Is it a cause for concern if my dog always seems to be hungry? While some dogs can be picky eaters, others appear to have an insatiable appetite. Aside from the annoyance of constant begging, is it problematic to have a dog that is always hungry?
Yes, it could be a potential concern.
If you constantly give in to your dog’s demands for food, their caloric intake and waistline will increase. Dogs that are overweight are more prone to other health issues, which can also reduce their lifespan. It is crucial to understand if and why your dog is hungry, not only to ensure that they are receiving the appropriate type and quantity of food, but also to eliminate any underlying health concerns.
The Top 4 Reasons Your Dog is Always Hungry
Does your dog devour their food the second the bowl hits the floor? Do they then beg for scraps at the table, scavenge for snacks in the trash or cruise for crumbs under the couch? You might wonder what’s making your dog so hungry. Are you feeding them enough? Are they sick? Do they simply have a big appetite? Let’s take a look at some reasons why Rover might seem so ravenous.
1. A Dog’s Biological Appetite
Dogs originated as scavengers, and some experts in canine behavior suggest that dogs still behave as if they have limited access to their most essential resource – food. As a result, dogs take advantage of any opportunity to consume food because it may not be available the next time they require it. Another theory proposes that if your dog was rescued from the streets or from a situation where they did not have consistent access to food, they may have a stronger memory of hunger and may be more inclined to scavenge for food.
2. Giving Your Dog Attention and Rewards
You are aware that if you give your dog a piece of chicken from your plate, they will be more likely to beg for another bite. However, it can be difficult to resist feeding that adorable, furry face! Many dogs beg for food because they know it works and that they will receive attention and a reward. So even if your dog is not actually hungry, they may still beg because it is an enjoyable and delicious game.
3. Improper Feeding In Dogs
In some instances, it may be the case that your dog is not receiving enough food. The type and amount of food that your dog consumes will depend on various factors, including their size, age, and level of activity. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable food and portion size for your individual dog.
4. Dog Medical Issues
Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and pancreatic disorders, can contribute to an increased appetite in dogs. Some dogs may also experience an increase in appetite as they age or as a side effect of medication. If you notice that your dog is hungrier than usual or is exhibiting other unusual symptoms, it is important to consult with your veterinarian.
Tips on dealing with a hungry dog
If your dog frequently begs for food or attempts to mesmerize you with a “please feed me” expression, you could:
- Provide them with some fresh water – sometimes satisfying their thirst can serve as a distraction.
- Offer them a healthy snack, such as carrot sticks or apple slices. Alternatively, you could give them a small portion of kibble, but be sure to account for any treats when calculating your dog’s daily caloric intake. Keep in mind that some fruits that are healthy for humans, such as grapes, can be harmful to dogs, so ensure that the food you provide is safe for canine consumption.
- Provide them with some attention, such as petting or playing with them.
- Provide them with small, frequent meals throughout the day to help them feel satiated.
- Schedule your dog’s mealtime so that you feed them before preparing or eating your own meal.
- Consider providing their food in a puzzle feeder or giving them treats to keep them mentally engaged.
- Ensure that everyone in the household is aware of the importance of not giving in to the dog’s begging for food.
- It may be difficult for your dog if you suddenly stop giving them treats, so try gradually reducing the amount you provide.