Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Weight loss is always a very concerning sign; it may be due to several diseases like diabetes, liver or kidney failure, hormonal imbalances or even a tumor. You should take your dog to your local vet for examination and possibly blood test. It will be very helpful if you take a fresh urine sample with your for analysis.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

A dog who loses weight but still seems to be eating and drinking as much as before might need a visit to the veterinarian, too. “They`re not taking in enough calories to support themselves,” says Shawn Finch, DVM, with Gentle Doctor Animal Hospitals in Omaha, Neb.
No. Dogs actually have fewer taste receptors compared to humans. That means they have less of an urge to eat something different every day. So your dog will not get bored of eating the same food every day.
If you have more than one dog, you may have come across the problem of one dog eating the other`s food. This can occur because one dog has less of an appetite than the other and leaves his food for your other dog to clean up, or one of your dogs may be dominant over the other and takes the more submissive dog`s food.
Surgery, drug reactions, stress, heart disease, and other issues may also cause weight loss in canines. If your dog is refusing to eat, losing weight, or has any other digestive or feeding issues, play it safe and let the veterinarian take a look at your pet.
Hypoadrenocorticism is an uncommon disease in dogs, and it is caused by a deficiency of essential hormones that are made by the adrenal glands. Also known as Addison`s disease, the clinical signs may appear as vague signs of illness that come and go.
Dogs get tired of eating the same thing every day.

Unlike us, our canine pals don`t need variety. They`re fine eating the same thing all the time. Once you find a food that works well for your dog, stick with it. Changing types or brands of food can make your dog sick.

“When we compared their responses and looked at the rewards center of their brains, the vast number of dogs responded to praise and food equally,” Berns says. “Now, about 20 percent had stronger responses to praise than to food. From that, we conclude that the vast majority of dogs love us at least as much as food.”
Dogs may go off their food because of changes in their environment, stress, an adverse reaction to drugs, and nausea. Dental problems, pain and internal obstructions can also cause dogs to lose their appetite.
Don`t leave food out for your dog to graze on — take it back within 10 minutes if it hasn`t been eaten to help cement the idea of mealtimes. Use your dog`s kibble as treats, and only offer meals for short periods of time. This leaves your dog no choice but to eat their food and hopefully get used to it.
There are times when a poor appetite can be expected. Female dogs in heat as well as the male dogs nearby frequently lose their appetite for a time. However, inappetence following a heat cycle can be a sign of pyometra, which requires an immediate vet visit.
Some dogs may also experience a decrease in appetite during their heat cycle. While this can be normal behaviour for some dogs, it`s important to make sure that your dog is still eating enough to stay healthy.
As a rule of thumb, losing more than 5% of your weight over 6 to 12 months may indicate a problem. If you`re an older adult with other medical conditions and health issues, even a smaller amount of weight loss may be significant.
Your veterinarian will take a stool sample to test for the presence of microscopic eggs laid by adult worms. The veterinarian will then mix the sample with a solution that makes the eggs more visible underneath the microscope. In some cases, a routine stool sample test may be insufficient to diagnose a parasite.
Sudden Change In Your Dog`s Appetite When you observe that your dog`s appetite has changed all of a sudden, it may be due to roundworms. Many dogs lose their appetite when they come in contact with worms. Worms can steal nutrients from your dog.
Clinical signs of Addison`s disease are usually vague and non-specific, meaning there are no particular signs that indicate a diagnosis of the disease. Addisonian patients may present with lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, increased thirst, increased urination, and unplanned weight loss.
Yes. Like humans, dogs need the mental stimulation that new sights and experiences bring. Repeating the same walking routine tends to get boring after a while, and as a dog walker, you probably feel the same way.
Small breed dogs need more calories and nutrients per pound of body weight than large breed dogs. While it`s not harmful for small breed dogs to eat large breed food, they will not get the specific nutrition they need to maintain their high metabolism and support their overall health.
Do you ever wonder whether your furry friend gets bored of eating the same food? Dogs have fewer taste buds than humans. So, while they will more than appreciate a mouthwatering meal when it`s served up to them, they won`t necessarily grow tired of eating the same food every day.
Look at your dog if their waist is extremely exaggerated instead of a gradual slope your dog might be underfed. If you can see or feel the ribs and they don`t seem to have any fat on them your dog is probably underfed. If your dog is losing patches of hair there may be an issue with the nutrition.
Dogs have a unique way of saying `thank you` to their humans from licking, sniffing to cuddling. “Dogs are often called man`s best friend for a good reason.
According to Dr. Brian Hare, a canine cognition specialist, our dogs do know we love them. Dogs and humans have the ability to form a special neural connection. This connection is the same human oxytocin bonding pathway used by parents and babies.
The symptoms of depression will vary depending on the individual dog and the severity of the problem. There are some key things to look out for, however, including changes in body language during their interactions with people and other pets, decreased appetite, and lethargic behavior.
If it seems like your dog doesn`t eat or drink when you`re gone, but scarfs down their food when you arrive home, know that it`s probably not just your imagination. “Dogs are pack animals. When you`re gone, their pack is not at home. They`re waiting for the pack to be there to eat,” says Hohenhaus.
Why does my dog eat like he`s starving? Many conditions can trigger increased appetite in dogs. A dog may have learned the behavior because they were not properly fed or became anxious about food. Or, they may have developed a metabolic condition or infection or have parasites.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Why does my dog eat grass?
ANSWER : A. As another user mentioned, dogs can eat grass when they want to vomit. Sometimes, when a dog has an upset tummy, they will eat grass. If you notice your dog eating grass frantically, you can assume vomiting will shortly follow. Grass does not digest and pass normally. If your dog eats too much grass, it can cause serious issues with pooping. Your dogs poop can end up all tangled inside of her, and it can need veterinary assistance to remove it. The same goes for celery, so avoid feeding celery to your dog.

