If you live with a dog you know: every time you sit down at the table he stands there staring at you with his big begging eyes, as if he’s never seen food before that moment. Some dogs have a bird’s-eye appetite. Others, like yours, are always hungry. And that worries you: A dog that never seems full always gets attention. Is he fed enough? Do you suffer from depression? It is certainly important to understand why he is always hungry and here you will find the most common reasons.
Voracious by natureIf your dog is always hungry, it may simply be because he has a sweet tooth. And this cannot necessarily be explained. Some dogs have more appetite than others and it’s not a matter of size. The Great Dane, for example, is a very greedy dog just like the French bulldog. If this habit doesn’t compromise his healthy weight, don’t worry: weigh him regularly and make sure he gets physical. But beware of voracity: some very greedy dogs may tend to eat too quickly. This habit carries significant risks, from choking and digestive upset to torsion syndrome. To slow down your dog, you can try serving his food in an anti-gulp bowl.
Puppies and neuteredIf your dog is still a puppy, he eats a lot and is always hungry just because he’s growing. In its first week of life, a dog doubles its weight and triples it in three. Depending on the breed, it can gain weight between 60 and 160 grams per day. The growth spurt is between 4 and 8 months and it is therefore necessary to meet its nutritional needs according to its age. The dog’s growth ends around 10 months for small breeds, around 15 for large ones, while for giant breeds it continues up to 2 years. If your dog is neutered, however, you will know that this surgery results in a decrease in energy needs and an increase in appetite. In addition to closely monitoring their weight, in this case you have to adjust their meal by following a specific diet. In general, you need to reduce your calories by 20 to 30%. In any case, if you are not sure how much to feed your dog, ask your vet for advice.
The right meal for everyoneIf your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, if you take him for a run or does dog-loving activity, he’ll need richer meals and it’s normal for him to be hungrier. If your dog is tired or losing weight then you need to increase the amounts. It’s hard to know exactly how much a dog should be fed. This depends on the breed and its needs: the average person counts 15 grams of croquettes per kilo. Therefore, if your dog weighs 10 kilos, you should give him at least 150 grams of kibble. And when the food in the bowl runs out, it’s normal that he immediately goes looking for something else, even more so if you’re at the table. If you have multiple dogs, make sure they each eat from their own bowl and don’t pick up any bad habits. If it’s animals that come from kennels or difficult situations, they could have a more complicated relationship with food and the bowl.
Health problemsEating disorders are common in dogs. Dogs can suffer from anorexia as well as bulimia, although it might be more like binge eating, as it doesn’t involve induced vomiting. It goes without saying that if your dog eats compulsively and without limits this habit can cause serious health problems, as well as obesity. Contrary to what one might think, if your dog is stressed he will tend to eat less. On the contrary, it is anxiety that leads him to eat more. Other health causes that can cause dogs to be hungry all the time include an increased heart rate, digestive disorders and parasitic infections which affect 90% of puppies and 20% of adults. There are several types of worms. Roundworms, for example, cause bloating, diarrhea, vomiting and constipation, weight loss and unusual hunger. Whipworms can cause anemia as tapeworms feed on what your dog eats and this will lead him to be perpetually hungry. Deworming isn’t forever, so even an adult dog should be subjected to prophylaxis periodically, more or less frequently based on the environment where it lives. Ask your vet for advice.