Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing


Weight Loss In Older Dogs

Weight Loss In Older Dogs

It can be concerning when our dogs begin to lose weight as they age. In this article, our Villa Rica vets discuss weight loss in senior dogs and when you should be concerned.

Weight Issues In Older Dogs

As dogs age, some will get heavier and others start to lose weight. Whether a dog's weight is increasing or decreasing, it could be a sign that they need a more balanced diet. Sudden weight loss or gain in dogs could also be a symptom of a larger issue.

Cause of Weight Loss In Senior Dogs That Are a Problem

The following eight issues are commonly the root problem in elderly dogs that are losing weight. These issues are liver or gallbladder disease, dehydration, dental issues, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis. Each one of these issues needs to be diagnosed and addressed by your vet. Most of these root causes will present with other symptoms that accompany weight loss.

When your senior dog is losing weight, it's best to observe them for other symptoms. This way, you can inform the vet so they can diagnose your dog quicker. The symptoms that can present with each condition are under each of the categories below.

Liver/gallbladder disease

      • Fever
      • Pain 
      • Pale or yellow gums
      • Yellowing of skin/eyes
      • Lethargy
      • Increased thirst
      • Vomiting/diarrhea


      • Sunken eyes
      • Loss of skin elasticity
      • Less urination
      • Dark urine
      • Dry gums 
      • Lethargy 

Dental Issues

      • Difficulty eating/chewing
      • Bad breath
      • Swollen or bleeding gums
      • Excessive drooling

Kidney disease

      • Vomiting
      • Loss of appetite
      • Pale gums
      • Lethargy
      • Increased thirst
      • Excessive urination 
      • Urination with blood

Heart disease

      • Exercise intolerance
      • Excessive panting
      • Irregular heartbeat
      • Restlessness
      • A chronic cough
      • Tires easily


      • Increased appetite
      • Lethargy
      • Repeated urinary tract infections
      • Excessive thirst
      • Excessive urination


      • Lumps, bumps, or swelling
      • Distended abdomen
      • Limping or lameness
      • Unusual urination – frequency or amount
      • Lethargy
      • Unusual bleeding


      • Scuffing the toes
      • Incontinence
      • Wobbling
      • Lameness

When No Medical Issues are Causing the Weight Loss

Sometimes your vet can’t find any underlying cause for the weight loss. This means it might be time to change your dog's diet. Consult with your veterinarian about their current diet and the amount of protein, fat, and fiber they are getting.

In conclusion

It can be a sign of over 8 issues if your dog's weight is changing. If your senior dog is losing a significant amount of weight rapidly go to your veterinarian as soon as possible. If you are concerned about your dog's weight in general, bring it up with your veterinarian at your senior dog's routine exam.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Please contact our Villa Rica vets to schedule an appointment for your dog if you notice them losing weight. 

New Patients Welcome

Villa Rica Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Villa Rica companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Contact (770) 459-1145