10 Possible Reasons
- Not enough food
- Low-quality food
- Boredom or stress
- Cushing’s disease
- Pregnancy or nursing
- Old age
- Hormonal imbalance
What Is a Normal Appetite for Dogs?
To answer the question: “Why is my dog always hungry?”, you must know how much they should eat. A healthy adult dog should consume about 15–20 calories per pound of body weight per day. For example, a 50-pound dog would need around 700–900 calories per day. If your dog is very active or working hard, they may need more calories and if they’re less active, they may need fewer calories.
Our Reader’s Story ✏️One day I bought an automatic feeder for my beloved dog, Max. I was excited to finally have a way to ensure that Max would be fed at the same times every day, even when I wasn’t home. The feeder had a timer and would dispense the right amount of food for Max’s size and breed, and it also had a button for manual feeding just in case.
Soon, I discovered that Max was quite clever. He quickly realized that if he pressed his nose against the feeder’s button, it would dispense a small amount of food. And so, he began to do it over and over again. At first, I was confused when I would come home to find the feeder empty. But then I caught Max in the act. I couldn’t help but laugh at his antics, but I disabled the button that day!
Why Is My Dog Always Hungry – Reasons
If your dog is always hungry, there could be a few different reasons why. Maybe they aren’t getting enough food, or the food you’re giving them isn’t very nutritious. It’s also possible that your dog has a medical condition that is causing them to feel hungry all the time. Whatever the reason, if your dog is always begging for food and seems to be ravenous, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian to rule out any health problems, and make sure they’re getting the nutrition they need.
If you’re wondering, “Why is my dog always hungry?”, read on for some potential explanations and solutions.
Your Dog Is Not Getting Enough Food
If your dog is always asking for more food, one possibility is that they’re simply not getting enough to eat. If you’re unsure how much food your dog should be eating, talk to your veterinarian or a pet nutritionist. They can help you determine the proper amount based on your dog’s size, weight, age, activity level, and any health conditions they may have. You can also check the portioning on your dog’s food package, or at the dog food brand’s website.
Once you know how much food your dog needs, make sure you’re feeding them that amount at each meal. Divide their daily ration into smaller meals rather than one large one. This will help them feel fuller longer and prevent them from getting ravenous between meals.
If you’re feeding your dog the proper amount, but they’re still always hungry, it’s possible that the food itself isn’t very nutritious. If their food is lacking nutrients, they may feel hungry all the time because their body is trying to get them elsewhere.
Your Dog Has a Medical Condition
There are a few different medical conditions that can cause dogs to feel hungrier than usual. One possibility is diabetes mellitus, which is when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or can’t use insulin properly. This can cause an increase in appetite as well as weight loss, despite eating more food.
Cushing’s disease is another possible medical condition that can make dogs feel hungry all the time. This occurs when the body produces too much of the hormone cortisol. Symptoms include increased appetite, increased drinking and urination, and weight gain.
If you suspect your dog may have diabetes or Cushing’s disease, take them to the veterinarian right away for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Your Dog Is Bored or Stressed
Dogs can get bored just like humans can, and when they’re bored, they may start looking for ways to entertain themselves. One way they might do this is by begging for food, even if they’re not actually hungry.
If your dog is always asking for food, and you suspect they may be bored or stressed, try increasing the amount of exercise they get each day. Take them on longer walks or runs, play fetch or other games together, or enroll them in a dog agility class. Getting them out and about will help tire them out, so they’re not as inclined to beg for food out of boredom. And if that doesn’t help, you should seek help with your veterinarian or a behaviorist.
Your Dog Isn’t Getting Enough Exercise
Dogs need exercise just like humans do, and if they’re not getting enough, they may start to feel restless and antsy. To keep your dog from feeling hungry all the time, make sure they’re getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This can be in the form of walks, runs, fetch, or any other activity that gets them moving and their heart rate up. Exercise will help tire them out, so they’re not as likely to beg for food constantly.
