I have an 11-year-old neutered male beagle. He is painfully thin (his spine is prominent). What would cause this?

He seems very healthy and active. At one time he was quite overweight and the vet put him on diet food. I supplemented with green beans, which I continued to give to him even after he lost the weight. I only stopped the green beans a couple of years ago when I worried that they were possibly the reason he was so thin. I have a female spayed beagle about 3 years younger than he is and she's quite a bit bigger, not just weight wise but she just has a bigger body type. I'm worried about him but my vet's response was just that since he is older he has different nutritional needs and should be on food for mature/senior dogs. I started him on that and it hasn't really made a difference. He is very active. He still chases people/dogs/cars from inside our fence. He jumps up and down when I'm getting his food. He doesn't play as much as he used to, but I figured age has a lot to do with that. Any ideas as to what may be keeping him from gaining enough weight to keep his spine from showing?

Asked by Sparky on May 21st 2013 in Health & Wellness
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Shasta Sue R.I.P

He is old Shasta got painfully thin when she got older and she.ate and.ate and ate still ran around as if she was healthy but she had cancer so it.took her muscle mass everything we had to put her.down because.she broke her leg and even then she had high spirits im not saying your dog has cancer but he is getting up in age and do.what your vet tells you he/she.knows what.they are doing

Shasta Sue R.I.P answered on 5/21/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Paying a visit to the vet and asking for a meal plan plus supplements, if necessary would be the best thing to do. Increasing your dog's carbohydrate intake is also recommended.

Member 1166037 answered on 5/22/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


11 isn't old for a Beagle and he is still active. The Vet would have checked for parasites. So I agree, he shouldn't be thin.
What food are you feeding, what amount per day? Any additional food/treats?
Could you post a current photo on his page so we can see how thin he is? 3 views, top, side and from the back?
Sometimes what we think is thin, is normal, healthy weight.

Senior food and beans are for weight loss. I suggest a gradual switch to a high calorie food like Wellness.

Make sure your female isn't taking his food.

Sonny answered on 5/22/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Josie *Forever in Our Hearts*

Has your vet done any bloodwork?? there are many diseases that can cause a dog to eat normally and not gain weight...diabetes and parasites are a few that come to mind. If I was you I would have the vet do bloodwork and retest for parasites (whipworms for one can be VERY hard to identify).

11 is not that old for a beagle and none of my old dogs have ever been on senior/mature food and we have never had a weight issue. You may want to post this in the health forum so that more people can chime in and a dialogue can be formed

Josie *Forever in Our Hearts* answered on 5/22/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


He needs to see the vet. No dog should be wasting away like this. Unexplained weight loss can be associated with all kinds of illness of varying severity. I'd ask for some blood work right. Away.

Libby answered on 5/22/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Miss Maddie

Helping your dog to gain weight; Excellent and easy recipe ; Dog Meatballs - feed a few per day with his regular food - See recipe here:

Miss Maddie answered on 5/23/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


If he is not overweight then you can feed him a more rich diet but feed him what his body requires, no extras. For a beagle Evo, wouldn't be more then 1 cup or 1 1/4 cup for a beagle a day, no free feed.
I would go with Evo Red meat. You don't have to feed him much of that to sustain a good body weight. the key is good food, exercise and a routine. He is eating the wrong food if he is skinny. Dog food for older dogs is not necessarily the best, it has less calories and is for overweight issues. I have never fed any of my active dogs even in senior years that type of food. :) hope that helps you.

Dieta answered on 5/27/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer