Causes of Weight Loss in Dogs?

A dog ignoring his food bowl.
There are a number or reasons that your dog may be losing weight. If your dog is acting normally you can try troubleshooting the reason yourself. Perhaps the pet food needs to be changed, if you make your own, confirm that it contains the proper nutrients, finally eliminate other possibilities. Then it may be time to see your vet.

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November 3, 2019

My 15 month old Pit Bull has stopped eating as much as before. It is a considerable amount. He's a very hyper dog at times, but is also hippy like he lost some weight. I was wondering if it could be worms or the neighbor's bitch dog who's in full heat.

The 1st pic is him now, the others where 3 weeks ago to 3 or 4 months ago.

A dog standing on a floor.
A dog in the grass.
A dog outside.


November 3, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try giving vitamin B drops or have veterinarian give vitamin shots that make it urge to eat and increase appetite.
If you had it from other puppies, find otehrs and try to have them be together to have good time. Try feeding while other dogs are fed also


Try taking your dog to the dog park, and go with treat and give treets to other dogs to sho your dog that you eat it, offer treat to your dog

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November 4, 20190 found this helpful
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Normally when a female is in heat the heat lasts for only 30 days. If the male dog is fixed this should not be an issue for the dog not eating or losing weight. There is a major problem with your dog right now and he is getting awful thin. My male dog had the same issue a few months back and I took him to the vet. They gave him medicine for worms and this seemed to do the trick.


I would go to the vet and get him checked out. My vet made me feed my dog twice a day for 2 weeks until he gained back some of the weight he had lost. I had to take him back in a week to make sure he was gaining weight again. They told me if the worm medicine did not work then the dog could have heart worms and this one was dangerous and needed a different treatment.

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November 14, 20190 found this helpful
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I am confused about the part about the neighbor's dog being in heat...I am guessing you mean they have been mating and that is one reason you think your pup has stopped eating.


That is something I have never heard of, but it could be. Usually in breeding season, dogs eat more (at least the male dogs do).

My big concern is any time a dog has any changes...either lethargy, weight loss, changes in eating habits, I am off to the vet because 9 times out of 10 there is a health thing happening. Fur kids can't tell us what is wrong but these are 3 obvious clues to us to us that there is something happening and it is important to have the vet weigh in before things get out of control.

In my experience, not eating is teeth related most of the time. When my late gal had worms as a pup, she ate more....but I saw them in her poop and knew there was an issue. There could be any number of health issues causing the pup not to eat. I hope he is staying hydrated. Dehydration is really bad and dogs and can cause bad stuff to happen fast.


Post back what the vet says. Hope it is a very easy fix.

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September 19, 2009

My chihuahua recently stopped eating and I'm not sure if its because of my female dogs outside. He usually ate twice a day, but now refuses to eat unless I mix chicken and/or rice with his dry food.

He chases the female dogs around all day outside and now refuses to do otherwise. He has lost a lot of weight and I don't know if its a phase or if I should take some action? Please help.

By Cristina from Laredo, TX


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September 21, 20090 found this helpful
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Has he been neutered? Male dogs will concentrate on female dogs and forget all else if they have not been neutered.
Do you feed dry dog food? Some brands are very bland and now he knows that chicken & rice taste better!


You might try switching his dog food to one more tasty. There are sauces on the market now to add taste to dry dog food.

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September 22, 20090 found this helpful
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Sounds like you have a female in heat, and that your boy isn't neutered.

Males have three things on their minds; food, sleeping, and girls. Unless the girl is in heat, then only one thing exists: the girl.

I know of many males who have lost interest in everything, lost weight, everything you describe, when a local female comes into heat.

If you don't plan to use him for breeding, please get him neutered. It will cut his chances of prostate, penile, and testicular cancers WAY down, and also avoid "accidental" puppies.

Good luck!

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August 31, 2016

We were feeding our, now 10 month old, Golden, Diamond puppy formula labeled as Tractor Supply brand. He liked it, but it effected his behavior - made him psycho, running around like a maniac 15 minutes after he ate, and he scratched himself constantly. At night he chewed raw hot spots on his back end, and licked the hair off his forelegs and back paws till he broke the skin. His BMs were loose, he had control problems causing accidents in the house, and we saw blood in his stools from time to time.

