Why is My Dog Losing Weight in River North?

Have you noticed a change in your dog’s appearance? Have they been not eating enough and started lose weight? Or maybe your dog seems to be eating the same amount as they always did but is still losing weight?

dog losing weight in river north, chicago

The fact is that weight loss is an indicator of a range of issues for River North dog owners. Those issues range from mild stressors with easy fixes to grave diseases and the need for immediate medical care for the dog.

It’s important to trust your instincts, your dog may be experiencing something very serious that is causing them to lose weight. No one knows your pets better than you do, if you feel something is wrong, you should call your vet. It is important to note that if you notice your dog is experiencing diarrhea or vomiting paired with their weight-loss, that is further reason to call your vet immediately.

If you are unsure, here are some things to consider while you examine and monitor your dog.

How Much Weight Is Your Dog Losing?

Do not panic! Something important to keep in mind is that significant weight loss translates to losing 10% of the animal’s weight. For example: a dog weighing 60 pounds would have to lose 6 pounds in order for there to be any cause for alarm.

We know this doesn’t sound like much weight to lose for a human, but it is for a dog! So, if your dog looks a little skinny and has lost perhaps water weight on a particularly active day, do not be alarmed. Make sure they have plenty of water and airflow, keep an eye on their food consumption and physique for a few days after noticing they look thin.

If their figure continues to wane, it might be something more serious. Otherwise, it’s just a little dehydration. Next time, make sure they have more water on more active days.

Here are some common reasons why your dog may be losing weight or not eating right now.

Stressors and Weight Loss

Sometimes, it can be stress that is causing your dog to lose weight. Here are 2 of the most common factors that can cause a lot of stress for your dog in River North.

Did You Move Recently?

Dogs often become stressed by new environments and take some time to readjust to their new surroundings. Until they do, they believe they aren’t home. Give them time, they will get used to the new smells and the new set up, they will eventually become more comfortable and begin to put the pounds back on.

Did You Get a New Pet?

Again, stress is often manifested in weight loss. Dogs that have a new pet to share their space and their owners with often experience weight loss because of that stress. It will not last. They just need to get acquainted with the new lifestyle and their new friend.

Poor Diet

Obviously, a poor diet can cause to weight loss in a dog. Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your dog’s diet.

Are You Feeding Your Dog Enough?

We know this may seem like a silly question and in fact, most people often overfeed their animals in order to avoid underfeeding them! But it is always something to consider.

Do a little research and confirm with your vet about how many calories your dog should be consuming a day. Make sure your furry friend is getting all those calories they so desperately need. Once they are, they will get their weight back up!

Are You Feeding Your Dog a High-Quality Dog Food?

Read the ingredients, read the calories. Make sure your dog is getting the nutrients and caloric intake that it needs to be as active as it wants to be. Keep in mind that those needs change with age and environment. Your dog needs a balanced diet just like we do, it’s our jobs to give it to them.

Temperature

Yes, the environment around your dog and the temperature can actually lead to weight loss in dogs.

Is Your Dog Too Cold?

This might seem silly to ask but we all burn more calories when we’re cold. If your dog’s body is working hard to keep its temperature at a healthy degree, it’s burning more calories than it should.

If your dog generally resides in a temperature-controlled area, it will help keep their body regulated naturally, they won’t need to burn more calories to stay warm and they won’t lose weight because of that.

Illness/Disorders

There are a few illnesses that cause the dog to develop an inability to absorb nutrients. They are often in the bowel or intestine tract. Your vet can tell you more after running some tests.

Parasites

Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, heartworms, and whipworms are all parasites that can impact the healthy weight of your dog. Puppies are at a higher risk for life-long health problems resulting from the contraction of parasites, but older dogs can also be heavily impacted by a parasite in their system.

Older dogs that are already immune-compromised are at a higher risk when they contract a parasite than young adult dogs with pre-existing immunity issues. When caught early, parasites can be dealt with easily. Consult your vet for preventative care from parasites.

Metabolic Disorders

Yes, dogs can have diseases like diabetes! Just like with us, this is treatable and livable once diagnosed and just like with us, the earlier in the stage of the disease the diagnosis comes, the better.

Weight loss is a symptom of cancer, often accompanied with lumps, wounds that do not heal, and trouble urinating.

Swallowing Disorder or Dysphagia

Dogs can develop these as a result of something serious like cancer or something more simple and easy to fix such as: having something stuck in their throat, inflammation due to an allergic reaction or injury, jaw pain or injury. Your vet can examine your dog and assess what the issue is.

Neuromuscular Diseases

These can be caused by infectious, toxic, immune, or genetic diseases and are accompanied by a loss of strength in the dog.

Contact Your Vet if Your Dog is Losing Weight in River North, Chicago

Your vet will look at past health records and run tests and exams to diagnose your dog’s condition.

Weight-loss is a normal response to stress in all creatures. It’s important to monitor your dog’s behavior and keep tabs on what they’re eating, how they’re acting and how much they’re sleeping. Many dogs with serious health issues will become less active, sleep more and experience diarrhea and vomiting.

And of course, we are here to help! So, when in doubt, call your vet!

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