The other day my boyfriend accidentally left the laundry room door open where we were keeping the trash that was filled with cooked chicken bones. She ate one of the chicken bones lightning fast. We had to induce vomiting by feeding her some hydrogen peroxide. After we had fed her the peroxide, she immediately began frantically eating grass because her tummy was upset.

If there is something lacking in your dogs diet, it could be that your dog is eating grass to make up for it. I am sure that my dogs diet is extremely well balanced (I do not only feed her an air-dried raw food-type diet (Ziwipeak), but a wide variety of safe, healthy foods), so when she eats grass, I know that it is because she has an upset tummy.

That is why I think it is important making sure your dog has a very well balanced diet. If your dog is on a low quality kibble, your dog may be trying to let you know by eating grass (or eating poop).

Q. My cocker spaniel is 9 years old. He has involuntary bowel movements (little drops) very frequently, especially when he is asleep.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog on a senior dog food? I would get your dog on a high quality high protien dog food. Ask a pet store assosicate or your regular vet for a food recommendation. When you buy a better food the dog will have to eat less to get the same amount of energy from the food. The dog has to eat more of the cheaper foods to get the energy it needs from it. Meaning more poop and buying more food. So the cost really evens out. So the lessen your dogs bowel movements get on a better senior dog food. Next talk to your vet they may have a recommendation. If you switch dogs do it slowly by mixing the foods. Start with 10% new 90% old mixed for at least a week until you have switched to 100% new 0% old. Senior foods have more fiber to help with bowel movements. Take the dog outside to go potty more frequently, right before bed time.

Read Full Q/A … : Symptoms Questions & Answers

Q. Why does my dog eat grass? He throws up afterwards!
ANSWER : A. There is much debate over why dogs eat grass and then vomit afterwards. One theory is that the dog may have an upset stomach, and so eats the grass blades which then irritate the digestive system and causing vomiting to happen. Another theory is that the dogs are eating grass to mimic a “lost nutrient” of their ancestors found usually by hunting and then eating the contents of the stomachs of herbivores. A third theory is that dogs just do it because to them, it’s fun and they can.

