What Does It Mean If My Pet Is Always Hungry?

What Does It Mean If My Pet Is Always Hungry?

When you fill the dog’s dish, your pet crunches through their food faster than you can blink. Every time you turn around, your cat is sitting by an empty bowl with a judgmental look. 

If you put the recommended amount of food in the dish for your pets and it doesn’t seem like enough, should you feed them more?

What does it mean if your pet is always hungry?

Most Animals Are Primarily Food-Motivated Pets

Pets might be domesticated animals, but they still have some wild moments lingering in their DNA. One of the behaviors associated with that activity involves food consumption for survival.

Pets, especially dogs, will approach every meal with ravenous hunger. What you might not realize is that most modern behavior associated with overeating is learned.

It is not unusual for rescue animals to come from food-deprived environments. If you have a dog that’s used to competing for something to eat, what you offer each meal will disappear quickly.

Most pets also know that if they display specific behaviors, you’ll reward them with a treat.

We like to think that wagging tails or a lengthy nap speak of contentment, but it might be a case where letting them always eat is loving them to death.

What Happens If My Pet Gets Too Much Food?

If your pet gets too much to eat, it can lead to several potential health concerns. An increased appetite can also be the symptom of a potential health issue. 

It is not unusual for pets who are always hungry to have gastrointestinal problems, diabetes, tumors, or Cushing’s disease. 

If you notice changes in your pet’s appetite from their usual behavior, it’s a good idea to contact your vet about the issue.

You can also take these steps to tone down those behaviors to encourage these healthier eating patterns.

1. Offer the right amount of food each day.

Talk to your vet about how much food your pet should get daily. Once you come to a specific number, provide that amount only. Just because an animal will eat several bowls doesn’t mean that they should be doing that each day.

2. Cut down on the treats.

When pets start expecting frequent treats, that routine can translate into behaviors that make it seem like they’re always hungry. If you use food as a reward, try something else instead. You could heap praise on your furry companion, offer time to play, or even snuggle on the couch. When you need a food-based treat, try making it low in fat and high in protein and fiber to reduce hunger issues.

3. Meet your dog’s metabolism needs.

As pets get older, their dietary needs shift. They become less efficient at processing certain ingredients. Senior dog food products often contain a lot of fibrous bulk that doesn’t provide a lot of nutrition, leaving your pet likely feeling hungry. 

If you pack in real nutrition into each meal, you should see some behavioral changes occurring. When this issue isn’t resolving, a trip to the vet might be helpful. 

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