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Your dog steals food, licks his bowl endlessly, drags the nose around the ground all day in search of a little something to nibble on.
But why are dogs always hungry?
A brief overview of the issue and practical advice to help them.
First hypotheses of hunger in dogs
- We domesticated the dog, but it was originally a carnivorous predator that spent its time hunting. It quickly devoured its prey so as not to be stolen and because it didn't know when its next meal would take place. Being always hungry gave him the reflex to hunt.
- In the canine hierarchy, the dominant brings back food and eats the best cuts. The dominated share the remains. They have to hurry to escape hunger.
- In a litter, there may be too many puppies. From birth, they are forced to fight for access to breast milk. The fear of running out of food will remain pervasive in the dog's future existence.
Did you know ?
The taste of the dog is much less developed than ours. It only differentiates between salty, sweet, bitter and sour.
- A bulimic dog is often a dog stressed by boredom and lack of activity. Searching for food becomes an attractive distraction.
- Your dog may suffer from polyphagia if his hunger suddenly increases. This disease causes excessive hunger with an absence of satiety resulting in increased appetite. You need to see your vet to find out if your dog is hiding diabetes, brain tumor, or acute gastritis.
- Possibility of hyperthyroidism, intestinal cancer and digestive problem.
- Your dog may have intestinal worms. Consider deworming him every month until he is 6 months old, then twice a year.
- Neutered or neutered dogs gain weight because the loss of sex hormones increases appetite.
Satiety in dogs
- It is the hypothalamus in the brain that controls the satiety center.
- After evaluating the quality of the foods ingested, their quantity, their energy intake and the blood sugar level, the hypothalamus is activated thanks to sensory (stress, boredom) or hormonal solicitations (Ghrelin triggers hunger and leptin the sensation satiety).
Helping your dog to feel full
- Offer premium quality food so that your dog is well nourished. It should contain lean protein (at least 30%), fiber, oil, and be low in grains.
- Give meals at regular times. If your dog is obsessed with food, split his ration into three meals (morning, noon and evening). Eating at a fixed time gives the body guidelines for sending the signal for hunger and thus prevents it from building up fat reserves.
- Place his kibble in an anti-glutton bowl or a kibble distributor. He must take the time to eat and chew to feel full.
- Some people moisten the food so that it takes up more volume in the dog's stomach and add green beans and zucchini.
- His meal should be taken in peace and without stress. An anxious dog secretes a hormone called cortisol which increases appetite.
- Give a serving of kibble commensurate with your dog's breed, age, expense and personal situation. Your vet can guide you.
- Never feed your dog at the table. Never give in if he asks for food after the appointed hours. The treats should be occasional. All of these bad habits disrupt the satiety center.
- Go for long walks with your dog. Relaxed, it will release endorphins that fight anxiety and cortisol production.
Did you know ?
Following a failure of the POMC gene (missing DNA sequence), the Labrador and the Golden Retrievers are always hungry because they do not feel full (according to the study conducted by geneticist and veterinarian Eleanor Raffin of the University of Cambridge, published in the journal Cell Metabolism). Easy to train with food, they make excellent dogs for accompanying people with disabilities.
Danger of excessive food
- Obesity, a plague.
- It decreases your dog's life expectancy.
- Causes vascular accidents and respiratory problems.
- Promotes osteoarthritis.
- The bigger a dog, the less satiety it feels, because its layer of fat makes resistance to leptin and the hypothalamus is no longer receiving the correct information. A return to a normal weight improves the situation.
- The torsion of the stomach in large breeds. It is advisable to raise their bowls for better digestion.
- If your dog does not have health concerns and is particularly greedy, offer him a carrot as a treat, they are good for tartar because the dog has to chew.
- They will keep your dog busy.
- The treats are safe for your dog's line.
- And above all, dogs love them.
- It's easy to assess your dog's correct weight ... Just run your hands around his sides. If you can feel his ribs slightly, he is not overweight.
- If your dog is a reasonable height, weigh yourself and record your weight. Then weigh yourself with your dog and record this weight. Differentiate between the two weights and you can regularly check your dog's weight.
To meditate : "To learn from your mistakes is to take big steps forward"
© Javier brosch