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Why is my senior dog losing weight?
Losing weight can be good for dogs who have gotten a bit plumper over the winter, but if you notice your senior dog is losing more weight than is healthy, something more serious may be up. In some cases, the sudden weight loss may be a natural result of growing old, but it can also mean that your dog could be suffering from medical conditions including intestinal parasites, metabolic diseases of the liver, kidneys or pancreas or inflammatory bowel disease. The pup may also have an infectious disease, degenerative or autoimmune diseases, or cancer.
The best way to figure out what's going on with your dog is to take it to see the vet. The vet will run a multitude of tests to try and get to the root of the weight loss. Many times, a dog will have a full CBC/chemistry blood panel and urinalysis performed to gather baseline information. In some instances the vet may find that the dog simply doesn't like its food anymore and switching to a new brand may be all that's needed. Try a pet food that's made for senior dogs like Whole Earth Farms Senior Dry Dog Food which offers multiple protein sources as well as natural antioxidants including blueberries and cranberries. The dog may also benefit from starting a digestive enzyme supplement. NaturVet Digestive Enzymes with Prebiotics & Probiotics comes in a powder form and can be easily sprinkled over the dog's food or even mixed in with its water. The product works to promote a
healthy digestive tract while normalizing bowel movements and strengthening the dog's immune system.
If the vet finds the dog is suffering from a parasite infestation he or she may start the dog on preventative pet drugs like Comfortis or Frontline Plus to clear up the issue. Once the parasites are gone, the dog may regain its normal appetite.
Pain can also cause a loss of appetite in dogs. Your senior dog may be suffering from undiagnosed arthritis or hip dysplasia, conditions that, when left untreated, can be excruciating. If the vet finds degenerative joint issues as the cause behind your dog's weight loss, he or she may recommend starting it on joint enhancing supplements like Dasuquin. You can also help your pup feel better by investing in pet products like Plush Foam Dog Steps or an Indoor Pet Ramp to offer the dog an easy way to live comfortably in the home.