Is Your Dog Quickly Losing Weight? Here are 6 Possible Causes

If you’re a dog owner, you’re probably in tune with your dog’s health and wellness. You are also probably aware of what your dog weighs and what is considered a healthy weight for your pet. However, do you know what could be causing your dog to lose weight quickly?

In the article below, we’ll walk you through some of the possible causes of rapid weight loss in dogs. Some of these are much more serious than others, but they all will require you to respond efficiently to help your pet recover.

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Reasons for Rapid Dog Weight Loss

What causes dogs to rapidly lose weight? Let us tell you a few of the possible causes.

Dental Health Problems

Dental health problems are one of the leading causes of rapid weight loss in dogs. If your dog’s teeth hurt or his gums are sore, eating will quickly become difficult for him. This, in turn, will cause him to lose weight because he does not feel like eating enough to maintain a healthy weight for his size.

Regular teeth cleanings and care from the vet can help you prevent and reduce the risk of this issue. If your dog’s dental health has already reached this severe point, your vet can help you with treatments and removal of damaged teeth, as well.

Parasitic Infections

Several types of parasites can cause your dog to lose weight quickly. Any parasites that affect your dog’s intestines or digestive system may cause him to lose his appetite, or they may remove any nutrients your dog gets from the food he eats. When this happens, his weight loss will be noticeable.

Parasitic infections can usually be treated easily with medication. Some very serious types of parasites, like heartworms, may need to be treated surgically or may only be able to be managed, rather than completely removed. Your vet can give you more information about your dog’s condition.

Digestive Health Issues

Some types of digestive system problems may lead to weight loss in your pet. Your dog may develop one of many stomach disorders or other digestive system issues that cause him to lose his appetite. These problems may also make him feel nauseated when he does eat, which can further remove his desire to eat more than he absolutely has to.

A dog without a good appetite will quickly lose weight. The good news is that most digestive system problems in dogs can be treated or managed with the help of a trusted vet and the right plan for your dog’s specific needs. Sometimes, changing your dog’s food can make a big difference, too.

Nasal Tumors

Some types of nasal tumors, even benign ones, can cause your dog to lose weight rapidly. This is because your dog experiences taste through the sense of smell, much like humans do, and relies heavily on his nose to encourage him to eat.

If your dog’s nose is not functioning the way it’s supposed to, then he may be less likely to want to eat. By working with a veterinarian, you can find the right way of managing or removing the nasal tumor so your dog can get back to his normal sense of smell.


Although it is less common than most of the other issues on this list, cancer can still occur in dogs. Almost any type of cancer will lead to rapid weight loss, so it’s very important to rule out this possibility in your pet if he is showing this symptom.

If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, your vet will work with you to figure out the right course of action moving forward. Many pets respond well to chemotherapy or surgical removal of cancerous tumors, but your vet will have to tell you for sure what to expect with your pet.

Talk to Your Veterinarian

With the help of this information, you should be ready to talk to your vet about your dog’s rapid weight loss. Make sure you speak to your vet as soon as possible, since rapid weight loss is usually a sign of an underlying issue that will require professional help to treat. Your vet can help you get to the bottom of the cause of this symptom, may recommend an endoscopy, and can also recommend the best maintenance or treatments for your pet moving forward.

To book an appointment with the Riverstone Animal Hospital team call (770) 479-7141 today!