What if my senior dog is losing weight?

What if my senior dog is losing weight?

It's common to talk about gaining weight in senior dogs.

It's not uncommon for them to gain a few pounds because they have reduced energy as well as a slower metabolism. However, what if your elderly dog begins to lose weight, and you are concerned?

Older dogs aren't always heavier because of the physical changes that occur as they age. Like us, they may find themselves losing weight. It's possible that losing a few pounds as you age is just a normal part of life.

However, if your senior dog abruptly or gradually loses a substantial amount of weight, this could be a warning indication that something is amiss with their health.

Do yourself a favor and have a look at this guide put together by proud dog parents. There are a lot of websites out there offering incorrect dog products and information, and they don't seem to care about the health of the dog. As a result, you need to rely on an authentic source when it comes to your dog.

Keeping a senior dog's weight in check is a major concern for pet owners.

Though, before we get to it, however...

What if my senior dog is losing weight

If you see that your pet is losing the weight or showing signs of illness, please consult with your veterinarian.

Amount of Weight Loss Concerned

Even in the best of moods, you and your dog are going to see a fluctuation in your dog's weight.

As a result of the hormonal and metabolic changes which older dogs experience, it would be just as possible that they might lose weight as they gain weight as they get older.

When should you be concerned about your dog's weight loss?

Weight loss is the answer.

10% of a dog's usual weight is considered to be a substantial loss of weight by veterinarians.

If the dog loses that much weight, you'll probably notice. That's only half a pound for a five-pound dog, though.

The most common causes of losing weight in older dogs

In senior dogs, weight loss can be caused by a number of various issues.

You and your veterinarian may also notice other signs and symptoms that really can help you determine the cause of the disease and begin treatment.

Following is a list of the most prevalent causes of severe weight loss in elderly canines.

Ailments in the mouth

If your dog is suffering from dental issues, you may notice a decrease in his appetite for food. If they have to suffer while eating, they are less inclined to consume calories, resulting in weight reduction.

In addition to excessive drooling, foul smell, and discolored and swollen gums if the problem has been in their teeth, you'll likely notice other symptoms.

In senior dogs, this is probably the most common cause of weight loss. Around 80percent of dogs have dental difficulties by the time they're three years old, and it only gets worse as they get older.

Vets may recommend the excision of diseased teeth or the use of medicines to treat other dental ailments as part of the treatment process. They may also recommend a new oral care regimen.

You might want to consider using a brush to clean your dog's teeth if you've been using tooth chews for a long time and they're now too hard for your dog's teeth.

Again, if your dog has dental concerns, switching to wet food may be a smart choice because it needs less chewing, making it easier for them all to consume.

If you want to make it easy for your dog to eat and keep her hydrated, soak the kibble in water for 10-15 minutes.


Dogs become more susceptible to developing diabetes as they get older.

This can lead to weight loss, since their bodies are unable to obtain the energy they want from the sugar they consume, thus their bodies begin to use stored muscle and fat as fuel.

Additionally, your dog may show indicators of diabetes, such as increased thirst and urination, and increased risk of urinary infections, and a lack of energy.

With insulin therapy and a particular diet, dogs with diabetes can be kept at a stable blood sugar level and avoid complications.

Your veterinarian can assist you in developing a treatment plan for your dog's diabetes, including medication and/or a special diet.

If you want to get the most out of your diet, you should eat more protein and less carbohydrates.


As a general rule, dogs lose weight as they become older because of a decrease in fluid intake.

Older dogs, on the other hand, may usually drink less, which might put them at risk for dehydration and other health problems.

If this is the cause of your dog's weight loss, you'll likely notice a variety of other symptoms.

The most typical symptoms include a decreased need to urinate, black urine, tiredness, and gums that are rubbery.

Your dog should be encouraged to drink extra water if you feel it is dehydrated, so do this. Make sure their water is constantly clean by doing this.

Invest in a bowl which circulates water or change it every day. As a supply of moisture, you can add some wet food to their diet if they eat predominantly dry food.


It's best to take your pet to the doctor if they're still displaying signs of dehydration despite drinking regularly, as dehydration can be a sign of many different medical concerns as well.

Diseases of the Gallbladder or the Liver

If your dog is losing weight, it could be an indication that something is wrong with his or her liver or gallbladder. First and foremost, because these are both digestive systems, losing weight can be a sign.

In cases where the liver is to blame, other digestive disorders, such as lack of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea are also likely to be present in the sufferer.

For Dogs That Are Getting Older

Even if your veterinarian doesn't believe that your dog's losing weight is a serious medical issue and is simply a normal aspect of old age, there are still things you can do to help.

In order to make sure that your senior dog has the wellbeing for just as long as possible, it is important that you provide them a diet that is appropriate for their age.

Specifically, what does a nutritious diet for senior dogs look like?

Calorie requirements decrease as the dog ages because of their decreased activity level and slower metabolism.

When it comes to feeding a medium-sized, active dog, you'll need to cut their caloric consumption by roughly 20% as they become older.

While this is a good starting point for most dogs, it's important to keep an eye on your dog's weight to determine if it's enough for them all to keep up with their present lifestyle.

In the event that they will be losing weight, their hormone modifications indicate that they require extra calories to maintain themselves.

If this is the case, you may wish to give them a 10% increase in calories. If they'll be losing the weight, then increase the percentage to 20%.

Meats, fish, and poultry, as well as meals and byproducts like as venison, will be a better source of protein for them.

L-carnitine-enriched foods will also aid in boosting their metabolic rate.

Dogs may require up to 50% extra protein - rich foods as they become older, according to some studies, and at the very least, they should obtain 25% of the calories from protein.

Some pet owners are concerned that their senior dogs' kidneys may be adversely affected by a diet high in protein. When it comes to senior dogs, research shows that more protein is preferable unless the dog has kidney issues.

Because you want to nourish their lean muscle but not their fatty stores, you should give them food that is lower in fat than they are used to.

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