If your dog has been vomiting a lot recently, either related to or unrelated to eating grass, then it is always a good idea to schedule a wellness exam with your vet to make sure there are not any issues causing illness. Grass, especially in areas where livestock may graze can also be a host for parasite eggs, which can in turn infect your dog with an internal parasite (and thus cause vomiting and diarrhea).

If your dog is not eating at all, this is more concerning and points further to some digestive upset causing his or her symptoms. Making an appointment with your vet as well as bringing in a sample of his or her stool is best for helping your pet feel better.

Q. Why do dogs eat grass?
ANSWER : A. Some pet parents get concerned when they see their favorite canine nibbling on grass in the yard. They wonder whether it is because hunger, boredom or an indication of an underlying illness. Often the consumption of grass will result in vomiting because it irritates the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. This is an extremely common problem for dog parents. There is no one reason for why dogs exhibit these behaviors and it is very much dependent on each dog. Here are some of the reasons why our dogs choose to eat grass:

1. Nutritional Issues

Historically speaking, dogs are considered omnivores, which mean they consume a variety of both meat and plant-based food. There is some indication that dogs with a low fiber diet may choose to scavenge in the grass to fulfill this nutritional deficiency. These dogs may also find that grass has an appealing flavor and consistency. If you feel that this may be the reason for your beloved canine consuming grass then consider discussing with your veterinarian on how to incorporate more fiber into your dog’s diet.

2. Boredom

Many dogs who are not receiving adequate exercise will be become bored and search out activities to occupy their time, including eating grass. Evaluate how much exercise your dog is getting on a daily basis and consider more walks or other fun activities, such as playing fetch or tug of war.

3. Upset Stomach

There is a belief that dogs with an upset or gassy stomach will self-medicate by consuming grass. Vomiting often follows this grass eating activity eliminating the contents of the stomach or changing the gas distension within the gastrointestinal tract. However, there is not much scientific evidence to back up this theory. If you are concerned about too much gastric acid in your dog’s stomach or any other underlying medical issue that could be the reason for their grass eating, consult with your veterinarian.

Overall, grass eating is usually not toxic to your dogs unless your lawn contains chemicals, including pesticides or herbicides. Monitor your dog’s behavior along with his diet and exercise to determine if there is a reason for the inappropriate grass snacking.

Q. My 20 month Cavalier doesn’t eat unless I let him eat from my finger, then he eats. Sometimes he will only eat once a day and leave his food.
ANSWER : A. It is possible that your dog is just not satisfied with his current food, or may be a picky eater. There are several things you can try to encourage your dog to eat.

The first step is to remove any additional treats or people food that may be more enticing to your dog than his own meal. If you feel you must give him some form of treat, be sure to place them directly in his food bowl and mixed with his regular diet. This allows him to get some snacks while also “forcing” him to try out his current meal to get the reward.

Enticing your dog to try his food by adding a pet-safe gravy or even a few treats of plain boiled chicken mixed in can help. Be sure to mix the foods thoroughly so he must explore his own food before getting the treat.

Some small breed dogs may also have a hard time with certain bowls and their collars. If there is a metal name tag on the collar and a metal bowl, the clinking sound can sometimes scare off dogs and make them not want to eat from their bowl. Using a bowl of a different material, or removing the collar prior to a meal may help with this issue.

Your dog may also just not be into his current food and may like another variety better. You can try a new variety by gradually switching over a period of 7-9 days, slowly adding in more new food and removing old until it is switched. This change may encourage him to try out meals again, and the slow changeover will allow his body to adjust to the new diet without digestive upset.

Q. My dog doesn’t eat, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. If this is a puppy, see a veterinarian immediately. Puppies should want to eat. Common causes for anorexia in puppies include viruses (parvo is a big one), parasitism, and foreign bodies. They need immediate care – go to an emergency vet if yours isn’t open. Puppies can get low blood sugar and dehydration very quickly.

If this is an adult dog and you observe other concerning signs, such as diarrhea or decreased energy, you should see a veterinarian.