I called the 800# and spoke with a Diamond rep. They said he was just being a puppy and was probably eating things he shouldn't that caused the blood in the stools. I searched the Inet for reviews and saw the high numbers of people that had the same symptoms, and some much worse with their dogs - such as hair actually coming out in chunks, and bloody stools every time, and as they all did, I took him off the food. He grew fast and gained weight on the dry food, but the negative effects were worrying.
BTW, that same company makes Costco brand, with exact same problems sited in their reviews.

I'm now cooking him chicken, we get a 10 pound bag of leg quarters at the grocery for $ .79 a pound. I boil it, pull out all the bones, add oatmeal, rice, and blendered (I know, I just made that word up, it doesn't exist) mixed veggies (because they just pass through whole if I don't). I make servings for him: 1/3 cup of clean, no skin, chicken, same amount of cooked brown rice, two heaped Tbsp. of oatmeal, and 1/3 cup of the soupy veggies and the same of the chicken broth. I'm feeding him the same volume 4 times a day that the dry dog food called for, with the added moisture. All the negative symptoms of the Diamond puppy formula are gone. He loves his new food, BMs are normal, he loves his walks and is much more obedient. He is not acting all hyper and totally out of control. There is no more excessive scratching and chewing with hot spots, and he now has hairy legs and paws again. I also noticed he doesn't drink as much water as he did on the dry food. He was constantly taking many long drinks before. We were constantly refilling his water, and he wanted out every half hour to empty his bladder - 24 hours a day!

All the negatives are gone, and he is a "normal" bright, attentive, active puppy. But, he has lost weight, and his hair doesn't have that glossy sheen anymore. He's not bony, just not filled out like he was on the dry food. I tried adding 1/4 cup of the dry food we still have half a bag of, because I thought there might be nutrients in it that he might need, but I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Am I doing something wrong, or do I just need to add some kind of additional nutrient to help him maintain his weight, or is his increased exercise of 2 or three walks plus play time with tug-o-war and fetch daily keeping him trim? He loves sweet potatoes and all kinds of fruit, especially bananas, but those things are not a part of his daily meals, instead they are more like treats. Should I give him maybe the same recipe with canned Alaskan salmon a couple times a week?

He's my fifth dog. I never had these kinds of symptoms with any of the others, and he is such a good, loving boy that also loves his new food. I just want to make sure I'm not hurting him in the end. He gets regular vet care, he's on a health plan through that Smart Place, and he gets his regular exams and treatment for heart worm prevention, etc. He was just under 80 pounds at nine months in the picture, a multiple person lap dog taking up more than half the couch, much bigger than the little guy he started out as. He is now down in the low 70s after a month on his new diet.
Advice will be appreciated.

A small puppy in a lap.
A dog lying on a couch.


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September 1, 20160 found this helpful
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Losing so much weight! Dogs eat many of the same foods as humans, however, they have specific requirements that are different than required human nutrients. Your dog may not be getting enough of or the correct type of nutrients he needs. If you plan to continue making meals, please check with your vet ASAP regarding exactly what and how much you must include to meet the requirements for puppy to adult growth.

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September 1, 20161 found this helpful
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Sounds like you've got him on a healthy diet now.

First of all, most dogs you are seeing and comparing him to are overweight, if you live in the US. Use this chart to figure out if your puppy is actually underweight or just slim.

10 month Goldens vary quite a bit in weight, since the adult dogs vary in size so much. If your puppy is doing as much exercise as you say he is burning calories and gaining muscle mass. So you may need to feed more.
Keep in mind that the food you are feeding has more water, therefore less actual food. The kibble you were feeding before had less water. So you may need to feed more to make up for the percentage that is water. I'd suggest not feeding any more of the food that was making him sick, though. He is obviously allergic to an ingredient in it.

You can also try a non-allergenic, soy-free, grain-free food to supplement his diet.

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December 8, 2006

Why would my English Mastiff that's 5 years old start losing weight even though she eats and drinks? She is also rubbing against any wood she can and her hair is coming off and sometimes bleeds.

Pat from Illinois


December 8, 20060 found this helpful

hi i would take your dog to a vet and get a blood panel done. it could be many things. parasites, or possibly a severe disorder. do not hesitate. clearly theres a problem.

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By scarlet (Guest Post)
December 12, 20060 found this helpful

please take her to the vet right away!

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December 12, 20060 found this helpful

I agree that you should not hesitate any longer and take the dog to the vet. Vet bills can be expensive as I've been there done that but you can't rely on advice you get here....none of us are experts on dogs. It may very well be something minor but then again it could be serious and getting more serious while you wait.

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