Your Dog Is Eating Too Much Grain
Many commercial dog foods contain grain as a filler ingredient, and while it’s not necessarily bad for dogs, it can cause digestive problems in some. When you give your dog too much grain, it can lead to an increase in appetite as their body tries to get the nutrients it needs elsewhere. To solve the problem, switch to a grain-free dog food or one that contains a limited amount of grain. This will help ease your dog’s digestive problems and keep them from feeling as hungry all the time.
Your Dog Has an Infection or Illness
In some cases, an increase in appetite may be due to an underlying medical condition. If your dog is always asking for food but seems to be losing weight, it’s possible they have an infection or illness that’s causing their increased appetite. Certain infections can cause dogs to feel ravenous all the time, even though they’re not actually getting the nutrients they need. Other illnesses, such as cancer or kidney disease, can also lead to increased hunger.
Your Dog Is Pregnant or Nursing
Pregnant and nursing dogs need more calories than usual to support their growing bodies, so it’s not unusual for them to feel hungrier than normal. If your dog is pregnant or nursing, you may need to increase their food intake to make sure they’re getting enough to eat.
Talk to your veterinarian about how much food your pregnant or nursing dog should be eating each day. They can help you come up with a feeding schedule that meets your dog’s needs and makes sure they’re getting enough nutrients.
Your Dog Is Getting Older
As dogs age, they often start to experience a decrease in energy levels. Despite being less common than a decrease in appetite, this can actually lead to an increase as they try to make up for the lack of energy. If your dog is getting older and seems to be always hungry, talk to your veterinarian about a senior formula dog food or adding supplements to their diet.
Your Dog Has a Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalances are relatively common in dogs and can cause a variety of problems, including increased hunger. If your dog has a hormonal imbalance, it’s important to get it treated as soon as possible to avoid any long-term health issues.
Increased Appetite in Dogs – The Bottom Line
There could be a variety of underlying causes, and thus, answers to the question, “Why is my dog always hungry?”. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s appetite and whether there may be a medical problem that needs to be addressed. With their help, you can figure out the cause of the problem and make sure your dog is getting the care they need.
FAQ – Hungry Dogs
What Can I Give My Dog to Make Her Feel Full?
You can look into dog foods that are higher in fiber and/or water. Meat-based wet food seems to be more satisfying for many dogs than dry kibble with carbohydrate fillers. On the other hand, some pups may need more veggies to help them feel full. Talk to a pet nutritionist or vet before making any big changes to your dog’s diet.
Why Is My Dog Obsessed With Food?
It depends on the dog. If you adopted them from a rescue, it could be that they have bad experiences with hunger. Now that they’re in a warm home with plenty of food, they may feel the need to hoard it or gobble it down quickly before someone takes it away (even if it never actually happens). Other dogs may have their own reasons for being obsessed with the kibble.
What Is the Healthiest Food to Feed Your Dog?
To ensure your pup is living their best life, providing a balanced and nutrient-filled diet tailored to them is key. Doing so can come in the form of high-quality commercial dog food that meets AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards or homemade meals supervised by veterinary nutritionists. Just avoid anything toxic like chocolate, grapes, or onions! Of course no meal plan would be complete without always having fresh water readily available for Fido too.
Should I Feed My Dog More If He Seems Hungry?
If they’re a puppy, then yes, you should feed them as much as they want. For an adult dog, calculate their daily calorie requirements and try to stick to them. An additional treat here and there won’t hurt, but give in too often, and you’ll have an overweight dog to deal with. You may want to look into more nutritious and filling dog foods instead.
How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Dog Enough?
Most dog food brands provide recommendations for how much to feed your dog based on their weight. You should also monitor your dog’s weight and pay attention to their behavior. A hungry dog may become more vocal or restless, while a dog who is overfed may become lethargic or reluctant to exercise. Finally, your vet can provide guidance on how much to feed your dog based on their age, breed, activity level, and overall health.
Sarah Jameson is a journalist, reporter and a pet nutritionist. She is married to Peter, and they have two beautiful children, Zoey and Quinn. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys cooking for her family and playing snooker. She also loves spending time with her Scottish Terrier, Bobby.