Causes of weight loss in dogs

Spread the love

The weight of your dog is set to naturally fluctuate at different times of the year. However, you should be keen to notice when your dog is losing weight abnormally. Most dog owners may not know what exactly is causing their dog to lose weight and how to solve it. This article sheds some light on common causes of unexplained weight loss of your four-legged friend.

Internal parasites.

This is very common with owners of outdoor dogs though it can occur with any breed. Tapeworms and other internal parasites can cause a do to lose significant weight in a short period. This is because intestinal worms consume all the food taken by your dog. this results to lose of energy hence the sudden weight loss


Many people confuse poor nutrition with malnourishment. Poor nutrition occurs when a dog is given excess food which is poor in quality and lacks exercise. On the other hand, malnutrition simply means lack of enough food and occurs if the dog losses 10% of its weight. Malnutrition can result from abuse or can occur when the owner doesn’t know how much food the dog should take. The common signs of malnutrition include:

  • Inconsistent bowel movements and bad smelling gas.
  • Poor physical appearance like visible shoulder bones and ribs.
  • Contracting infections easily due to low immunity.
  • Low energy levels.

If you notice this, contact your vet for advice on how to feed your dog better.

Dental problems.

A dog with teeth problems finds eating very difficult. Difficulties in eating eventually to loss of weight for your dog. The best way to find out if your dog is having dental issues is taking it to the veterinarian for examination.


A dog has to feel safe in its surroundings for it to eat. If the people handling a dog abuse it, it may be stressed or nervous. Anxiety in dogs causes lack of appetite which results to loss of weight. An anxious dog has the following characteristics:

  • Destructive behavior. This is evident through digging in the compound or tearing things apart.
  • Incessant aggressive barking.
  • Urinating and defecating in undesignated places around the home.


Just like women, dogs too experience nausea in the early stages of their pregnancy. This could make your dog loss appetite and start losing weight. However, this stabilizes with time, and your dog should regain weight as time goes by.
Mouth lesions.

Mouth lesions make it hard for a dog to eat. This can cause weight loss if it goes unattended for some time. If your dog is disinterested in food, visit your vet.

Thyroid infections.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition that causes abnormal metabolism in your dog. It manifests through the abnormally fast breakdown of food and sometimes food may pass through the gut without being efficiently broken down. This condition causes poor absorption of nutrients in the body which may cause your dog to lose weight. The best way to solve this is getting your dog examined by a vet.


Old dogs are not enthusiastic as young ones and may suffer confusion and depression. As age catches up with them, most of them experience loss of appetite. Diseases such as arthritis in dogs can be painful.

READ MORE: Reasons why Vitamins and minerals are essential for your dog

Liver problems.

Dogs that have liver diseases are prone to weight loss. This is caused by lack of essential carbohydrates and sugars that are supplied by the liver. Depletion of this sugars makes their bodies to burn fats and muscle tissue to sustain metabolism. Lack of energy in the body results in weight loss. The common signs of liver problems in dogs include:

  • Blood in stool and urine.
  • Seizures
  • Weight loss.
  • Tongue and eyes turn yellow.
  • Increased thirst and urge to urinate.
  • Loss of appetite.

Liver problems are manageable if reported to the veterinarian in the early stages.


This is a genetic disease and is common in dogs just like in human beings. It is caused by the inability of the body to absorb sugar from the blood or insufficient supply of insulin. Diabetes can cause an increased intake of food in dogs though weight loss occurs at the same rate. Diabetes is common with old dogs and those that are obese or on the verge of becoming obese.

Addison’s disease.

This is an adrenal insufficiency disease that occurs in dogs. It causes a deficit in steroid hormones. The disease is rare and often occurs in young and middle-aged dogs, mostly of the female gender. In some breeds like the Standard poodle, Rottweiler and Bearded Collie is more pronounced. Signs and symptoms of this disease include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increase thirst.
  • Shaking.


Cancer in dogs consumes a lot of energy from the body due to an abnormal increase in cell multiplication. This means that the body uses more energy hence burning all fat and muscle tissue. The result of this is weight loss.

May you Like: Video Reason your pet is losing weight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *