Well, for as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people say that dogs can eat all day! Hungry or not, everything put in front of them will be swallowed.
Is there any truth to that statement? The answer is yes and no. Some dogs eat only when they are hungry and will not even ask for seconds where as some, well, ‘CAN EAT ALL DAY’!
Does your dog wolf down food like it was on a yearlong fast? Does he eat till he will explode? If it seems like your dog is hungry all the time then this article is for you.
Dog are descendants of the grey wolf and that means they are hunters. They are used to what you call a ‘feast or famine diet’. Nature teaches them to eat as much as they can when food is available, because they may not be able to make the next kill soon enough.
One can expect their instinctual traits to also exist in the domesticated dog of today and can be seen when they bury bones in the garden and scavenge through the trash.
Most dogs are food-driven. It is their love for food bribes that makes them easier to train than cats. Even if you wake them from a deep slumber, they will be ready to stand on their heads for a treat. With cats, it is the contrary. They are only interested in food when they are actually hungry.
A balanced diet is very important for a healthy body and good food and habits boost growth and cell maintenance. Ideally only pups need to eat four times a day. There is a science attached to that as well. It teaches the puppy that you are the food provider.
Adult dogs on the other hand should be fed twice a day maximum with a gap of at least eight to twelve hours. Their nutritional requirement is to be, based on their size and energy expenditure for the day.
The basic nature of your dog towards food may never change so how will you determine the right amount of calories for your dog? Well, consider the following. Is he very active or a couch potato?
Do you live in a hot country or one that has a relatively cool climate most of the year? These are questions you need to ask yourself when you prepare meals for your pet.
Are you feeding home cooked meals? Are you including all the right nutrients? Does your pet require dietary supplements? If you are feeding him commercial food, is it good quality and high grade food?
Sometimes, quality over quantity can make all the difference. Some brands have large quantities of corn and less of meat giving animals a very unsatisfied feeling.
Get your vet on board because he understands that each dog has a different metabolism and will prescribe an ideal diet and create a feeding schedule as well. These quantities along with the type of food will change, increase or decrease with age and can be monitored during annual checkups.
Has he developed an increased appetite suddenly? Food craving just like in humans can alert you to the possibility of endocrine and gastrointestinal ailments and even diabetes.
Routine vet visits can help with early detection of underlying health issues. Once ruled out, regular deworming, supplements and blood tests should tell you if there are any medical conditions that you need to take care of.
Sometimes, even after you have fed them a whole meal, you pet may go looking for scraps. Avoid feeding table scraps and ensure that treats are earned.
Make sure the treats are small ones given in appreciation for good behaviour and submissive energy. Do not make them a meal or snack substitute.
If your dog loves to eat and you give into his demands, you are going to over feed him and that is going to be detrimental to his health. Dogs often act hungry because this behaviour has been reinforced by the pet parent. The cute and sad eyes make it so difficult to say ‘NO’.
They eventually understand that, that particular face or particular body language is what gets them a treat or part of your dinner! They know that whatever they do, it is going to fetch results! Basic obedience training is also very helpful to stop begging. You can get a trainer to help you with this.
Please be warned that when a dog over eats or eats too quickly, it can result in bloating and gas. It is called canine bloat and it can become fatal extremely quickly. The swelling of the stomach cuts off of circulation of blood causing a dogs to go in to shock and die from cardiac arrest.
After you have read this article and you realize that your dog is food driven and just naturally likes to eat, then only you can intervene to keep your dog healthy. It is one thing to love your pet and one thing if your love puts them in danger.
An overweight dog will die early and develop a host of medical issues like hypothyroidism, diabetes, cancer, arthritis etc.
Take charge of what your pet eats. Keep the diet under control no matter how much he begs. Your dog is innocent and does not how much damage he is doing to himself but you on the other hand are now well informed.