Weight loss in older dogs is a concern. Older dogs are not losing fat, they are most likely losing muscle when those pounds start to come off. Dogs with heart disease will start losing weight, as will dogs who are suffering from kidney disease.
1. If your good old dog is losing weight, you need to have your veterinarian determine the cause. Feeding your dog more food is not to be attempted if you have not had your old dog evaluated by your veterinarian.
2. If your geriatric pup is suffering from a disease, then a therapeutic diet will probably be a part of his treatment.
3. At times, the weight loss in an elderly dog is not of a very serious nature. Your old dog who is not eating like he used to may have tooth problems. Eating becomes pretty darn painful when trying to chew with teeth that hurt. Your vet can help with those teeth that are causing the problem.
4. Humans have a tendency to lose their sense of taste and smell. Old dogs do too. If a dog cannot smell or taste his regular pet food, then you need to perk that food up a bit to whet his appetite. Low-salt beef broth or another flavor of low-salt broth just make get those old taste buds become stimulated again if you mix the broth into the regular dog food.
5. Pet foods made for senior dogs do not have to be given to your dog when he is a senior. Those senior foods f do not have enough calories necessary if you are feeding it to a dog you are trying to fatten up a bit. Stick with the dog food that has served him well throughout his life.
6. Owners feel that good, home-cooked meals would do an underweight dog’s body some good. Owners preparing meals for dogs probably do not include all the necessary nutrients a dog needs in those homemade meals. Those meals probably do not have enough calories either. Again, stick with the same dog food unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian.
7. Never, ever give your old dog supplements to pump up his nutrition unless your vet has recommended the supplements and the dosage. Owners can really mess up a pet’s appetite by giving supplements they “think” will help their dog who is losing weight.
8. If you have several dogs in the home, and one, or even two, of those pups are elderly, then rest assured that the younger dogs may be hogging all the food! Make sure each older dog eats in private so that he can get all the food his doggy body needs.
9. Older humans do lose interest in food. Old dogs may just not be that into food either. Your veterinarian can recommend a new food, introduced slowly of course, to see if the new food gets him eating again.
10. Some food tastes good warm and some food tastes good cold. Try warming the food a tiny bit if your old dog usually eats it cold. If room temperature doesn’t do it, some dogs may like a bit of a chill added to their food.
11. All dog food bowls smell differently. Maybe your pet’s dog food bowl emits an odor that just makes eating from it something he just does not want to do. Switch bowls until you hit upon one that smells just right and your dog will eat from it.
12. Try mixing a little canned dog food with dry dog food so that your dog’s taste buds get the best of both worlds.