Why has my pet suddenly lost weight?

For novice dog owners, it may come as a surprise to you that your adorable puppy will reach her adult height and weight in under a year – or more for a larger breed. Puppies for sale in Los Angeles are typically 8 weeks old, which means that your little furry buddy will be considerably heavier to carry by his first birthday.

While that is pleasant development, there are times when the change may be worrying, like when your puppy drastically loses weight. Weight fluctuations are normal – even with human beings. But a steady decline in body weight, accompanied with mood change could indicate that something is not right.

Here are some reasons why your puppy is losing weight:

  1. Malnutrition

If your puppy loses more than 10 percent of her total bodyweight due to lack of enough food supply, this is a case of malnutrition. This could be the result of abuse by other pets, like when other dogs steal her food, or due to underfeeding a large dog breed. Common symptoms of malnutrition include:

  • Low energy levels
  • Gastrointestinal concerns – inconsistent bowel movements and odorous gas
  • Changed physical appearance – visible ribs and shoulder bones
  • Susceptibility to illness

Consider increasing your pet’s food to reverse the process, or feeding her alone where other pets won’t attack her.

  1. Internal parasites

Intestinal parasites such as tapeworms could also lead to weight loss. They are a common problem, though harder to detect. Worms often cause sudden and rapid weight loss because of a lack of nutrients. Discuss with your vet about creating a deworming schedule at a specific interval.

  1. Anxiety

Anxiety and stress can make your dog lose appetite. If she feels insecure, perhaps because of the surroundings or people around her, she could refuse to eat until she deems it safe to do so. Anxiety could also be caused by separation. It is characterized by:

  • Digging/chewing/destructive tendencies
  • Incessant howling/barking
  • Urinating in the home – or even defecating
  • Escaping

If you notice these signs, try to help your pet to relax by removing the elements causing anxiety.

  1. Dental problems

Problems in the mouth could make it painful for your pet to chew her food, resulting in weight loss. Problems such as dental abscess, broken tooth, mouth lesions, or other gum/teeth issues should be checked by the vet to restore your pet’s ability to eat. The vet will also suggest softer meals that you can feed your pet as she recovers.

  1. Pregnancy

Just like human females, pregnant dogs usually go through a period of nausea and lack of appetite in the early months of pregnancy. However, you should investigate other likely causes of weight loss, such as heart disease, poor digestion, anxiety, poor muscle function, thyroid problems, diabetes, and liver disease. Take your pet to the vet to rule out any other causes of weight loss.

A good pet owner should stay mindful of any physical and mental changes occurring with their four-legged friend. This will ensure timely intervention and optimal health for your pet.

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