Animal appetite is affected by many factors. Dogs have saturation and starvation centers in their brains. They are the ones that determine the attitude of pets to food. Malnutrition and greediness are equally dangerous for pets. They lead to many diseases. What do you need to know to keep your pet healthy?
Reasons for overeating
Chemical reactions in the brain can cause appetite even when the animal has recently had lunch. For example, a dog hears a knife knocking on a cutting board and realizes that the hostess is cooking something delicious in the kitchen. The pet is used to being “shared” with him, and, looking forward to the taste of the delicacy, he runs from all his feet. Animals often have saliva.
Provoke gluttony can be strong emotions. Dogs tend to eat when they are sad or bored. Strong flavouring additives (salt, spices, etc.) also make it difficult for your dog to adequately evaluate his portion size.
A little bit about physiology. There is such a concept as mechanical saturation. It is a state in which eating is no longer possible. Normally, dogs feel satiated much earlier than this, as the food changes the properties of the stomach juice.
The situation is different with wolves: they eat seldom, but can eat up to 10 kg of meat at a time. A dog’s stomach can also stretch, which is what overly voracious pets use.
The main reasons for overeating:
- Regular handouts from the table;
- gastrointestinal diseases;
- Older age;
- individual feature.
It’s worth mentioning the old dogs separately. If you put aside the “bouquet” of diseases that may accumulate, the root of the problem lies in the violation of taste and age-related changes in the psyche. Older pets usually go to extremes, either getting very fat or losing weight. Both overweight and skinny pets are additionally beaten for health.
It is advisable to contact your vet first. It will exclude or confirm the presence of diseases that can not be diagnosed independently. Dogs will choose an individual diet that takes into account its characteristics: lifestyle, diseases, breed and others.
General rules for removing greediness
- Feed your dog under the same conditions. Bowls, food type and place should not change. Strictly observe the regime.
- Animals eat tasty food more readily, so it’s easier to understand how your pet feels about food in general. However, do not spoil your pet, but balance between taste and pleasure.
- Some dogs just don’t know how to eat as much as they should. In this case, you should be the nutritionist yourself, controlling the size of the portion.
- Keep an eye on your pet’s weight.
Why doesn’t the dog want to eat
As with overeating, it could just be a bad habit. Pets can be capricious and wait to be persuaded, danced around, spoon-fed and offered treats. Don’t do this in any way. The algorithm of “correcting” malnutrition in this situation is very simple.
Immediately note that the method is suitable only for healthy animals. Give your dog as much food as he should eat. Let’s say it’s 300 g. Suppose the pet ate only 200 of them. Next time, offer him half of what he had eaten in the previous meal (in our example it’s 100 g). Of course, he will pounce on the bowl and wonder: why so little? But he will eat every last crumb.
Do not regret and do not break under the sighs and sighs of complaints. A healthy dog won’t starve himself to a critical point. Since the animal voluntarily refuses to eat as much as necessary, a temporary “educational” diet will not hurt him.
Then gradually increase the portions. If the dog has not eaten everything again, go back one step. Do it until you reach the vicious circle and “bargain” on a certain amount. Even if you don’t achieve the result you initially wanted, you’ll still get used to eating more. This is already good.
Dogs sometimes have their own unloading days. One day’s fasting is not a problem. Make sure your pet has fresh water at this time.
Sick animals and those with mechanically damaged digestive tract refuse to eat. For example, in case of problems with teeth or bone stuck in the throat, the pet is in pain.
Hunger in case of mild ailment helps to get on your feet more quickly. Don’t make your pet eat, his body is fully focused on the disease, and food is an extra burden. Feeding by force is only necessary in some cases. The situation with water is different.
An animal can also ignore a bowl if it is busy with something. For example, it is not easy for a dog to switch to breakfast at once during games or hunting. Male dogs concentrate less on food when a female herd is nearby.
If there is no host or loved one around, the dog may be homesick and eat less than usual.
Refusal to eat is sometimes associated with a change of food. This can be either because of whims (the old food tasted better) or because of a self-preservation instinct (new food is not suitable, something is wrong with it). In addition, dogs get used to a stable, constant menu, so it’s difficult for them to adjust.
A refusal from water or famine that lasts more than 2 days is an excuse to visit the veterinarian immediately. Most often the reason is illness. In this case, malnutrition is a symptom that needs to be dealt with.
If there are no pathologies, your vet will probably advise you not to interfere. Sometimes it’s really good for dogs to starve. You only have to worry if your dog refuses to eat for a long time.