There are a number of reasons this could happen. If your dog IS actually underweight and it isn't worms, gingerly discuss a food that's higher in protein. In a healthy dog, you should be able to feel the ribs just below the skin. Reviewed and updated for accuracy on December 10, 2019, by Dr. Natalie Stilwell, DVM, MS, PhD. The inside of his ears are pale white and his gums are somewhat white. I can see his ribs and his hip bones and spine. Consider changing brands or flavors and see if he happily cleans his plate. When your dog resembles a skeleton, it might be time for an intervention. Generally speaking, Dr. Heinze says loss of appetite is the easiest way to tell if your pet’s weight loss is concerning or not. 10 Weird Cat Behaviors That Could Be Signs of a Sick Cat, 7 Ways Cat Lovers Can Celebrate International Cat Day. Parasites live in the dog’s body and steal nutrients from the dog. First, you need to determine the causes of why your dog won’t eat, and here is how to do it. The weight loss is typically a result of a decreased appetite. Does your dog scarf down his meals, or does he eat slowly or even leave food behind? 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. A good diet, plenty of exercise, and insulin injections are the suggested treatment plan for most dogs with diabetes. GI problems can lead to weight loss over time. Here are nine of the most common causes of unanticipated weight loss in dogs. Their eating might seem normal, but if they can’t hold onto their food long enough, they’ll obviously be losing weight. Many people choose to supplement their dog’s diet with commercial supplements or even tidbits of at-home ingredients like a raw egg or chopped up fruits and vegetables. Chronic stress can also weaken the immune system and increase your dog’s risk of developing an infection. This is not to say that feeding your dog a homemade or raw diet is impossible, but it is more demanding and costly. Thankfully, these diseases are both easy to prevent through vaccination. You feel like lying down and taking a nap. “Whipworms, in particular, aren’t killed by a lot of products,” says Dr. Heinze. As such, you should show your dog some sympathy in these situations. My dog is a 12-year old male English Springer Spaniel with leukemia. 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. Next, set a goal weight. 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. No blood on the stool but has diarrhea. He will not eat his dog food, but will eat some people food. Being clear about how much your dog needs to eat by age is critical to keep it adequately nourished and also to prevent obesity.. It doesn’t always mean there is a medical issue. Your email address will not be published. Other symptoms may include vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as difficulty breathing or coughing with distemper. Please keep in mind that dogs can lose weight due to any number of factors, not just the ones on this list. 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. If your german shepherd is skinny and underweight the chances are that he’s also going to lack energy. In fact, some dogs are downright skinny and I know; I have one of those dogs. After reading this I'm pretty sure this is her problems. Another external factor to a dog losing weight is an incomplete diet. Dogs are the same. Dogs that have increased caloric demand like excessive physical activity, extended exposure to cold, pregnancy, or lactation, may benefit from some extra calories. Cancer is generally more common in older dogs, and malignant forms can be life-threatening. Dogs require a delicate balance of essential nutrients for each meal, and even one missing ingredient can cause severe health consequences. Like kidney disease, pets with heart disease won’t start losing weight immediately. But I know why my dog is thin; he’s active, runs and plays hard, and is always ready to go. If the ribs are visibly protruding, your dog may be severely underweight. Another intestinal parasite is the roundworm, which looks similar to spaghetti, and can often be seen in the dog’s stool. I thought is was worms so I tried several meds and no improvement. 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