Luckily, diabetes can be easily treated when managed properly. He may … Although obesity is far too common in dogs today; there are also dogs with the opposite problem. Secondly, is that a lack of appetite will cause them to eat less than they did during their prime. So as well as checking for a loss of weight you should also look for the following. Various types of cancer can cause unexplained weight loss in dogs, says Dr. Heinze. Home / My Dog / Why is your dog so skinny even though he eats? For other dogs, it can happen suddenly. Although dogs can lose weight for a variety of reasons; here is a list of some of the most common reasons your dog may be losing weight despite eating well: This is an external factor characterized by the dog simply not getting enough calories to fuel their body. Because maldigestion is a bit more difficult to diagnose, it is best to see your veterinarian if you think this could be causing your dog to lose weight. Dog is very active, hikes and runs, climbs 14,000 mountains in colorado, etc - all with no problem. This is especially the case if the extra poop is diarrheic in nature - chances are, he … I dont know what else to do. This reinforces the food seeking behavior in the dog, so that it gets stronger in the dog. Consider changing brands or flavors and see if he happily cleans his plate. Reviewed and updated for accuracy on December 10, 2019, by Dr. Natalie Stilwell, DVM, MS, PhD. Wolves (or dogs) hunting in a pack also learn the concept of scarcity and food being a limited resource. Thankfully, these diseases are both easy to prevent through vaccination. “If they’re only getting diagnosed after they’ve started losing weight, they’ve probably had the disease for a long time,” Dr. Heinze explains. Either of these issues can be cause for concern. This is not something that needs fixing like the other issues on this list, but just a natural part of their aging. Dogs require a delicate balance of essential nutrients for each meal, and even one missing ingredient can cause severe health consequences. Changes in their home, routine, and environment are likely to cause some level of stress, and maybe even anxiety. Just like people, dogs can be affected by stress, and may even lose weight as a result of that. For nutritionally balanced kibble diets, make sure to buy a good brand and be aware of their ingredients. This is not to say that feeding your dog a homemade or raw diet is impossible, but it is more demanding and costly. However, not all products are equally effective against all worms. Often they have a virus, they don’t eat for a couple of days, and then they get better.” However, if your dog is not eating an… Your email address will not be published. Older dogs typically lose weight for one of three reasons. 1) worms--but to eliminate this, can get a deworm pill from the vet. Cancer is generally more common in older dogs, and malignant forms can be life-threatening. The weight loss can be chalked up to the chronic diarrhea and vomiting that often accompany these issues. Treating the underlying dental disease should help address your dog’s weight loss, but it’s important to monitor your pet’s appetite closely to make sure it’s back on track. Comment document.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "ad5d71433749509beeb3c6fce3f47330" );document.getElementById("ffb7cdee2c").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. In fact, some dogs may appear to gain weight—despite a loss of appetite—due to fluid accumulation in the body. Generally speaking, Dr. Heinze says loss of appetite is the easiest way to tell if your pet’s weight loss is concerning or not. “Sometimes, a food that is marketed for overweight pets—it might say ‘healthy weight’ or ‘weight maintenance’ or ‘reduced calorie’—might have more calories than ‘regular’ food,” she says. Please keep in mind that dogs can lose weight due to any number of factors, not just the ones on this list. he also is active not lazy at all. My dog is very skinny even though he eats, he also has diarrhea.? In both of these cases, it is necessary to ensure that your dog is receiving a complete diet so they will not lose weight. Eating in time is very important. Don’t stay hungry for a long time. It is usually easy to treat by supplementation of necessary enzymes and alteration of the dog’s diet, but more severe cases may require medication. Why is your dog so skinny even though he eats? First, you need to determine the causes of why your dog won’t eat, and here is how to do it. They had a complete workup done and no one could find anything wrong,” she says. He looks very sad and he even has a limp. Pseudo-anorexia in dogs is a condition when a dog wants to eat but can’t because of another problem. The name for this condition is hypothyroidism, where the prefix hypo- means “under.” It can be confounding to observe that even while your pet is eating very little, she is continuing to gain weight. They may not eat every day, or even every other day, so they fall into a “get it while you can” mentality. A common indicator for hormone imbalances are skin problems; the skin may be noticeably irritated, change in color or consistency. Dr. Bartl explains that changes in the household or the addition of a new pet could be possible sources of stress-induced weight loss. Various types of cancer can cause unexplained weight loss in dogs, says Dr. Heinze. As such, you should show your dog some sympathy in these situations. Even though dogs have been known to poop in order to "send a message," these cases are an exception rather than the norm. The dog’s weight, activity levels, and appetite are also likely to be affected by a hormone imbalance. This forces the body to use its own fats and proteins for fuel. This is an internal issue where the body struggles to break down food. In addition, make sure you’ve isolated their food from the other pets in the house to reduce food sharing or stealing. Dogs are the same. Hookworms are intestinal parasites that can be picked up through ingestion of the eggs, transferred from a nursing mother, and even burrow into the dog’s skin. Excessive vomiting and/or diarrhea decrease the amount of available nutrients for your pet. Why is My Cat So Skinny But Eats All The Time? 10 Weird Cat Behaviors That Could Be Signs of a Sick Cat, 7 Ways Cat Lovers Can Celebrate International Cat Day. Dr. Heinze says one of the most common explanations for weight loss is changing your pet’s food. It can be caused by a number of health issues such as diseases that affect the pancreas, enzyme-related conditions, or intestinal disorders. Dr. Heinze says it’s easy to miss this because foods are marketed in seemingly confusing ways when it comes to nutrition. Luckily, most intestinal parasites can be treated and even prevented with medications from your veterinarian. Remember that dogs’ stomachs are easily upset by sudden changes in diet, so changes should be made carefully and incrementally over a number of weeks. Both signs can result from a variety of causes, so it’s best to talk to your veterinarian, who can help determine the underlying problem. Not all cases of seemingly inexplicable weight loss are caused by disease. Diabetes is another common reason for weight loss because the dog’s body is not producing enough insulin and cannot break down the sugars in the dog’s food. No blood on the stool but has diarrhea. Other symptoms may include vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as difficulty breathing or coughing with distemper. If you’ve noticed a small degree of unplanned weight loss, try adding calories to their diet, she says. “I have had people come to me because their dog is losing weight. Treating malabsorption will depend on its cause; so treatments can vary from dietary changes, supplementation of enzymes, or medication. Eats usually 2 to 3 cups of quality dog food, lately part raw too - on more active day will get slightly more food. With cancer alone, there are a multitude of reasons the dog may lose weight including loss of appetite, metabolic changes, direct effects of the tumor, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments. Unlike some of the other conditions for which weight loss is a symptom, pets with kidney disease typically don’t drop pounds right away. … read more All rights reserved. Other canine cancers, such as oral melanoma, may make eating and swallowing more painful, causing the dog to avoid food. Loss of muscle mass is the third reason, as older dogs tend to be happier to relax than run around all the time. I can see his ribs and his hip bones and spine. There are a number of reasons this could happen. A good diet, plenty of exercise, and insulin injections are the suggested treatment plan for most dogs with diabetes. Required fields are marked *. “You don’t feel like eating when you have a fever. The clinical signs associated with metabolic conditions are complex, and advanced diagnostic testing may be required to identify these conditions. Possible causes for weight loss or inability to gain weight in spite of a good appetite include intestinal parasites, endocrine disorders, digestive disorders such as malabsorption syndrome, metabolic disorders or simple malnutrition (not … So, it’s vital to know the different reasons why your older dog might be experiencing weight loss. Each dog has different nutritional requirements based on its age, breed, size, activity level, as well as other factors. The most likely reason your dog isn’t eating runs parallel to the main reason humans don’t eat at times. If your dog is suffering from an issue with their liver or kidneys, they might lose weight even if they eat normally. Dogs are generally adaptable to our lifestyles, but they are also highly perceptive and will notice even minor changes in their surroundings. The best way to prevent weight loss in a dog