Some of our dogs come running the second they hear the pantry open or the pitter of their kibble pouring into their dish. The second they get to their bowl, they chow down so fast, you wonder if they even tasted their food. Then, they give you that wide-eyed stare as if to say, “More?” And they continue begging for food throughout the day. If you want to understand and help this behavior, delve into the reasons your dog always acts hungry.
They Need More Nutrition
While you may feed your dog several times a day, if their food is highly processed or low in nutrients, they may still feel hungry after eating. Additionally, highly processed, dry foods are often harder for a canine’s body to digest.
Talk with the vet before switching your dog’s food, as they can review the ingredients to determine the kibble’s nutritional value. Likewise, they’ll instruct you on how to properly transition foods so you don’t upset your pup’s stomach.
Their Hunger Is Behavioral
Be honest—how often do you cave to those adorable puppy-dog eyes? If you give your furry friend treats any time they beg, this could be the reason your dog always acts hungry. Rather than reward your pooch with food when they come to you, give them some attention instead. A few minutes of playtime or cuddles will help your pup unlearn that coming to you means free food. You can still give your furry friend treats, but try to only do so for specific occasions, such as training.
Pet Owner Tip
Rather than give your dog store-bought treats, make some homemade training treats. Food is a high-value reward, and when your pup must work for tasty treats, they learn that they get extra food by following commands.
They Have Health Problems
Various health problems—such as Cushing’s disease, anxiety, and parasites—can all increase a dog’s appetite. Moreover, a voracious appetite is one of the top warning signs of diabetes in dogs and occurs due to low insulin levels. Typically, diabetic dogs are also extremely thirsty and may experience weight loss despite the increase in eating.
Contact your vet for a formal exam and diagnosis if your dog displays other abnormal behaviors beyond constant hunger. The vet may need to run blood, urinary, and fecal tests to rule out potential health problems to advise the best treatment plan.
There’s No Feeding Schedule
People use the term “pet parent” because their dog is like their baby. And like kiddos, animals require a routine. Your dog should eat around the same time and receive the same amount daily. The quantity of food depends on your dog’s breed and size, as larger dogs have higher caloric needs than smaller ones. By maintaining an appropriate and consistent feeding schedule, you’ll keep your pup feeling full and happy!