As pet parents, you don’t want to starve your dogs. Also, you want to keep them healthy by feeding them on schedules and keeping the right portion sizes. On the other hand, plenty of dogs seem they’re always hungry and have a voracious appetite. No matter how many times you give them food or how many treats you accidentally drop, it looks like your dog is never getting enough. When you experience this, you may wonder whether your dog has any health issues? Or, is this just natural behavior? Also, you may have a question on how do I help my dog who is always hungry?
Why dogs act hungry all the time?
Before you find the ways to help your hungry dog, you can learn to understand some reasons why your dog is always hungry.
There is no absolute answer to the reason why dogs are hungry all the time. Some of them may only simply food motivated. But, if dogs always seem to be eating all the time, it can also be a sign of medical issues.
Here are some most common issues that you should know about hungry dogs.
It may be only their natural biologically
Dogs naturally will eat everything you give them because of their biology. It may be because they still have instinct on the back of their mind from wolves, their ancestors. When food hunting, wolves might not eat every day, so they build a habit to eat while they can. So, if domestic dogs eat constantly, it may because of their biologically programmed to do so.
Dogs can also suffer from diabetes mellitus. Dogs can have diabetes Type I (shortage of insulin) or diabetes Type II (incorrect responses from the cells to the insulin when being produced).
These conditions will prevent the dog’s organs and muscles from converting glucose to energy. It will increase the amount of glucose in the blood, which raises appetite and thirst as the most common signs of diabetes in dogs. Find out human food you can feed your diabetic dog.
Your dog may have gained weight
Having too much food, treats, or skipped walks, dogs may have gained weight. When they gain weight, their appetite will also increase to maintain the weight. It makes them wanting more food and asks for a bigger portion.
Inflammatory Bowel Problems
If your dogs seem never feel full no matter how well you feed them, they may have a gastrointestinal problem. It can be Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which causes dogs don’t absorb the nutrients of their food properly. It’s best to feed them with dog food that is meant for sensitive skin and stomachs.
IBD often leads to increased appetite and weight loss. Dogs at any age can get IBD, but it is more common to happen to middle-aged and older dogs.
Increased appetite in dogs can be caused by hyperthyroidism. Though it’s rare, you should consult your veterinarian if your dog shows this sign. Hyperthyroidism happens when a thyroid hormone called thyroxine is overproduced.
Excessive thyroxine makes the cells and body uncontrolled, which increased metabolism and also increased appetite.
Leiomyosarcoma and adenocarcinoma are some types of gastrointestinal cancers. They may cause the dog’s stomach and intestines with tumors. When your dog has cancer, it causes malabsorption of food, which increases appetite.
When dogs get older, they may have behavioral or physical problems, like some diseases we’ve mentioned above. These health problems can cause issues, including increased appetite.
What can I do to help my dog who is always hungry?
There are some reasons your dog craving for food all the time and would eat anything. Behavioral or health issues may cause increased appetite in dogs. However, if you don’t take control of your dog’s insatiable appetite, they may get overweight.
Before you do something to help your hungry dog, you should ensure the cause first. If your dog increased appetite is only a natural behavior to overeat and no medical issues, you should take charge and control when they eat, how much, and what they eat.
You shouldn’t indulge their appetite though they may act like they’re starving or manipulating you with those cute faces and big eyes. Controlling your dog eating is a way to protect and keep them healthy and happy.
Here are some ways you can help your dog overeating. If you want to help them feel full instead, read our article on what can you give your dog to make her feel full.
Schedule feeding time
As pet parents, you should encourage a controlled feeding ritual for your dog. Hence, you can create feeding and training schedules. It’s one of the ways to answer your question how do I help my dog who is always hungry. By feeding your pet at the exact intervals, it helps him having regulated feeding time.
We recommend you ask your vet about the right amount of dog food to give to your dog beforehand. So, you can feed them several times in the day. Set mealtime for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, setting to feed him only breakfast and dinner is a choice.
But, you should make sure the feeding time are at regularly set times and stick to the schedules. It will control your pet appetite and anticipate when food is coming.
Give the right portion of food
Giving the right portion of food to your dogs can keep them healthy. It also could prevent them from overeating. However, consult with your vet about what your dog needs. Generally, vets will study the nutrition of your dog food.
Then they will recommend the right amount of food for your dog based on age and size. The detailed feeding instructions will let you know the right amount of food your dog needs. Also, it prevents you from giving them more.
Pack in nutrition
Not only older dogs, but all dogs need good nutrition for energy, growth, and health. Processed foods with high heat can damage nutrients. Besides, dogs hardly digest synthetic ingredients.
So, it’s your job to give healthy and fresh food to your dog. Not only fresh and lightly cooked food are smell and taste great, but they’re also easier to digest. Plus, this food gives the nutrients that your dog needs.
Giving fewer treats
Cutting back on treats for your dog can be one of the answers to your question how do I help my dog who is always hungry. It may sound contrary to your feeling, but it’s a good way for dog behavior.
Try not to give them treats like chocolate bars or chips for humans. This food will make your dog crave more and more, and they’re likely not nutritious at all. It’s important for every member of the family not to hand out treats or scraps randomly.
But, if you still want to give treats to your dog, try giving them food from fresh ingredients and low in calories and fat. Consider giving them a piece of apple or carrot.
Offer healthy treats
Some pet parents use treat as rewards, so dogs will learn that the treats indicate attention. Then, you can change the treatment and introduce giving more fiber into your dog’s diet. It helps to satisfy their cravings without adding some weight. Giving vegetables for a snack between meals may help limit their hunger. Or you can pick one of these best treats for English Bulldogs.
Veggies, like carrot, broccoli, and green beans make your dog feels more full without adding a lot of calories. But, don’t introduce too much fiber too fast because it can lead to constipation, diarrhea, or flatulence.
Distract your pup
Increased appetite for food and treats on dogs may just the sign they want to spend time with you. If this is the case, you can distract your dog’s mind by giving positive attention and fun activities.
Go and play with your dog or snuggle him. Also, you can take him riding in the car or taking him for a walk. These attentions will help distract your dog from hunger and not notice he didn’t get a treat. These extra exercises are also good for their health.
When your dog just wolfs down meals and begs for treats, you may realize that he has an insatiable appetite. You may wonder is this common for canines, and is it normal for your furry friend? If that’s not normal, your dog’s overeating behavior makes you think about the causes.
You can visit your vet to consult about your dog increased appetite. It may be shown some health issues, like diabetes and gastrointestinal problem. But, if it’s only natural behavior, you definitely want to know how to control it.
Of course, you want to make your loveable dog healthy and happy. But, giving him too much food and treats doesn’t help. So, you can try various ways to control dog behavior without harming them. We hope several ways we’ve mentioned before help answer your question on how do I help my dog who is always hungry.