with cancer is by feeding an energy-dense, high fat, moderately high protein, low carb diet. 5 steps to find out why your dog is not eating It can be as simple as your dog becoming picky due to a decreased sense of smell. The first reason is that their body simply does not digest and absorb nutrients as well as it did when they were young. Cancer. Fortunately, most of the stress will be eliminated as time goes on and the dog adapts to the new house, new baby or pet, new environment, or whatever has changed in their life. If your dog won’t eat anything at all, you’re dealing with complete dog anorexia. GI problems can lead to weight loss over time. Missie had started to lose weight in the 9 months before she died the vets did tests such as xrays and blood tests but only found a low white blood cells. Weight loss generally affects both body fat and muscle, resulting in emaciation. Some reasons may be because another pet in the household is eating more than it’s share, the dog is unhappy with their food, or they do not have adequate time to eat everything in their bowl. But take the vet's specific food recommendations with a grain of salt. Dr. Heinze says that if you’re looking for food that’s truly meant to help your dog lose weight, talk to your veterinarian. Also, dogs with advanced dental disease generally feel unwell and may lose body condition. My dog is a 12-year old male English Springer Spaniel with leukemia. Does your dog scarf down his meals, or does he eat slowly or even leave food behind? Here are nine of the most common causes of unanticipated weight loss in dogs. The owners were feeding them the same amount every day, but the new food had 20 percent fewer calories.”. Possible causes. i just change his food to the Blue Buffalo Basic, Salmon & Potato Recipe; sensitive solution formula. Although changing a dog’s diet may be in their best interest, it can be difficult to provide all the nutrients a dog needs in a raw or homemade diet. The experiment must be controlled, which means it’s important to avoid feeding table scraps or too many treats. If the ribs are visibly protruding, your dog may be severely underweight. Rather, weight loss is typically associated with chronic forms of the disease. Like kidney disease, pets with heart disease won’t start losing weight immediately. If you have a slim type of body (Ectomorph), it will be hard to gain weight unless you take proper care of the things you eat. Your email address will not be published. This is super common as the parasites can infect dogs through many different ways. Tapeworms are worms that look like pieces of rice and are usually picked up from ingesting a host carrying a tapeworm egg, like an adult flea. 320 What could be the problem? Copyright © 2020 Bestie Paws. I plan to take him to the vet as soon as the weekend is over. Also, malabsorption or maldigestion disorders may impair the intestine’s ability to break down and absorb valuable nutrients from the diet. Their eating might seem normal, but if they can’t hold onto their food long enough, they’ll obviously be losing weight. In fact, some dogs are downright skinny and I know; I have one of those dogs. He has become very reluctant to go for walks (which were his very favourite thing), and his tummy is very gurgly and swollen after eating even though I use an anti-gulp bowl and feed him small meals. Unplanned or rapid weight loss in dogs, while not uncommon, can be alarming for any pet owner. What Happens if Your Dog Eats Leftover Bones? If your dog is losing weight rapidly, you should go see your veterinarian. Malabsorption is another internal issue and occurs when food is broken down by the body, but the nutrients cannot be absorbed. If a raw diet is still best for your dog, speak to your veterinarian and do plenty of research regarding your dog’s needs. Symptoms of intestinal parasite infection in dogs can include: Intestinal parasites are typically diagnosed through a fecal exam to identify the eggs or other parasite life stages (depending on the type of parasite present). In a healthy dog, you should be able to feel the ribs just below the skin. As dental disease progresses, oral bacteria can spread throughout the body, leading to painful infections in the heart, liver and kidneys. Lethargy/Lack Of Energy. Some of the most well-known illnesses to cause weight loss are cancer, diabetes, and infectious diseases, all of which are related to weight loss due to the fact that they increase caloric demand. I have a german shepherd who is about 1 year old and I feed him canned food mixed with the dry food twice a day. Another intestinal parasite is the roundworm, which looks similar to spaghetti, and can often be seen in the dog’s stool. But I know why my dog is thin; he’s active, runs and plays hard, and is always ready to go. If your dog has a dental abscess it will be uncomfortable for him to eat. You feel like lying down and taking a nap. This is a common issue for pets who are fed raw or homemade diets but can also be seen in dogs who eat a kibble diet that may not be nutritionally complete. Lastly, non-worm parasites like coccidia, giardia, and spirochetes are found in the intestinal tract and can come from infected soil, water, feces, food, other animals, and more. Dr. Cailin Heinze, MS, VMD, DACVN, assistant professor of nutrition at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, says that weight loss due to parasitism is less common than it used to be, because many pets receive monthly protection against heartworm and intestinal parasites. Better to be a little thin and fit than obese as your dog will age and die a lot more quick. If your dog is losing weight unexpectedly, it can be an indication of an underlying health or behavioral issue that requires veterinary attention. While not as common as other causes, Dr. Bartl says that stress and anxiety can significantly affect a pet’s appetite and should not be overlooked. This is because even the small amount of food energy she is taking in is being stored rather than released through the metabolic process. Certain types of benign and malignant tumors are notorious for causing weight loss. A dog, just like a person, can lose weight for any number of reasons. Let me tell you a story about my cat who was 12 when she died. old He eats regular and is neuterd and he is skinny you can see his ribs I know he has some type of worms I just don't know which kind the last time I brought to the vet I cost me 200 … read more Parasites live in the dog’s body and steal nutrients from the dog. Going to the vet is out of the question as I'm on total disability only. If your dog so far has not manifested such gluttonous behavior and suddenly starts doing it, then it is time to review food portions that you are giving it, especially if they are in a growth phase. “If they eat more and gain weight, they’re probably OK,” she says. He continually goes into the kitchen begging for food and sits drooling while we eat even though he’s fed first. If you notice any changes such as those listed above, your dog should be seen by a veterinarian or at your local animal hospital. Tumors. To determine whether your dog needs to gain weight, perform a simple test by feeling his rib cage. However, as well as being skinny there are also other symptoms you’re german shepherd will be showing. My dog is losing weight but eating very well. My great niece also has a small 'Taco Bell chalupa' and he's tiny, skinny but very healthy and is fed Iams or Eukanuba. Next, set a goal weight. Some of the most common include: Poor Nutrition: If your dog’s food does not offer enough nutrients, he may lose weight and be unable to gain it back. Treatment of intestinal parasites involves the use of a broad-spectrum dewormer, Dr. Heinze says, followed by a monthly preventative medication to prevent reinfection. These issues can easily be solved by ensuring the dog has privacy and time to eat, as well as enough food to meet their caloric demand. Cheap kibble brands and poorly packaged canned foods are both known to have less nutritional content, and can therefore lead to a deficiency in some necessary vitamins or minerals. I exercise him and its been a while. If you think, ‘my dog is losing weight but acting normal,’ it could be a minor problem. Some reasons that come to mind: 1. my dog is 6 yrs. Weight loss is associated with several malignant cancers in dogs, including hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma and … This carries over even when the dog is getting two … The first reason is that their body simply does not digest and absorb nutrients as well as it did when they were young. While there may be some underlying eating disorder as to why your dog acts hungry all the time, there’s also the possibility that this is “normal” behavior. If your dog appears highly nervous or depressed, then she may be more interested in factors other than her food. Chronic stress can also weaken the immune system and increase your dog’s risk of developing an infection. It doesn’t always mean there is a medical issue. “It turns out the dog’s food was changed. Oral pain, says Dr. Lara Bartl, DVM, Diplomate DABVP (Canine/Feline Practice), assistant professor at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech University, may lead to weight loss in pets, as dogs will have a hard time chewing hard kibble when they’re dealing with an abscess or other gum problem. Weight loss commonly occurs in response to dysfunction or failure of a vital internal organ such as the heart, liver, or kidneys. Dogs that have increased caloric demand like excessive physical activity, extended exposure to cold, pregnancy, or lactation, may benefit from some extra calories. Pets contract these by ingesting the eggs directly from the environment, from contaminated soil or water. 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