free. Most lines now carry a “grain-free” option and I didn’t have a transition problem. There are also a number of raw diets. I don’t use them but the breeder I buy from uses Blue Ridge. I haven’t used it so I don’t have first hand knowledge. The breeder swears it is wonderful.

  11. ellie wild says:

    how satin balls do i feed a 9 pound cavapoo and can i feed this to her ? thanks 🙂

  12. sherri says:

    We would recommend you check with your vet as a cavapoo may react quite differently from our German Shepherds.

  13. Cyndy says:

    I have a 3 lb rescue chi. she is really thin. How many Satin Balls do I feed her.

  14. sherri says:

    Please go to your vet for that kind of advice. We are not veterinarians and would not want to make a recommendation that might be bad for your dog.

  15. Can you bake the satin balls. I don’t want to give my dogs raw hamburger.?

  16. For the love of Soul says:

    Do you cook the hamburger or use it raw?

  17. Melinda Rossetter says:

    I have a soon to be 5 year old female GSD who we purchased (more like rescued) from an unreputable breeder about 1 year ago. We made arrangements to meet them to see 2 dogs that they had for sale…a 2 year old male and a 4 year old bitch. We found the bitch to be severely malnourished with a seriously neglected coat. I don’t think either dog had seen a bath since the day they were born!

    At first sight the bitch was such a mess…my head told me to walk away because she was definitely not the dog that we were enticed to meet. But she appeared to have a very desirable and stable temperament despite her obvious neglect…sweetest dog I’ve encountered in quite a while…which was remarkable considering her obviously neglectful environment for the first 3-1/2 years of her life. This dog also had a very impressive pedigree…actually…BOTH dogs had very impressive pedigrees.

    Her intended suitor was the 2 year old male who they also brought along for the ride. Again…a very impressive pedigree…but he was in even worse shape than the female. He was SO emaciated that our vet gave him a body scale rating of a 1-2. He could hardly stand or walk….and when he DID walk…it was VERY slowly…reminded me of my aging parents! We actually feared we would lose him before we made it to our vet apt the very next day…but thankfully…he hung in there! This dog (we re-named him “Riko”) was no doubt at “death’s door” and I am convinced that had we not taken him home with us…he would have perished within a week!

    Riko’s initial visit to our vet revealed a quite serious case of worms. His condition was SO grave that the normal dosage or dewormer had to be cut in half and administered over time. But we followed our vet’s recommendations to the tee…and I am happy to report that both of these dogs made a full recovery within 6-9 months! The treatment was slow…but sure…and effective!

    The breeder who decided to sell these dogs to us did so because he was unable to get them to “produce”. When he has dogs that are unable to breed and produce nice/big litters…without any human invention…he gets rid of them. That’s what happened with these dogs. I suspect that they were in SUCH poor health (especially he male) they were physically incapable of going through the motions of breeding. No big surprise!

    Fast forward to 9 months after our first encounter. These 2 dogs are now healthy and active and successfully produced their first litter just recently…5 absolutely gorgeous black & red puppies…which were scooped up by friends and family members who were lined up at the door for this long-awaited litter of this beautiful pair! The last puppy of the litter just went to his forever home last week.

    My question is…the bitch is beautiful and seems to be in excellent health. She experienced NO issues throughout her pregnancy and delivery. However…I would like to see her weight return to her pre-pregnancy weight. But she is such a “busy” girl…I haven’t been able to get her back up to that weight yet.

    I decided to supplement her diet with “Satin Balls”. My plan is to feed her a normal-sized portion (about 2 cups) of her dry kibble (Earthborn Grain Free Great Plains variety) every morning…and then give her 2 Satin Balls (I made them about the size of a tennis ball…perhaps a little smaller) in place of her kibble in the evening. How do these portion sizes sound? She is probably around 50-55 pounds…and I would like to increase her weight to around 60-65 pounds. It’s hard to say right now…I don’t have a scale…but we have a vet apt scheduled the middle of next week.

    Oh…I have also been pouring chicken or beef broth over her dry kibble in the mornings. It seems to help her clean up her bowl. Otherwise…she usually doesn’t eat it all…but the broth seems to do the trick.

    I would appreciate any feedback from anyone with experience on using Satin Balls to put weight on a German Shepherd…specifically some advice on the appropriate serving sizes to get the results I am looking for…as soon as possible.


  18. Nancy Erhardt says:

    My dog was diagnosed with cancer in January. They removed a 4 1/2 pound tumor in his spleen which was also removed. After surgery he went from 13.5 pounds to 9. I made the balls and within a month he was back to his normal weight. His recovery would have been much longer without them. They really WORK!!

  19. Hassan says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly think this site
    needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks
    for the information!

  20. Melody says:

    I have a male Gsd, he is typically around 92- 96 lbs and it is a good weight range for him, can still see his ribs but not too thin.

    However, he has Wobbler’s Syndrome and had neck surgery about 2 1/2 years ago. He recently had a set back and is back on prednisone and strict rest so I have had to decrease his food so prevent weight gain which would cause more problems related to his medical issues. He has excessive side effects from tbe Pred of extreme excessive thirst, hunger and urination (every 1-3 hours he has to potty a river).

    Seeing him every day I didn’t notice he has really dropped in weight, probably due to a combination of the increased metabolism from the Pred, and decrease in food and obviously with the GSD coat you really don’t see their frame but I noticed his just too thin.

    Due to lack of freezer space I made the recipe using 5 lbs of ground beef, he is on Castor & Pullox Duck which is a really good quality grain free high protein dry food which he gets twice a day, a few days ago I increased it to an extra 1/2-3/4 cup mid day but thought satin balls would be a better way to go.

    I divided the 5 lb recipe into 8 bags, how much do you think I should give him each time and how many times a day?? Thanks for the advice.

  21. sherri says:

    Sorry to take so long getting back to you. Always discuss this kind of thing with your vet. FYI when my dogs won’t eat, I sprinkle parmigan cheese on their food.

  22. sherri says:

    I don’t see that as an issue. Always use your best judgment, this is your dog and you know it best of anyone. When in doubt talk to your vet first.

  23. katbuck says:

    I have a 10 year old bichon. I started making his food ut he kept losing weight. Talked to my vet about him being diabetic or he has cushings. We talked about his food and i wasnt feeding him enough. My groomer suggested satin balls so im going to try them. Has anyone out there used them for small dogs?

  24. Cisco says:

    It does not really matter how a Husky come to be underweight, whether illness or rescued from a neglectful situation, sometimes it becomes crucial that you find a food that is palatable for the dog so that he can get some much needed calories and nourishment into his body IMMEDIATELY. When it is medically unsafe for your dog to be at the weight that he is at, then the scheduled use of Satin Balls may be warranted. You can find recipes for Satin Balls further in the article.


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