Sure, we all like to enjoy a few more helpings over the holidays, but for dogs, woofing food down can be a year-round behaviour. And one that can lead to a litter of problems.
While it may seem endearing how much your sausage dog rrrrooooooves his kibbles, overeating can cause unpleasant regurgitation, health-threatening obesity, flatulence and bloating. And to buy all that food to begin with – well, that’s pretty ruff on your pocketbook. No bones about it.
But of course that’s why we’re here – to help you understand why Woofy’s eating like cats and dogs, and what you can do about it.
What causes Wags to woof it down.
Here are some possible reasons for Frisby’s food obsession (we’ll address his Lassie rerun addiction in a later post):
Whether he’s home alone all day or gets a bit jumpy by nature, your dog may be overeating out of boredom or anxiety. So, you’ll just want to make sure he has a well-rounded schedule of play, company and exercise. This way, he’ll be too dog-tired to feel anxious or ambivalent.
Competition with his compawdres, or your other dogs, can also cause yours to chow down. Canines actually have a ‘wild’ instinct to eat roolly quickly, so they don’t have to share. So, If you have more than one dog, try feeding them in separate rooms to solve the problem.
Sometimes underlying medical problems can cause Spot to eat like it’s his last meal. See your vet if you think this could be the case.
How to downsize his dinner plate.
If your Great Dane is simply a guts, there are ways to cut-down his kibble-take:
Dish him a regular eating routine.
Set Fido to a regular feeding schedule, and give him smaller portions. Basically, pour him a small bowl of food in the morning, and another small bowl in the evening. Simple as that. Don’t keep refilling his bowl all day, as much as he’d woof it, and try to avoid offering him extra snacks. Remember, there are litters of other ways to show him you woof him.
Try special feeding products.
Special feeding bowls are available that prevent dogs from wolfing down all the food in them. Or if your dog, like any of us, is partial to a treat, why not try a Gorrrilla rubber chew toy? They have a hollow centre where you can hide Spot’s treats, making them last whole a lot longer.
Feed the problem to your vet.
Finally, if your furry friend’s overeating has really come out of nowhere, have your vet check him for internal parasites, Cushing’s Syndrome, adrenal issues, hypothyroidism, diabetes and liver problems.
Best of guts, pet-lovers!