3 Reasons Why Your Dog is Losing Weight Despite Eating
One of the biggest concerns for a dog owner is you notice that your dog is eating normally but is losing weight. This is something that you need to pay attention to because it might be signaling a medical issue that needs appropriate attention from a veterinarian. Below you will find some of the most common causes for this issue and how you can fix the problem.
1. Your Dog Has Intestinal Parasites
Intestinal parasites could be causing your dog to lose weight, although this isn’t as much of an issue now as it was in the past. Most dog owners do use preventative medications to help ward off intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, or even heartworms. One of the parasites you do need to watch out for is whipworms.
Whipworms are seen most often in dogs, and not many products on the market are known to kill these parasites. This parasite can be passed to a dog if he consumes any food or water that has been contaminated by whipworms. Losing weight, diarrhea, vomiting, and really soft feces are all symptoms of intestinal parasites.
2. Your Dog Has Malabsorption Issues
Digestive diseases such as EPI and other malabsorption issues could be causing weight loss in your dog even if he’s eating. EPI stands for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and this could put your dog into organ failure if not treated. When a dog has EPI, not enough digestive enzymes are being produced that are needed to digest and absorb the food. Starvation and organ failure can occur if this is not treated, which could lead to death.
Malabsorption issues like EPI or inflammatory bowel disease are very serious because it’s essentially as if your dog is starving to death. Overgrowth of various bacteria can happen in the intestines since the food is not being digested or absorbed the right way. Pancreatitis and diabetes also could be causing malabsorption issues, and should be treated right away to prevent damage to the organs.
3. Your Dog Lacks a Proper, Well-Balanced Diet
Weight loss in dogs can be commonly associated with a change in food, especially if that food is not part of a well-balanced diet. It’s important that you feed your dog food that has meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables. You want to get a food that offers all of these ingredients in a high-quality form.
It’s also important that if you have a puppy you feed them puppy food and an adult dog should be on adult food. These different stages of life have different nutritional needs. Ensure that if you switched food, you didn’t switch to a food with lower calories. Lower-calorie food could cause your dog to lose weight even if they are eating the same amount.
What is the Healthiest Way to Feed Your Dog?
You need to choose a dog food that is appropriate for the stage of life that your dog is in, such as puppy, adult, mature senior, or pregnant. The healthiest way to feed your dog is to ensure they are getting the vitamins and minerals they need. Make sure you feed them a high-quality food with meats, grains, vegetables, and fruits. The food you choose should say “Complete and balanced” on it, which means the food has all of the nutrients needed at just the right ratio for your pet.
A puppy under six-months old should be fed four times a day, whereas an adult dog only once or twice a day. Smaller and more active dogs should be fed more than a dog that has a sedentary lifestyle. Follow the guidelines on the dog food bag to start out, and then ask your veterinarian if you need more specific guidance.