While younger dogs might enjoy a stroll around the block with their owners every day, older dogs might prefer to stay at home and take it easy. But, as dogs age, they often start to lose weight—especially if they’re not active enough to maintain their body weight. It’s normal for older dogs to lose weight, but it can be frustrating for owners who want their dogs to maintain their petite figures. So, is it normal for older dogs to lose weight? What causes dogs to lose weight as they age? Let’s take a look.
Weight Loss In Dogs Is Nothing To Worry About
For most dogs, weight loss is a natural process as they age and it’s usually not a cause for concern. Though, as dogs get older, they usually start to lose weight, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. When dogs lose weight, it usually means they’re feeling better and having more energy than they’ve had in years. If your dog is losing weight, give them a hug and make sure they get plenty of exercise so that their energy can be put to good use.
For some dogs, especially smaller breeds like shih tzus and chihuahuas, weight loss can be quite dramatic. If you notice your dog is losing weight rapidly, then it might be a good idea to bring them to the vet for a checkup. Rapid weight loss in dogs can be a sign of an underlying health problem, so it’s important to get things checked out before worrying about the cause of weight loss. In some instances, dogs with end-stage kidney disease (ESRD), chronic valvular disease, or cardiomyopathy lose a significant amount of weight as their disease progresses.
Why Do Dogs Lose Weight?
Dogs are living creatures, so it’s no wonder they get tired of always feeling weak and wanting to sleep more than they do. As dogs get older, they often develop medical conditions that make them feel exhausted and less active than they used to be. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why dogs lose weight as they age:
A lot of dogs lose weight as they get older because they’re constantly stressed. Whether it’s from worry or anxiety about health issues or other dogs or concerns about being alone, older dogs are usually very stressed out. The constant worry and stress can manifest itself in many ways, including weight loss. If your dog is constantly stressed, consider them a victim of the modern-day rat race and do whatever you can to help them relax and reduce their stress levels.
Alcohol has many negative effects on dogs, but it also causes them to lose weight. As dogs get older, they often become more dependent on alcohol and will start to lose weight even if they’re not drinking. The liver processes alcohol much more quickly as dogs get older, which leads to significant weight loss even if your dog is not physically harming themselves with alcohol. To make matters worse, some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to alcohol than others. For instance, Doberman pinschers are known to lose a lot of weight when they drink alcohol.
Dogs that are starting to show their age usually start to lose weight as well. It’s not just a coincidence that older dogs start to lose weight because they’re getting older; there’s actually a medical term for it. If your dog starts showing signs of cognitive dysfunction or dementia, they’ll start to lose weight as well due to the reduced mental capacity causing them to lose the will to eat. Just like humans, dogs’ brains become less intelligent as they get older and it’s usually not a pretty syndrome. In fact, it’s one of the first things doctors notice about old dogs.
Poor Nutrition And Diet
Dogs that aren’t getting the nutrition they need from healthy food sources will also start to lose weight as they get older. Like people, dogs need a wide variety of nutrients to stay healthy. When dogs don’t get these nutrients from food, their bodies will start to break down and recycle whatever they can to get their requirements met. There are many reasons why your dog might not be getting the nutrition they need from food, such as a medical issue that complicates their appetite or specific diet restrictions. If you notice your dog is losing weight without an obvious cause, consider their nutrition a possible cause and seek help from a professional.
Decreased Activity Level
The activity level of a dog declines as they get older. Even if your dog was highly active as a pup, they’ll likely become less active as they get older. It’s a natural phenomenon that results in many animals’ decreased ability to maintain their weight as they age. If your dog starts to lose the ability to climb stairs, for example, they’ll start to lose weight. On the other end of the spectrum, some dogs might show an increased activity level as they get older and are often over-active, which can lead to additional health problems. If your dog starts to lose the ability to control their movements or excitability, it’s a good idea to have them examined by a vet to rule out potential problems.
Health Issues That Complicate Matters
There are numerous medical issues that can complicate matters for a dog. As they get older, dogs are more likely to develop issues with their hearts, lungs, kidneys, and immune system. If your dog starts showing signs of any of these conditions, it can cause them to lose weight. The best thing for your dog is to be diagnosed and treated for these conditions as soon as possible so that they can get back to their healthy weight.
If your dog gets enough exercise, they won’t lose weight. Even dogs that are inactive usually stay within a healthy weight range because their bodies require enough energy to maintain their weight. If you notice your dog is constantly inactive, it’s a good idea to get them examined by a vet so that they can be prescribed an exercise program that will get them moving again.
There are several other reasons why a dog might lose weight. Some breeds of dogs are more likely to lose weight than others, so if you notice that your dog is becoming thinner, it might be due to their genetic makeup. There’s also the possibility that your dog is simply undernourished, which would result in thinning hair, skin, and nails. If your dog starts losing weight after being fed healthy food and supplements, their kidneys might be clearing out some unknown toxins that were previously blocking their body’s ability to metabolize food efficiently. In these situations, the dog’s health and weight will improve once the cause is identified and treated.
Watch For The Little Things
It’s important to remember that not every lost pound is due to aging. If you start noticing your dog is becoming thinner, even if they’re not showing any outward signs of aging, it might be a cause for concern. As they get older, dogs are more susceptible to health issues and infections, making it easier for these problems to be manifested as weight loss. If you start noticing your dog is losing weight without an obvious cause, it might be a good idea to have them examined by a vet so that they can rule out any potential medical issues. Additionally, if you notice your dog is constantly licking their lips or has trouble sleeping due to discomfort, it might be a good idea to get them examined by a vet to rule out any potential health problems. Even if your dog is otherwise healthy and shows no signs of an illness or infection, it’s still a good idea to have them checked out by a vet in case an issue arises that could result in weight loss (such as kidney disease or heart disease).
While most dogs start to lose weight as they age, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll stay at this weight forever. Some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to obesity than others, so it’s important to keep an eye on our dogs’ weight even as they age. It’s normal for dogs to lose weight as they age, but it’s also important to be mindful of their health so that they don’t lose too much weight and become obese. In either case, early detection is key to keeping your dog healthy and happy.