If the dog seems otherwise bright and stable, try offering different types of food: wet food, canned tripe, or cooked chicken and rice. Some dogs will go for canned baby food: chicken, turkey, or beef as the main ingredient. Make sure there are no garlic or onions in the ingredients!

Causes of anorexia in adult dogs can range from less serious to severe. Younger dogs are more likely to get into trouble- they tend to eat things they shouldn’t, and can get foreign bodies from eating things like socks, or stomach upset from getting in the trash. Any dog may stop eating due to stress, or just being a picky eater. Middle aged dogs can stop eating when they’re stressed and also have Addison’s disease, which can be fatal. Older dogs tend to stop eating when they develop cancer or renal disease.

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe to know when the right time is to take your dog to the vet. The moral of this story is, if it’s not getting better, your pup feels bad, or you’re worried – go see the vet!

Read Full Q/A … : My Dog Won’t Eat

Q. Which common foods are poisonous to pets?
ANSWER : A. That’s a great question. As responsible pet owners we need to be aware of food items that can be harmful to our canine or feline companions. Here are some of the most common foods proven to cause illness in our animals at home:

Chocolate: A favorite and irresistible treat amongst most humans, chocolate is considered toxic to dogs. In very small amounts it is usually not a huge issue, but with larger volumes and with darker chocolates pet owners should be concerned. Chocolate contains methylxanthine theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. Chocolate ingestion can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, issues with normal heartbeats, seizures, and in some severe cases, death. It is best to keep your favorite chocolate treats in a good hiding spot and out of reach of your dog or cat.

Grapes and raisins: Dogs should not consume grapes and raisins because of the risk of acute kidney failure. Most dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicity will begin to have vomiting and/or diarrhea within 6-12 hours of ingestion. Other abnormal clinical signs include lethargy, abdominal pain, dehydration, and tremors. Kidney failure develops within 24-72 hours of the initial ingestion. There are some dogs that do not experience these devastating side effects. It is best to contact your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you believe your pet has ingested grapes or raisins.

Garlic and onions: We often forget that our meals contain these two popular ingredients and will allow our furry companions a few bites or licks. Onion and garlic both can cause a type of poisoning that results in damage to red blood cells, making them more likely to rupture. They can also cause stomach upset and mouth irritation. Look for pale gums, increased breathing or drooling or any vomiting or diarrhea.

Bread dough: Unbaked bread dough is considered poisonous to our pets. The bread dough, when ingested, expands in the stomach because of the warm and moist environment. This can lead to a bloated or even twisted stomach. In addition yeast is often added to our baking products to help get bread to rise, and when this yeast is fermented it produces both carbon dioxide and alcohol. The alcohol produced can be absorbed into the bloodstream and causes dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature. Common clinical signs include vomiting or retching, distension of the stomach, weakness and collapse.

Macadamia nuts: Ingestion of these nuts are not proven to be fatal in dogs but can cause them to experience uncomfortable clinical sings, including fever, joint stiffness, vomiting, tremors and difficulty walking, especially in their hind legs. Often your pet will start to feel better after about 48 hours, but supportive veterinary care (such as pain medication) may help ease their discomfort.

Xylitol: The most common ingredient used in sugar-free gum is xylitol, which is a non-caloric sweetener. It is also found in some oral rinses, toothpastes and vitamins. Xylitol and dogs do not mix – it can cause a dangerous drop in blood sugars levels. Dogs will often display signs of disorientation, black tarry stool, tremors and seizures. If severe enough some dogs have developed liver failure. Keep your gum away from your canine companion.

Avocados: Avocados are not actually poisonous to dogs or cats but as many veterinarians can tell you the avocado pits can cause a foreign body obstruction. Avocados contain persin, which is actually toxic to the majority of pet birds. The abnormal clinical signs associated with avocado ingestion in birds include, respiratory distress, inability to perch, liver and kidney failure and sudden death.

Go forth and enjoy your favorite foods, but keep in mind which foods you should avoid sharing with your furry family members. Whenever in doubt, contact your veterinarian for healthy and safe food suggestions.