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One of the problems that people who live with dogs usually comment to their veterinarian is the insatiable appetite of these. It is usually a bit overwhelming for the person to see their dog eat anxiously and without enjoying food.
It is important to know the reasons why a dog he is always hungry, in order to understand this condition and try to find a solution. If your dog has this problem, has food anxiety and you would like to help him, we present this AnimalWised article, where you can find the help you need. Find out below if it is normal for your dog to always be hungry.You may also be interested: My dog hides food - Why and what to do Index
- Eating habits in dogs
- Leptin, what is it and how does it affect our dog's appetite?
- How to know if my dog is hungry?
- How to help a dog that is obsessed with food?
Eating habits in dogs
Dogs, in nature, carry a very varied diet. According to some studies carried out by collecting feces from wild dogs, these animals, when living free, feed mainly on human waste, followed by medium and small mammals, such as cats and rodents, insects and, to a lesser extent, vegetables.
The domestic dog, when living in the human home, is usually fed a complete feed that covers all the nutritional needs of the animal. However, always eating the same thing can be boring.
Leptin, what is it and how does it affect our dog's appetite?
Leptin is a hormone present in many groups of animals, including humans and dogs. This hormone is responsible for suppress appetite and is released mainly by adipocytes (cells that form adipose or fat tissue) but also by the hypothalamus, ovaries and placenta.
In a healthy animal with a correct weight, when it has sufficient fat reserves, the adipocytes begin to release leptin, which travels through the blood to the brain, warning that the body you already have enough accumulated energy, so you can stop eating.
The problem appears when the animal is overweight. Although it releases a lot of leptin, the body becomes resistant and does not understand that it already has enough energy. Something similar happens when the dog suffers from diabetes mellitus. Therefore, an overweight dog will always be hungry..
A dog eager for food or for any other object is something very serious. Obsessions in dogs should be treated by a professional, as they usually derive from underlying problems such as stress, boredom, uneducated conditioning, or illness.
To the condition of a dog that does not stop eating and seems to be constantly hungry is known as polyphagia. Polyphagia usually appears along with other symptoms such as obesity, weight gain or loss, polydipsia (increased water intake), polyuria (increased urination) and the inability to properly absorb nutrients.
Polyphagia may appear in the dog aging process, either because you begin not to absorb certain nutrients or because you take a medication that causes it. On the other hand, one of the symptoms of diabetes is also an increase in food intake. Tumors or inflammatory processes at the gastrointestinal level also produce polyphagia.
How to know if my dog is hungry?
The first reason that makes us think that our dog is starving is that begins to overeat or who is always asking for more food, constantly visits his bowl and licks it even if there is nothing.
The irrefutable evidence that our dog is starving is the weightloss. In an obese dog, this loss is normal, intentional and necessary, but it should always be done under strict veterinary control. If your dog doesn't need to lose weight and is still losing weight, it's time to visit the vet for a full checkup, including blood, urine, and perhaps some hormonal tests..
How to help a dog that is obsessed with food?
Once a vet has determined the cause of polyphagia, if the reason for it is due to a gastrointestinal problem, This may be due to a change in diet or the consumption of some medication. If it is due to diabetes, it will be necessary to medicate it.
If the problem stems from behavioral reasons Steps should be taken to help the dog change its behavior. Gradually changing the feed to one with a higher fiber content may be an option or a change to a more satiating diet such as the ACBA diet for dogs, always under veterinary supervision..
We can also ration food in smaller amounts several times a day and not large amounts once or twice. It is very important to have a daily eating routine. Many studies have revealed that if an animal knows when it is going to eat and its expectations are met, stress levels are greatly reduced..