If you are having a dog for the first time or have you have been a dog owner before but never dealt with a puppy some behaviors might leave you astonished, like biting, chewing, jumping up on people but what’s bound to leave you wondering is why is your puppy always hungry?
Your puppy’s ravenous appetite will leave you flabbergasted at how can such a small being eat so much, your puppy will voraciously devour the food you have provided him and them follow you for more this might lead you to think,” am I not feeding him properly?
There can be a litany of reasons for why your puppy is always hungry and we have listed down some of these below:
The food requirement may vary according to your dog’s breed, age, or weight.
Understanding Your Puppy’s growth phase
Just like human babies, puppies need more food while growing up, the increased quantity of food required is primarily for bone, muscle, and brain development.
Here we have listed a chart that might guide you for your puppy’s food requirements accordingly to his weight.
|Weight at maturity||1-3 |
|3-12 LBS||½ – ⅔ CUPS||⅔– 1 |
|½ – 1 |
|Adult Diet||Adult Diet|
|13-20 LBS||½ – 1 CUPS||1 – 1⅓ |
|⅔ – 1 |
|1 – 1¼ |
|21-50 LBS||½ -1 CUPS||1½ – 2 |
|1 – 1⅔ |
|51- 75 LBS||½ -1⅔ CUPS||1½ – 2¾ |
|1 ⅓ -2¾ |
|2⅓ – 3⅓ |
|2½ – 4⅓ |
|76-100 LBS||¾ – 2½ CUPS||2¼ – 4¼ |
|4 – 4⅔ |
|6½ – 8 |
|5⅓ – 7⅔ |
|OVER 100 LBS||2½ CUPS||4½ |
Change in mode of feeding
Another reason as to why your dog is always hungry could be the change in his mode of feeding. At their young ages, They have a steady supply of groceries at their disposal. To give them milk, their nursing mother is still close by. However, it is introduced to a whole new feeding routine and nutrients in many different forms when the puppy goes home with its owner.
The shift from unlimited supply to a time-limited supply may take a while, but sooner or later they always adapt. The weaning period of puppies usually starts in the 3rd to 4th week of their life and is completed in the 7th to 8th week of their life. Meanwhile, it is necessary to imply a strict pattern of feeding for your puppy.
Basic survival instinct:
Your dog, being a canine is bound to show some famine mentality, in the wild, they have an unlimited supply of food. It is not about never being in the wild it’s their basic survival instinct.
They do this because when they have a chance to get some more food, they don’t know. This is why many dogs and the wild canines around their meals are so territorial. Since they need it to live, they do not want to share it.
It’s in their blood, even though your puppy didn’t have to live that kind of lifestyle. For every meal, your new puppy gets excited because they do not if they are going to have any more food again. Other untamed activities displayed by puppies are often followed by this mentality, such as saving food for later or protecting their food so no one will take it away.
By supplying food at set times and training, it is important to put an end to this behaviour, so your hungry puppy knows when it might receive its next meal.
Possible medical causes
The ravenous appetite of your puppy is not necessarily physiological, there could be an underlying pathology that might have missed your eye. We have listed some common medical conditions that might add to the cause:
Among puppies, worms are fairly common. Owing to an infection in the womb, several new dogs are born with them. There are several different kinds of worms that your dog can be infected by. Both of them are fed off the body of your dog.
They cling to the walls of the intestine and consume all the nutrients from the food you give them. It contributes to malnutrition and an increased appetite.
The most common gastrointestinal that your pup could be harbouring are Ancylostoma spp., Uncinaria stenocephala, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Trichuris vulpis and Dipylidium caninum are the major helminths while Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Isospora spp. and Sarcocystis spp. Ancylostoma spp.
The most frequently reported parasites in shelter dogs are helminths and protozoans. Hookworms (Ancylostoma spp., Uncinaria stenocephala), ascarids (Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina), whipworm (Trichuris vulpis), and the flea tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) are the major helminths, while Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Isospora spp. and Sarcocystis spp.
Diabetes in dogs is pretty similar to diabetes In humans, due to the lack of insulin in your pup’s body the glucose is unable to move inside the cells leading to an elevation in the blood glucose level that ultimately leads to increased thirst and appetite.
Australian Terrier, Standard Schnauzer, Samoyed, Miniature Schnauzer, Fox Terrier, Keeshond, Bichon Frise, Finnish, Spitz, Cairn Terrier, Miniature Poodle, Siberian Husky, and Toy Poodle are dog breeds that are more susceptible to diabetes (from highest to lowest risk).
Boxer, German Shepherd, Pekinese, Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Bulldog, Great Dane, Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Old English Sheepdog, Irish Setter, and Doberman Pinscher are the dog breeds that are least susceptible to diabetes (lowest to highest).
