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My Senior Dog is No Longer Eating – And He is Also Showing Other Signs of Illness

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Weight: Pounds

There are many health conditions that can be seen in older dogs that can cause loss of appetite as well as other symptoms. Some dogs will be sick and not show signs such as vomiting or diarrhea. Other frequent signs that are seen when older dogs stop eating include:

  • Drinking a lot of water: If your dog is drinking a lot of water, diseases such as Cushings diease, diabetes, hypothyroidism or other electrolyte imbalance can be seen.
  • Urinating a lot: Dogs who are peeing a lot can have a urinary tract infection, urinary incontinence, or diabetes.
  • Not able to walk normally: As dogs get older they can develop back and joint issues. Also neurologically issues such as a stroke or seizure can cause your dog to walk like they are drunk.
  • Breathing heavily: Older dogs can start to develop issues breathing normally. They may constantly be panting. Diseases such as heart failure, cancer, and obesity can cause your dog to breathe heavier. Read our article on dogs with heavy or fast breathing to learn more.
  • Coughing: Many older dogs will start to cough as they get older. Diseases such as heart failure, cancer, collapsing trachea, largeneal paralysis can all cause your dog to cough more and want to eat less.
  • Pawing at their eyes: Eye infections can be seen in dogs of any age. The first sign that many pet owners notice is that they are pawing at their eye and their eye is very red and inflamed.

If your dog has any signs of illness, they can also not be eating as much as they normally do. This can be due to the fact that they do not feel their best. If your dog is not eating and showing any of these other signs, it would be best for your dog to see your vet. They can run bloodwork, take x-rays and perform other tests to see why your dog isn’t feeling well.

You can also read this article for practical tips from our veterinarian team to help your dog eat more:


  • Dr. Ochoa earned her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from St. George University and completed her program with excellent scores. She has been working as a veterinarian since 2015 for Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital in Whitehouse, TX.

Disclaimer: This website's content is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action. Read More.

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