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Why Your Senior Dog Is Losing Weight And What To Do

Why Your Senior Dog Is Losing Weight And What To Do?

Owners may go through many struggles to keep their dog’s weight down and stay in the best shape. Weight loss is generally viewed positively by vets and owners. Many owners find themselves seeking out a low-calorie dog food that helps to promote weight loss when their dogs start to get extra pounds.

However, few owners face opposite problems. They struggle to keep the dog’s weight right. There may be some occasions in which weight loss can indicate a problem in older dogs.

Most geriatric animals tend to lose a little muscle mass as they age. So, a bit of weight loss is not necessarily unusual or a cause for concern. The trick helps to determine your older dog’s weight loss is normal or not, or when it indicates a health problem.

Here, we will discuss a few reasons older dogs suffer from weight loss. We will also explain some of the most common symptoms and signs that help you make an appointment with your vet.

Illness and symptoms that can cause weight loss in older dogs

Illness and symptoms that can cause weight loss in older dogs

There are a variety of different issues which may cause your senior pooch to lose weight. Therefore, it is essential to visit your vet anytime your dog starts losing a significant amount of weight.

It is usually defined as 10% of their normal body mass. It is, however, right that only a veterinarian can determine the actual cause behind your dog’s weight loss, and they provide you with an accurate prognosis.

Weight loss is most troubling when it occurs over a short period. If your 60-pound-husky starts to lose 6 pounds over six months, it probably doesn’t represent a serious problem. But if your dog loses this much weight in a month or so, you’ll need to take the weight loss more seriously.

Here I am sharing a complete guide to Learn about gaining weight for dogs.

Common causes of weight loss in elderly pups

Here are some of the common causes of weight loss in elderly pups:

Dental problems

Gum disease, falling teeth, or other dental problems are common in older dogs. These problems often discourage your dogs from eating and lead to weight loss. Your vet is the only person who can help to treat most oral problems.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, Depression, and Anxiety

Just like people suffer from emotional distress, dogs suffer from the same. They can go through canine cognitive dysfunction, depression, or anxiety and may stop eating or may lessen the diet.

Read Also: How to Help Your Dog Gain Weight?

Kidney disease

Kidney disease is a common problem for older dogs and, it includes other symptoms that may cause your pup to shed some pounds. You must talk to your vet about performing a simple kidney function test and switching to dog food for kidney disease. It can be formulated with unique properties that help to keep your dog healthy.


A variety of cancers can afflict dogs, and their symptoms may vary widely from one type to the next. Many cancers produce visible sores or lumps, but there are plenty of others that don’t. It furthermore illustrates the need to visit the vet when your dog loses weight quickly.

Heart disease

It is quite a common problem among older dogs. But it is also true that you can treat it medically. It is usual for heart diseases to cause a chronic cough along with excessive sleepiness and lethargy. You must be vigilant about observing your dog’s behavior as it starts to age.

Intestinal disease

Dogs with poorly functioning intestines are unable to absorb and digest their food properly. It can lead to weight loss, even if your dog exhibits a normal appetite.

Liver disease

Liver disease can occasionally cause sudden weight loss. You must keep an eye out for yellowing skin or eyes as these are the indicators of jaundice.


If a dog loses 10% of the bodyweight of his body, it means they are dehydrated. If this happens, you need to coax them into drinking more. You can offer them a few ice cubes as they like to chew them.


Diabetic dogs usually fail to use the glucose to fuel their body as healthy ones do. Instead, their body turns to other sources of energy like fat and protein in their bodies. It can lead to a net loss in the weight of your dog.

Common Problems in Dog -A Guide to Dog Owners

Packing up the pounds on your senior dog

Packing up the pounds on your senior dog

Now that you know the possible reasons why your dog is losing weight, here are some tips to help the dog to regain the weight.

  • Switch to a feeding or diet schedule that provides calories.
  • Provide your dog with wet food or moist
  • Reduce the amount of exercise your dog gets.
  • Consider supplementing your dog’s diet with a probiotic.
  • Add tasty topper to your dog’s regular food
  • Make sure you support your dog’s emotional and mental health


If your dog starts to lose weight as they get older, it may or may not be a cause for concern. It could just be a natural part of the way their body is changing with age. It could also be a sign of more serious medical conditions.

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