Diabetes in dogs could be treated with home management, keeping an eye on the diet, weight management, and proper exercise.
Cushing’s disease, also known as Hyperadrenocorticism, can induce an increased appetite in dogs. If your dog has this disorder, too much glucocorticoid will be released by their body. Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) develops when too much cortisol is secreted by the adrenal gland.
This is a hormone that helps with stress control. Too much of it will cause your dog all the time to want more food. Poodles, especially miniature poodles, Dachshunds, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Terriers are the most prone breeds.
Some symptoms that you can observe at home might be increased thirst, frequent urination, increased appetite, pot belly appearance, hair loss, and panting.
Drugs are suitable for dogs with pituitary gland-induced Cushing’s syndrome or for those with a tumour that can not be removed with surgery on their adrenal gland. Trilostane, the most popular drug, is (Vetoryl). Mitotane (Lysodren) is an older medication and is no longer prescribed by vets.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a common GI disorder in dogs and cats, it is characterized by hypo-secretion of pancreatic enzymes in the GI tract, leading to impaired digestion and ultimately decreased absorption of nutrients.
The enzymes are neither developed nor secreted in dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. In that regard, the pancreas becomes, practically, inadequate. It is atrophied by the exocrine cells.
Unfortunately, when some 80 to 95 percent of the cells at issue are killed, signs do not appear; it is identified late in the game. The disease is typically inherited in German shepherds, but in other breeds, it is sometimes the product of some other problem.
The most prominent symptoms are the ravenous appetite that could lead your pup to eat substances that a dog normally wouldn’t eat ( grass, shoes, paper, rubber, etc.), chewing is not necessarily a sign of EPI, some puppies have a knack to chew things.
Other symptoms besides your pup’s voracious appetite may include frequent stools, every 2 hours or so, Unformed stools, greasy, voluminous, sometimes yellowish but sometimes greyish. Increased bowel sounds. Flatulence and changes in attitude shifting either towards aggression or fear.
Apart from all the physiological and pathologic aspects, your puppy may be just fond of eating, he may give you puppy eyes even after you’ve fed it because it just wants to eat more there and you may fall victim to those big cute puppy eyes. So how would you handle a puppy who always seems to be hungry?
How to handle a puppy who is always hungry?
Consider changing food brands
It is quite possible that the food brand you’re currently using for your dog is not nutritious enough for your dog. Malnourished dogs nose around constantly for food and show an increased appetite. Discuss the best food to feed your malnourished pet with your veterinarian. You should also try home-cooked meals so that the number of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that go in can be regulated.
Before altering the diet, please consult with your vet. Add some supplements to their diet if needed. Note that certain vitamins can cause the appetite to increase more. So before adding supplements to your pet’s diet, please talk to a vet.
DON’T give in to begging
Falling a victim to those puppy eyes is not the solution, it can aid to worsen the hunger issues. Don’t give in to the temptation to overfeed until you rule out any medical conditions. Overfeeding will make dogs hungrier, Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which causes the production of leptin, an appetite-controlled hormone, to decrease.
Obesity can result in other medical problems as well. Obese dogs have a greater risk of developing arthritis. The excess weight places additional demand on the joints of the dog, which can contribute to diminished mobility and muscle strength. Obesity also makes the heart function harder and can impair the capacity of a dog to fully inflate its lungs.
Understand the Breed
To most breeds, this is a distinct proclamation. A Bloodhound has more to eat than a Shih Tzu. However, for species that do not differ much in physical appearance, it is important to remember the criteria for regular feeding for the puppy breed you have.
In addition to having the normal puppy urge to eat constantly, Labrador puppies are often known to scarf down their food quickly and come back asking for more.
Consider changing your feeding habits
Instead of feeding your puppy two big meals a day you can shift to four maybe even five small meals a day, distributed evenly and within equal time intervals.
Distract your dog
You always try to distract your pup’s mind and try to sway his attention towards sports or other activities. You can always rely on taking him out for a walk. This method let alone being good to subside his craving could also be a way for you to spend some quality time with your pup.
As a puppy parent, you must teach your furball good habits rather than falling victim to his puppy eyes and letting him off the hook, your need to bring up the puppy with love yet you have to establish your position as the alpha of the house.
First of all, you know that there are many dog breeds obsessed with food, and maybe yours is one of them. If your dog is fair in weight, every few hours you can easily break his or her meals and feed smaller portions. Do make sure there is plenty of exercise for your animals.
No pet parent wants to feel like their pup is hungry, but it is important to keep portion sizes and feeding schedules under control to keep your dog safe. Here are 6 ways for a hungry dog to help you.